Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Understanding Gallstones

By admin Jan26,2024

Gallstones are small, hard particles that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located under the liver. These stones can range in size from a small grain of sand to a larger golf ball-sized stone. Gallstones are made up of cholesterol or bilirubin, a compound formed from the breakdown of red blood cells.

Gallstones can develop when there is an imbalance in the substances that make up bile, a fluid produced by the liver to aid in digestion. When the bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin and not enough bile salts or lecithin to dissolve it, gallstones can form.

There are two main types of gallstones: cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are the most common type and are usually yellow-green in color. Pigment stones are smaller and darker in color, often made up of bilirubin.

Gallstones can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

– Severe abdominal pain, often in the upper right side or center of the abdomen
– Nausea and vomiting
– Fever and chills
– Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes
– Changes in stool or urine color

Most people with gallstones do not experience any symptoms and are unaware of their presence. However, if a gallstone blocks the bile duct, it can lead to complications such as inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), pancreatitis, or infection.

Risk factors for developing gallstones include being female, overweight or obese, over the age of 40, or having a family history of gallstones. Other factors such as rapid weight loss, high cholesterol levels, and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also increase the risk.

Treatment for gallstones may vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the size of the stones. In some cases, dietary changes, such as reducing the intake of high-fat foods, may be recommended. Medications to dissolve the stones or surgery to remove the gallbladder may be necessary for more severe cases.

It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of gallstones, as they can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced and low-fat diet, and staying physically active can help reduce the risk of developing gallstones.

At Corewell Health, we offer comprehensive care for patients with gallbladder disorders, including diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management. Our team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing personalized and effective care to help our patients achieve optimal health and well-being. If you have concerns about gallstones or any other health issues, don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

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