Why Surgery is the best and safest treatment option
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What is the gallbladder and what are gallstones or gallbladder stones?
The gallbladder is a storage place for digestive (bile) juice. It is tucked below the liver, in the right upper side of the abdomen. When you consume fatty foods, the gallbladder pushes bile juice into the intestine through the bile duct, to aid digestion.
Any changes in the bile juice can result in the formation of small pebble-like stones in the gallbladder, commonly called as gallstones or gallbladder stones.
Gallstones can either be as big as a golf ball or as small as a pebble. Also, there can be one large stone or many small stones or a combination of both.
Who is more prone to develop gallstones or gallbladder stones?
Gallstones may be found more commonly in:
- Pregnant women and those who are on birth control pills
- People of age >40 years
- Obese people
- People undergoing sudden weight loss
- People on carbohydrate and/or calorie-rich diet
- Those with a positive family history of gallstones
- People having a family history of gallstones
- Individuals with health issues such as diabetes and certain intestinal and liver diseases
What are the symptoms of gallstones or gallbladder stones?
Some gallstones remain ‘silent’ and do not cause any symptoms. However, others move and block the bile flow, causing a sudden pain in the upper right abdomen.
This condition, called gallbladder attack or biliary colic, can last for an hour or more and may resolve by itself. However, prolonged blockage of the bile duct can cause serious health issues
When should you consult a doctor for gallstones?
If you have any of the below symptoms, visit a surgical gastroenterologist or a gastro surgeon immediately without further delay.
- Severe pain in the abdomen lasting for more than 5 hours
- Nausea and vomiting
- Presence of fever or chills
- Yellowish discoloration of the white of the eye or skin, known as jaundice
- Discoloration of urine and stools
Related blogs you may like to read:
- Gallstones, National institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseasborder-radius: border-radius: 50%;. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gallstones. Accessed on Oct 27, 2017
- Gallstones. Mayo Clinics. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gallstones/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354220. Accessed on Oct 27, 2017
- Gallstones. NHS choices. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Gallstones/Pages/Introduction. aspx Accessed on Oct 27, 2017
- Njeze GE. Gallstones. Niger J Surg. 2013;19(2):49-55. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899548/. Accessed on Oct 27, 2017
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