Gallstones (Gallbladder stones)

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).

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).

If the gallstones are present with no symptoms, the patient is advised to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fluids, take supplements, and light exercises directed by the doctor.

Do you want to know the treatment option? Please contact our doctor at Medfin.

What are gallstones?


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:

  • Cholesterol gallstones: These are yellow in color and are made up of undissolved cholesterol along with other components.
  • Pigment gallstones: These are dark brown or black stones formed due to excessive bile pigment in the bile.


What causes 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.


Who is more likely to develop Gallstones?


Gallstones are more common among:

  • ​Women, especially those who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy or pregnant
  • People with high triglyceride and low HDL cholesterol levels
  • People who are obese, have lost weight quickly, or have had weight loss surgery previously
  • Those who eat a low fiber diet
  • Old age men and women
  • Smokers
  • Individuals with a family history of gallstones

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.


What are the Symptoms of Gallstones?


  • Intense pain in the upper abdomen (on the right side) may spread to the back, which may radiate to the and shoulder on the same side.​
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Flatulence (gas) and indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Darker colored feces and urine

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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