Gallbladder Stones or Gallstones are hard deposits in the form of small stones formed in the Gallbladder. The size of Gallstones usually range from small (as a grain of sand) to large (as a golf ball). In some people, there will be just one stone but it varies from single to multiple depending upon the conditions.
Gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ found on the right side of the Abdomen, just below the Liver stores the digestive fluid called Bile. Bile is produced and released by the Liver, which helps in digestion. Bile contains Cholesterol (major portion), Bile Acids, Bilirubin, Water, Body Salts, Copper and other metals. It is taken into the body by the digestive tract.
The Gallbladder stone once developed, can become very painful if it lodges in a duct and causes a blockage. But usually it may not cause any signs or symptoms. There can be a sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of the Abdomen and many misjudge it as a gastric pain. The pain can be in the centre of the Abdomen below the Breastbone, Back pain between Shoulder Blades, on the right Shoulder. It can also create Nausea or Vomiting in some cases. While the pain gets relieved in few hours, it can stay there for longer time depending upon the severity and number of stones.
It is normally when your Bile contains too much of Cholesterol, that result in developing Gallstones. Bile normally dissolves the Cholesterol with its built-in chemicals. But if the Liver excretes more Cholesterol than what Bile can dissolve then the excess forms as Crystals and later into Stones. Excess Bilirubin in the Bile also can cause formation of Gallstones. If the Gallbladder does not empty the Bile as required, it becomes concentrated and formation of Gallstones happens.
There are two types of Gallstones – Cholesterol Gallstones and Pigment Gallstones. The Cholesterol Gallstones is most common type. Gallbladder may get inflammation, Bile Duct may get blocked, Pancreatic Duct may get blocked and the Gallstones can even cause Gallbladder Cancer in very rare cases.
You must see a doctor and get proper treatment immediately if you develop severe uncontrollable pain, yellowing of skin, high fever etc. If the condition is severe, then the Gallbladder may have to be removed. But you can prevent and reduce the risks of Gallstones to a great extent by some simple steps. Pain killers can reduce the severity of the pain temporarily. Anti-Inflammatory drugs will help reducing the inflammation in the Gallbladder.
- Don’t skip meals or do Fasting very often
- Do not try to lose weight rapidly. Follow slow Weight Loss procedures
- Include more fiber in your diet
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese can increase the risk of Gallstones
Disclaimer: Information provided here is only for public awareness. Never resort to your own treatment. Always consult your doctor before starting with any medication.