Gallstones

Table of Contents

Gallbladder Stones Symptoms Causes Diagnosis ?

Gallstone stones or Gallstones are hardened digestive fluid masses that can form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just behind the liver. Bile is a digestive fluid that is held in the gallbladder before being released into the small intestine. Gallbladder stones can obstruct your bile ducts, causing bile to back up in your gallbladder and cause a gallbladder attack; sometimes called biliary colic, which can be fatal. Gallbladder attacks are characterized by pain in the upper right abdomen that might persist for many hours. Gallbladder attacks usually happen after a heavy meal and happen in the evening or at night. If you have had one gallbladder attack, you’re likely to have more.

Normally Gallstones shift and no longer clog the bile ducts, and gallbladder attacks usually end in just a few hours. If any of your bile ducts are blocked for more than a few hours, gallstone complications may occur. Gallbladder stones that do not clog your bile ducts are asymptomatic. Gallbladder stones can range in size from a particle of sand to a golf ball. Some people produce one gallstone at a time, while others develop multiple Gallbladder stones at once. Gallbladder stones frequently require gallbladder removal surgery for those who suffer symptoms. Gallbladder stones that don’t create any symptoms don’t generally need to be treated.

Silent Gallbladder Stones

Gallbladder stones cause no symptoms in most people. Silent Gallbladder stones are those that don’t cause any symptoms. Silent Gallbladder stones do not obstruct the function of your gallbladder, liver, or pancreas, so they do not require treatment.

Symptoms

symptoms

The following indications and symptoms may occur if a gallstone sticks in a duct and causes a blockage:

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 .The discomfort caused by Gallstones can last from a few minutes to several hours.

When to See a Doctor

If you see any signs or symptoms that concern you, make an appointment with your doctor. If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of a serious gallstone complication, seek medical help right away.

Abdominal pain so intense that you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
High fever with chills
nausea and vomiting
tea-colored urine and light colored stools

Causes

It’s not clear what causes Gallstones to form. Doctors think Gallbladder stones may result when:
Your bile contains too much cholesterol. Normally, enough chemicals are present in your bile to break down the cholesterol released by your liver. However, if your liver excretes more cholesterol than your bile can break down, the extra cholesterol may crystallize and create stones.
Your bile contains too much bilirubin. Bilirubin is a substance created by your body when red blood cells are broken down. Your liver produces too much bilirubin as a result of cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and various blood disorders. Gallbladder stones are caused by high levels of bilirubin.
Your gallbladder doesn’t empty correctly. If your gallbladder does not empty completely or frequently enough, bile can become extremely concentrated, which can lead to gallstone formation.

Types of Gallbladder Stones

Gallstones can appear in the gallbladder in a variety of shapes and sizes, including:
Cholesterol Gallbladder Stones. A cholesterol gallstone, the most common form of gallstone, is frequently yellow in color. Gallbladder stones are mostly made up of undissolved cholesterol, although they can also contain other materials.
Pigment Gallbladder Stones. These dark brown or black stones occur when your bile contains too much bilirubin.

Gallstone Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may request tests such as:
Blood tests.

Ultrasound.

CT scan.

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography(MRCP).

Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan).

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).

Endoscopic ultrasound.

Gallstone Treatment

There are two kinds of treatment for Gallstone: surgery, and medication. You don’t need treatment if you don’t have any symptoms. Some Gallstones are small enough to pass through your body on their own. Gallbladders are usually removed in patients who have Gallbladder stones. It is still possible to digest food without it.
1- Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
This technique has a 99 percent success rate in preventing Gallbladder stones recurrence. The absence of a gallbladder may have no adverse implications in many individuals. However, between 10% and 15% of the population develops a condition known as postcholecystectomy syndrome, which can result in nausea, indigestion, diarrhoea, and episodes of stomach pain.
There are two surgical options for cholecystectomy:
• Open cholecystectomy is performed via an abdominal incision (laparotomy) below the lower right ribs. Recovery usually takes 3–5 days in the hospital, with a return to a normal diet a week after discharge and normal exercise a few weeks later.
• The laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure, which was first performed in the 1980s, uses three to four small puncture holes to insert a camera and instruments. Following surgery, patients usually receive same-day discharge or a one-night stay in the hospital, followed by a few days of home rest and pain medication. Endoscopic retrograde sphincterotomy (ERS) after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) can sometimes remove obstruction of the common bile duct caused by Gallstones.

2- Medication
If your doctor believes you should not undergo surgery because you have another medical issue, they may prescribe medication instead. To dissolve Gallbladder stones, the drugs ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) have been used. Small cholesterol stones and larger cholesterol Gallbladder stones have both been treated medically with oral bile acids when surgery is either not possible or undesirable. Diarrhea, moderate reversible hepatic damage, and a slight increase in plasma cholesterol levels are all possible side effects of CDCA medication. UDCA could take several years. It may take years for the medicine to completely dissolve the stones, and they may reappear if you stop taking it.

Also Read – Glamyo Health Gallstones Treatment Patient Reviews

Complications of Gallbladder stones

Gallbladder Inflammation (acute cholecystitis)

This occurs when a stone clogs your gallbladder, preventing it from emptying. It produces persistent pain and a high temperature. If you don’t get treatment quickly away, your gallbladder could explode or rupture.
Blocked bile ducts. This can result in a fever, chills, and jaundice. Your pancreas may become inflamed if a stone plugs the duct leading to it (pancreatitis).
Infected bile ducts (acute cholangitis). Infected ducts are more prone to be clogged. If the
bacteria get into your circulation, it can lead to sepsis, which is a life-threatening illness.
Gallbladder cancer. Gallbladder stones increase your chances of developing this malignancy, although it’s uncommon.

Risk Factors
Gallbladder stones can be caused by a number of factors, including:

1. Being female

2. Being age 40 or older

3. Being overweight or obese  

4. Eating a high-cholesterol diet

5. Having a family history of Gallbladder stones

6. Having diabetes

7. Having certain blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or leukemia
losing weight very quickly

8. Taking medications that contain estrogen, such as oral contraceptives or hormone therapy
drugs

9. Having liver disease

Prevention
If you do the following, you can lower your chance of Gallbladder stones:

Don’t skip meals. Gallbladder stones can be worsened by skipping meals or fasting.

Lose weight slowly. If you need to lose weight, go slow. Gallbladder stones might be
worsened by rapid weight loss. Aim for a weekly weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds.

Eat more high-fiber foods.
Get regular exercise.
Maintain a healthy weight. Gallbladder stones are more likely to form in those who are obese or overweight.

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