All About Gallbladder Stones

31/05/2021

The gallbladder stores and releases bile and also removes cholesterol and other waste materials from the bloodstream. These waste materials may accumulate and form into gallstones that range in size from a grain of sand to that of a golf ball.

Few Symptoms of Gallbladder Stones

The symptoms of gallbladder stones include:

  • Clay-coloured faeces
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Burping
  • Dark-coloured urine

There are also “silent gallstones” that do not cause any symptoms and which may be detected only by x-ray.

Causes

Although the exact causes of gallbladder stones are still uncertain, it is accepted that excessive amounts of cholesterol and/or bilirubin in the bile or the inability of the gallbladder to fully empty itself resulting in the bile becoming highly concentrated, are among the major causes of gallstones.

Diagnosis

Gallstones diagnosis is typically done by:

  • Ultrasound/Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) – a procedure to take pictures of the gallbladder, CBD, Liver, Pancreas.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)- a dye is injected to make spotting gallstones easier, CBD STONE can be extracted.

How to Prevent Gallbladder Stones

These lifestyle modifications may help to prevent gallstones from forming:

  • A diet rich in fibre and good fats and low in sugars, carbs, and unhealthy fats
  • At least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 times a week
  • Avoiding diets that result in rapid weight loss
  • For women whose family or medical history makes them prone to gallstone formation, a doctor should be consulted about the use of hormonal birth control methods.

Treatment

Small gallstones may pass out of the body naturally. However, if they do cause problems, the common treatment for gallbladder stones is to remove the gallbladder, which will not affect food digestion. Different surgical procedures may be adopted, depending on the specifics of the case. If surgery is inadvisable, gallbladder stones treatment by medication may be tried.

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