Gallbaldder Stones: Causes and Symptoms
Gallbladder stones Causes. Gallbladder stones signs and symptoms. What is Biliary Colic and what usually leads to Biliary Colic?
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 and is released into the small intestine for the digestion of food)
Gallstones are hard, pebble-like deposits that form in your gallbladder. Gallstones can range in size from the size of a sand grain to a golf ball. The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that is located on the upper right side of your abdomen.
Your gall bladder is a pouch that houses the greenish-yellow fluid known as bile, which helps in the digestion of fats. Typically, the chemical composition of your bile juices is sufficient to break down the cholesterol that the liver excretes. But, if your liver excretes more cholesterol than your bile can break down, it may crystallize and eventually turn into gallstones.
Types of gallstones:
Though the exact cause of bile stones is unknown, it is believed that a chemical imbalance within the gallbladder can cause gallstones. The potential causes of gallstones are;
Gallstones are more common among
Gender: Women are more likely to develop gallstones because of hormonal imbalances.
Age: Older people, above the age of 60, are more prone to developing gallstones.
Obesity: Obese people are at higher risk of developing Gallstones
Estrogen Level: Increased cholesterol levels in bile and decreased gallbladder activity, both of which can result in gallstones, appear to be caused by excess estrogen from pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, or birth control pills.
Rapid weight loss: Rapid weight loss leads the liver to release additional cholesterol into the bile, which can result in gallstones, as the body metabolizes fat.
Fasting. Fasting reduces gallbladder movement, which results in an excess of cholesterol in the bile.
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.
The doctor starts with history-taking, followed by a clinical or physical examination. This will be followed by blood investigations and imaging techniques in Hoshiarpur that the doctor feels are appropriate.
The blood tests may include a complete blood count, liver function tests (which will reveal levels of bilirubin, which is important in the diagnosis of gallstones), a lipid profile, which reveals levels of cholesterol, and HDL (good) cholesterol, which may be causative for the formation of the gallstones.
Other tests may be imaging techniques such as
If the gallstones are present but there are no symptoms, the patient is advised to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fluids, take supplements, and do light exercises directed by the doctor.
If the patient is symptomatic, there are non-invasive treatments, surgical treatments both open and minimally invasive, or laparoscopic surgery.
In non-invasive techniques, depending on the type of gallstone, bile salts can be used to dissolve stones formed due to cholesterol, but this cannot be used for gallstones formed due to bile pigments.
Shock Wave Therapy: It is a method where shock waves are used to break the stones down into finer pieces, followed by the administration of bile salts.
ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) - This is a kind of endoscopy in which an instrument is inserted through the endoscope to remove the stones.
In most of these non-invasive procedures, recurrence is common and hence not successful long term. The gall bladder serves an important function, but it is not required for a healthy life.
When the symptoms of gallstones are persistent, then surgery to remove the gallbladder should be considered. There are two types of cholecystectomy surgeries open and laparoscopic.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon will make four small incisions in your abdomen. Then a tube that has a tiny video camera is inserted into your abdomen through one of the incisions.
With the help of a video monitor, the surgeon sees and inserts the other surgical tools through the other incisions in the abdomen and removes the gallbladder. Later, these small incisions are sutured. This takes about 1-2 hours.
Open Laparoscopy: This is the traditional procedure where a large incision is made to repair an organ or tissue in your body. Open surgery is a major procedure in which the surgeon makes an incision as large as 10 inches with a scalpel to access the organ.
Untreated gallstones may lead to complications such as:
There are two effective ways to prevent the formation of gallstones:
Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor in Hoshiarpur, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost in Hoshiarpur. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin!
Your doctor will be the right person to tell you if you’re suitable for gallbladder removal through some tests done to evaluate type, size and location of the gallstone. The approach is different for those with allergies, liver ailments and blood disorders.
If the gallstones cause the patient severe pain and are left untreated for a long time it may cause a condition called acute cholecystitis which is dangerous and needs immediate treatment.
It is seen as an infection that may spread to the surrounding tissues (leading to sepsis) due to gallstone obstruction in the gallbladder. Hence, it is better to seek treatment on experiencing any symptoms from a suitable doctor.
Some studies do suggest this, as it may cause an increase in cholesterol level and worsen other conditions like heart problems, diabetes, and intestinal issues that can later cause gallstones to develop.
It may happen when the stones are small enough to reach the intestine through bile duct and get finally out with stool. However, they may get stuck in gallbladder or bile ducts and cause pain, infections and obstructions, leading to the need for medical help.
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