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Home > Symptom > Gallbladder Stone

Gallbladder Stone

Gallbladder Stone

Overview of Gallbladder Stone

Gallstones are clusters of bile-containing material that form in your gallbladder. They can range from sand-sized to a ping pong ball, but the majority of stones never cause any problems. If they get loose and travel into your bile ducts, however, they can lead to serious complications. The condition of having gallstones is called cholelithiasis.

What is Gallbladder Stone?

Gallstones are small, hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. Small and shaped like a pear, the gallbladder is situated beneath the liver in the upper right abdomen. The main function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile, a yellowish-brown digestive fluid produced by the liver. Bile helps break down fats in the small intestine during digestion.

Most gallstones do not cause symptoms and do not need treatment. However, if a gallstone lodges in the common bile duct (the passageway that connects the liver and small intestine), it can block the flow of bile and cause severe pain, inflammation, and infection. Treatment for these complications may involve surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy).

Gallstones come in two different varieties: pigment and cholesterol stones. Cholesterol stones are made mostly of cholesterol, while pigment stones are made up of bilirubin (a waste product) and calcium salts.

What are the Symptoms of Gallstones?

Symptoms of gallstones can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. If the stones block the bile duct, they can also cause jaundice and pancreatitis.

  • Abdominal Pain: Acute abdominal pain is a very common complaint. The most frequent causes are gastroenteritis and constipation. Acute abdominal pain of short duration, with no obvious cause, is termed ‘transitory abdominal pain’. Most people will experience some form of abdominal pain in their lifetime. Abdominal pain can be acute (sudden and severe) or chronic (long-term). It can be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as appendicitis, or it may be caused by something less serious, such as indigestion.
  • Nausea: When it comes to gallstones, nausea is one of the most common symptoms. In fact, many people who have gallstones never even know they have them because they don’t experience any symptoms. However, for those who do experience symptoms, nausea is often one of the first signs that something is wrong.
  • Vomiting & Fever: Vomiting and fever can be serious symptoms of a gallbladder stone. If you experience either of these, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

Vomiting can occur when a gallstone becomes lodged in the opening of the stomach. This can cause an obstruction that prevents food and bile from passing through. In addition to vomiting, you may also experience nausea, abdominal pain, and bloating.

Fever can occur when the gallbladder becomes inflamed. This is often due to an infection that has developed in the bile ducts. In addition to a fever, you may also experience chills, sweats, nausea, and vomiting. If you develop a fever along with any of these other symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away as it could be a sign of a serious infection.

How to Prevent Gallstones?

Gallstones are solid buildups that develop in the gallbladder. They're made up of cholesterol, bile pigments, and calcium salts. If they grow too large, they can block the bile duct and cause severe pain.

There are several things you can do to prevent gallstones: 

  • Maintain a healthy weight. A risk factor for gallstones is obesity
  • Eat a balanced diet. A diet high in fat and cholesterol can lead to gallstones. 
  • Avoid crash diets and rapid weight loss. Losing weight too quickly can also increase your risk of gallstones. 
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise helps to keep your body healthy and prevents obesity. 
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your cholesterol levels and lead to gallstones.

Conclusion

Gallbladder stones are a common occurrence, and most people never experience any symptoms. However, if the stones become large enough to block the bile ducts, they can cause severe pain in the abdomen. If you experience any sudden or severe abdominal pain, it is important to see a doctor right away to rule out gallstones as a potential cause.

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