Symptoms and causes of gallstones and ways to prevent them

Gallstones are hard, tiny deposits of digestive fluids in the gallbladder, which is an organ that sits underneath the liver at the up-right side of the abdomen. The size of the gallstones can be as small as a grain or the size of a ping pong ball. Some people can have just one gallstone, while others can have many at one time. Many people are not even aware that they may, but if you think you might have gallstones, you need to visit the Best Urologist In Ludhiana

What is bile? 

The digestive fluid that is made and secreted by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, is known as bile. It helps in digestion by breaking down fat into fatty acids. Bile stays in the gallbladder until it is required to enter the small intestine for digesting fats. A hormone called cholecystokinin is secreted when food enters the small intestine. This hormone then contracts the gallbladder to have bile released from it to break down fat. It consists of bile salts and acid, cholesterol, pigments, phospholipids, water and electrolyte chemicals that keep the solution alkaline to some degree, having A pH of about 7 to 8. 

 

Types of gallstones.

Cholesterol stones: This type of gallstone takes place when too much cholesterol is secreted by the liver into bile. Due to the high saturation of cholesterol in bile, the gallbladder may find it difficult to empty bile, which may cause bile to become stagnant. 

Pigment stones: These stones can be black or brown and are composed of bilirubin. 

Mixed stones: These are a mixture of cholesterol and pigments. This condition is called choledocholithiasis, where stones are formed in the bile duct in place of the gallbladder. 

Symptoms of gallstones

There are usually no signs and symptoms of gallstones unless the gallstones are lodged in the duct, causing blockage. There may be symptoms that may be: 

  • Abrupt and continuously intensified pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.
  • Sudden and intense pain at the centre of the abdomen 
  • Pain in the back between shoulder blades
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the right shoulder

 

Pain from gallstones may last for a few minutes to several hours, depending upon the intensity of the condition. 

Causes of gallstones

  • Too much cholesterol: usually, there are enough chemicals in the bile to dissolve cholesterol that is excreted by the liver. However, excessive excretion of cholesterol from the liver that is more than the bile can dissolve may cause the cholesterol to turn into crystals and stones at last.
  • Too much bilirubin: when the body breaks down red blood cells, a chemical known as bilirubin is produced. Conditions like liver cirrhosis, infection in the biliary tract and various blood disorders can cause the liver to produce too much bilirubin.
  • Gallbladder is not able to empty properly: gallstones may form as a result of the gallbladder not being able to empty bile from it completely. 

Complications that might occur due to gallstones are: 

  • Inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Blockage in the common bile duct
  • Pancreatic duct blockage
  • Gallbladder cancer

Prevention from gallstones

  • Avoid skipping meals: fasting or skipping meals can risk gallstones. Try to have a meal at an appropriate time of the day. Avoid skipping or eating at unusual times.
  • Lose weight gradually: Don’t Go all intense to lose weight, as it can result in gallstone formation. Work on losing your weight slowly by aiming for 0.5 or 1 kg weight loss per week. 
  • Consume more food with fibre: add more fibre to your plate, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. 
  • Maintain your weight: Aim to maintain a healthy weight. A body that is overweight or obese can increase the risk of gallstones. Reduce the number of calories that you consume every day and increase the amount of physical activity to reduce your weight and keep a fixed routine of exercising and a healthy diet to maintain it. 

Gallstones that cause no symptoms do not need any treatment or surgery as small gallstones can pass through your body on their own, but if there are any symptoms of gallstones, then you must contact the Best Urologist In Punjab as it can cause intense pain and other complications if it blocked the bile duct. 

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