Cholecystitis can be acute or chronic and is generally caused by gallstones or gallbladder sludge.
Acute cholecystitis history at home:
1. Starts after a fatty meal
2. Is felt as right sided pain which is constant but its intensity increases and decreases in waves (colic)
3. Can go through to the back or the right shoulder
4. May be associated with nausea and vomiting
In the hospital:
1. Blood tests may show a high white count and inflammatory marker (CRP)
2. Liver enzymes may be elevated if a gallstone has fallen into the common bile duct
3. Ultrasound scan may show a thickened gallbladder wall and some fluid around the gallbladder (pericholecystic fluid)
Chronic cholecystits can be harder to diagnose but typically presents as vague central or right sided abdominal pain which may be associated with a fatty meal. Some people may report atypical biliary symptoms. It is best in this setting to see your specialist and get an ultrasound scan and/or a HIDA scan. The HIDA scan is a fantastic test for picking up chronic cholecystitis.