Gallstones are hard substances formed from the digestive juices present in the gallbladder (an organ situated below the liver wherein a digestive juice called bile is stored, which is released into the small intestine for digestion of food).
There are two types of gallstones:
The main cause is unknown but is believed to be due to high cholesterol in the bile juice (seen due to an unhealthy diet, obesity, hereditary factors, and smoking).
Others occur because of increased levels of a pigment called bilirubin (that increases in blood and liver diseases) and other ailments that affect the gallbladder.
Gallstones are more common among:
Other conditions that increase the risk are cirrhosis (causing impaired liver function), intestinal diseases (such as inflammatory bowel disease), infections in the bile duct, hemolytic anemias, and diabetes mellitus.
At times, you may not even experience any symptoms, and these may be found on the x-rays or during surgery in the surrounding area.
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