What Does Gallbladder do in the Digestive System 2023 Updated

What Does Gallbladder do in the Digestive SystemWhat Does Gallbladder do in the Digestive System

What Does Gallbladder do in the Digestive System

The gallbladder, a small hollow organ with a pear shape, is located on the right side, just below the liver. The main contribution of the gallbladder is to store bile. This name comes from its origin. The gallbladder in the digestive system has significant functions.  It is a muscular organ that contracts, forcing the bile through the cystic duct. The gallbladder’s main function is to store and concentrate the bile produced by the liver and release it into the digestive system.  So, in this article, we will see the function and role of the gallbladder in the digestive system. Besides, we will look into the health problem that may hinder the functioning of the digestive system. 

Gallbladder in the digestive system: An Overview

The gallbladder stores bile, thicker and more concentrated than fresh bile from the liver. The gallbladder can store large amounts of bile components, measuring three inches in diameter. However, gallstones can become very painful due to the accumulation of bile. These are made up of dried and crystallized bile. The doctor can remove the gallbladder itself without any lasting side effects. The only thing that’s missing is a small storage bag for bile. 

The biliary tract connects your gallbladder to other parts of your digestive system through a series of bile ducts. The biliary tube (also called the biliary system, biliary tree, or biliary system) is like a pipe that carries bile from your liver to your small intestine. Your gallbladder may go through serious internal problems. In such a case, consult a Gastroenterologist, and book an appointment with the doctor. 

Gall bladder and its purpose

Your gallbladder is part of your biliary, which is comprised of your liver, gallbladder, and related ducts. This system is responsible for the storage, production, and secretion of bile. Bile is a thick liquid with a greenish, brown, or yellow color. Your liver produces bile, which is used to digest fats. Your liver can produce between 27 and 34 fluid ounces of bile per day.

Bile is moved from the liver to the small intestine during a meal. So it must be stored somewhere until needed, even if you aren’t eating. Here’s where the gallbladder steps in. Besides, the gallbladder in the digestive system shares a vital role in the body.  The gallbladder stores bile and concentrates it. It usually holds between 1 to 2.7 fluid. The gallbladder contract when you eat fatty foods.

Function of gallbladder

Temporary storehouse for Hepatic Bile:

The gallbladder contributes to storing bile juice. The bile juice is stored until it is needed in the intestine to digest lipids. The liver is responsible for releasing the hepatic bile. It is fascinating to see that the liver is your most active organ.

Acid Neutralization:

Because bile is an alkaline substance in nature, it helps to neutralize hydrochloric acids in the stomach in times of starvation. The pH value for hydrochloric acid, or HCL, is 2. This acidic concentration aids in the digestion of the proteins in food. In addition, the inactive pepsinogen is converted into an active pepsinogen in this acidic medium.

Emulsification Lipids:

The gallbladder also performs a significant function in emulsifying and storing lipids. In addition, the gallbladder also contains bile juice that can emulsify fats and lipids in the diet.

Facilitation of Absorption:

Bile is important for the absorption and digestion of food. This fluid aids in absorbing fats and fat-soluble compounds into the body. These small food particles enter the bloodstream and travel through blood vessels. These food particles eventually reach every cell.

Secretion and use of mucins and bicarbonate:

The walls’ unique secretive and absorptive capacities ensure that the bile composition remains at the desired level. The gallbladder’s epithelium is equipped to secrete compounds such as bicarbonate or mucins. These compounds are cytoprotective, which means they protect the cells from damage by bile acids. They protect cells from bile acid damage.

Problems your gallbladder may face in the digestive system.

  1. Gallstones: Gallstones can be pebble-like, made from bile material. They develop in the gallbladder and bile ducts. They can range in size from grains of sand to golf balls. Although they are usually harmless, they can cause nausea, pain, and inflammation.
  2. Cholecystitis – It is an inflammation in the gallbladder. It can happen when your gallbladder is blocked by bile. Cholecystitis is a condition that causes fever and pain. It usually requires surgery.
  3. Gallstone pancreatitis – This is inflammation of the pancreas. It happens when a gallstone enters the common bile drain and blocks the pancreatic tube at the point where it is most likely to drain into the small intestine.
  4. Gallbladder Cancer: Gallbladder carcinoma is uncommon. The right upper quadrant of your abdomen might be affected by pain. It is more likely that another condition causes this pain.

How does cholecystitis affect the functioning of the digestive system?

Cholelithiasis refers to the formation of gallstones within the bile-storing organ. Two types of gallstones are common. They are classified as either cholesterol stones or pigment stones based on their composition. The first, i.e., cholesterol stones, accounts for 80% of all cases. Pigment stones cause the remaining 20% of cases. Proper functioning of the gallbladder in the digestive system is important. 

Cholesterol stones cause the supersaturation of cholesterol in the liver. Along with bile acids, phospholipids, and cholesterol. Besides, cholesterol is one of the main components of bile. There are also plenty of bile salts and bile pigments. Bile also contains bile electrolytes, bile salts, and bile pigments. The pigment stones comprise calcium bilirubin or calcium palmitate. They can also be brown or black.

Black stones are often associated with hemolytic conditions or cirrhosis. On the other hand, Brown pigment stones are associated with bacterial infections or disorders of biliary mobility.


Your gallbladder, a small organ located in the upper right abdomen shaped like a pear, is responsible for storing and releasing bile. Your digestive system breaks down fats by releasing bile from your gallbladder. Gallstones are the most common problem with your gallbladder. Gallstones are bile-based pebble-like substances. They are not something most people know about and will rarely cause any problems. Therefore, your gallbladder has a significant role in the digestive system. Therefore, it is equally important to take necessary steps to reduce any health problem. 

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