Gallbladder Problems

Gallbladder problems, among other factors, can cause insomnia. Inability to get enough night sleep or sleep properly at night can be a very frustrating experience. The whole day, you cannot concentrate, while your head feels fuzzy and everyday seems like a Monday.

When you start having sleeplessness at nights, sometimes, it might not just be happening to you because of stress you went through during the day’s activities. Sometimes you have to consider insomnia as a symptom of a deeper health problem and not just about stress. Talking to your medical doctor or health professional should be considered too.

What is gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is tucked below the liver. It is a small digestive organ that stores bile. Your body uses the bile stored in the gallbladder, when released into the small intestine, to digest fats.

The gallbladder stores bile, a thick liquid that’s produced by the liver to help us digest fat. When we eat, the gallbladder’s thin, muscular lining squeezes bile into the small intestine through the main bile duct. The more fat we eat, the more bile the gallbladder injects into the digestive tract (NIH).

When you are not eating, for a long period of time, such as at night, the gallbladder stores the bile. But gallbladder problems can cause gallbladder malfunction and cause the bile to be discharged into the intestine instead of being stored. When this happens, discomfort in the abdomen begins, resulting in disturbed sleep.

Different Gallbladder Problems and Conditions

Gallbladder Surgery

Gallbladder surgery or removal can cause insomnia. This is because, once the gallbladder is removed, the body can no longer store bile produced by the liver. The bile will directly be discharged into the small intestine. This can cause discomfort in the abdomen and results in disturbed sleep.


These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid (bile) formed inside the gallbladder (cholelithiasis). The hardened deposits are usually made up of cholesterol.


This refers to the gallstones formed in the gallbladder.


This refers to the presence of gallstones in the common bile duct (CBD).


This is the inflammation of the gallbladder. This condition occurs when gallstones, formed inside the gallbladder, block the tube (cystic duct) leading out of the gallbladder, causing the inflammation of the gallbladder. This situation can be life-threatening because it may cause the gallbladder to rupture, if not treated; and may lead to gallbladder surgery or removal; which could possibly lead to insomnia.

Acalculous gallbladder disease

Acalculous gallbladder disease, or acute acalculous cholecystitis, is a condition that causes inflammation of the gallbladder without the presence of gallstones. This is a severe illness that can be triggered by complications arising from other medical conditions, trauma, or long term illness.

Biliary Dyskinesia

Biliary dyskinesia are conditions that are becoming increasingly recognized due to improved technology. They are motility disorders that affect the gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi (SO), respectively. Gallbladder dyskinesia presents with typical biliary pain in the absence of gallstones.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a disease of the bile ducts. Bile ducts carry the bile from the liver to the small intestine. In primary sclerosing cholangitis, inflammation causes scars within the bile ducts. These scars make the ducts hard and narrow and gradually cause serious liver damage; and people with PSC often report that they have disturbed sleep patterns and insomnia, all of which can contribute to the feeling of tiredness and fatigue.

Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the gallbladder and spreads throughout the body. Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease. When gallbladder cancer is identified in its early stages, there is a significant possibility of a cure. However, most gallbladder cancers are detected late in the disease process, when the prognosis is often very poor. Because gallbladder cancer generally has no symptoms or indicators, it may not be identified until it is advanced. Furthermore, the gallbladder’s relatively hidden location makes it simpler for gallbladder cancer to spread undetected.

Gallbladder Polyps

Gallbladder polyps are abnormal growths that stick out from the lining of the inside of your gallbladder. In 95% of cases, these polyps are noncancerous.

Gangrene of the Gallbladder

Gangrene of the gallbladder simply means, death of gallbladder tissue. Untreated cholecystitis can cause tissue in the gallbladder to die (gangrene). It is the most common complication, especially among the elderly, those who delay treatment, and the diabetics. This can induce a tear in the gallbladder or cause it to explode.

Abscess of the gallbladder

A pericholecystic abscess is a type of abscess (a swollen region within bodily tissue containing an accumulation of pus) that develops as a result of acute cholecystitis (an inflammation of the gallbladder). Pericholecystic abscess is a rare condition; and also one of several associated complications of gallbladder disease. The condition is linked with severe, sudden onset (acute) symptoms of inflammation that occur when a person has cholecystitis.

Symptoms Associated with Gallbladder Problems.

Gallbladder problems may result to abdominal pain in the upper right part, that can range from mild to severe. These pain attacks can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Depending on the time of the day, these pains, if they occur during the night time, can make sleeping at nights near impossible. More so, gallbladder surgery causes the bile to be discharged directly into the small intestine. This can result in disrupted abdomen and possibly disturb sleeping.

Other symptoms of gallbladder problems include;

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Dark urine
  • Greasy or light-coloured stools
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Abrupt drop in blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Itching
  • Night sweats

If you notice any of the above listed symptoms in your body, it is time to visit your doctor.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional for medical guidance or before taking any medication.

10 thoughts on “Can Gallbladder Problems Cause Insomnia?”
  1. Found this page looking for ‘can gallbladder issues cause insomnia’. I’m quite astounded. After years of being unable to sleep even with prescription meds, I’ve begun to sleep (and no meds) since my gallbladder was removed one month ago. Those with insomnia will understand how baffling but welcomed this is. I probably tried a thousand combinations of supplements, medications, blue light glasses, and anything reasonable I could try. Everyday I actually get tired and fall asleep. It took sometimes 8 hrs of laying there before I could fall asleep, and that was with meds! So I’m blown away. Had I known a sick gallbladder could be the issue I’d have got it out years ago, instead of suffering and trying numerous herbal remedies that never worked. Unfortunately, I can’t share which condition I had besides a number of sizable stones as the surgeon never said.
    So thanks much for the article and I hope others find this too!

    1. Hello LR. Ive just seen & read this article, I’m wondering what symptoms you had prior to having your gallbladder removed? I was told I had gallstones a couple of months ago & my sleeping has been terrible for some time & I’ve tried all sorts. I’ve actually got back to the doctors to find out how long the waiting list is for removal as I previously thought the pain in my abdomen & back was tolerable & I didn’t really want an operation to remove an organ. Now, however, due to ongoing insomnia I’m thinking it might be time to at least try the operation

  2. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.