Gall Bladder Stones (Cholelithiasis) are pieces of small hard stone like object present in the walls of your gall bladder. These may be present in the gall bladder or bile tract ( drainage system of bile ).
These stones may be small as grains of rice to large as size of golf ball. The small stones (gravel) are found to be more dangerous.
About 10 to 20 % of total adult people have gallstones. Among them about 80% remain free of any symptoms and don’t require any treatment in their life which are called silent gallstones. So, you may be having silent gallstone.
Table Of Contents
What is Gallstones made of ?
Gallstones are composed of hardened substance. These are usually of two types :
Cholesterol stones :These stones are yellow in color and formed due to crystallization of cholesterol. These are more common than pigment stones. Cholesterol stones may be formed during hypomotility of gall bladder.
Pigment stones :These stones are black in color and made up of the calcium salts of bilirubin. Bilirubin is formed when old red blood cells are destroyed in the body. Increase in bilirubin will lead to jaundice.
Generally, most of the people suffer from cholesterol stones.
Risk Factors Of Gallstones
You have greater risk of gall stones if you are
- Age above 40 years . But it can affect individual of any age from children to old age people.
- Family History of gallstones
- Patient of Hemolytic anemia
- Crohn’s Disease
- Are overweight.
- Have lost a large amount of weight over a short amount of time.
- Have diabetes
- Have Crohn’s disease.
- Eat a diet that is high in fat and cholesterol.
- Take drugs that lower cholesterol.
- Take oral contraceptives.
Symptoms Of Gallstone
Silent gallstones may cause no signs or symptoms. Symptoms often arise after having a fatty meal . The common symptoms are :
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
- Back pain between your shoulder blades
- Pain in your right shoulder
- Nausea or vomiting
Gallstone pain are extreme . These may last for several minutes to few hours.
When to see a doctor
If you feel like having above symptoms , then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Gallstones are usually identified by health personnel by help of abdominal ultrasound which doesn’t have any major risk.
Complications of Gallstones
If symptomatic gallstones are left untreated the following severe complications may occur :
- Gallbladder inflammation (acute cholecystitis). When gall stone blocks the bile ducts, it will lead to gall bladder inflammation. The gall bladder may burst which will expose the important abdominal organ to toxic bile .
- Blocked bile ducts will cause jaundice.
- Gallstones may increase risk of gall bladder carcinoma.
So, one should undergo treatment as per the advice of the medical person.
Take Home Message
Gallstones are common digestive system problem . Gallstones pain is observed in right upper abdomen , region between shoulder plates and right shoulder . Surgery is best treatment option for gallstone.
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Sachet Subedi is 3rd year medical student from Institute Of Medicine, Maharajgunj . He writes on health, diet, wellness and science. He likes cricket and loves to study books and research paper on productivity, diet , health and wellness.