What are Gallstones

Gallstones are like small pebbles which are developed in the gallbladder. Gallbladder is located below your liver in the right upper abdomen. Gallstones are developed when the liquid that is called bile in the gallbladder turns into solid. Bile is of greenish-brown color. This bile helps in digesting the fat. But when it turns into solid, it stops functioning properly and it can cause many problems. That is why; it needs proper and immediate treatment. Gallstones are formed when chemicals like cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate and calcium carbonate are not in balance. There are two types of gallstones:

  • Cholesterol gallstones: these are formed due to excess of cholesterol in the bile.
  • Pigment gallstones: these are formed when the bile has too much of bilibrubin in it.

Gallstones of either type have same symptoms. It can cause pain in the abdomen on the right side below the ribs. It can also cause chest pain, back pain and shoulder pain. it can also cause nausea, vomiting, sweating and restlessness. Sometimes, gallstones can also cause serious problems like jaundice, pancreatitis, gallbladder infection etc. It can also cause a person to get fever. The pain can even get worse if the person eats something. Gallstones can block the bile duct i.e. gallbladder which causes pancreatitis. If this happens, then you should call the doctor immediately without any delay. Gallstones can be caused due to many reasons like:

  • If the person is overweight or is trying to lose weight, then he/she is more prone to the risk of getting gallstones.
  • Women who are taking oral contraceptives can also be a victim of this problem.
  • People with diabetes are also at the risk of getting gallstones.

There are many other reasons too like multiple pregnancies, hereditary problems, age etc. Gallstones can be diagnosed with the imaging exams like an abdominal scan. Your doctor can ask you the questions regarding pain and other symptoms of gallstones. An ultrasound of the abdominal area is the best way to diagnose gallstones. You might need a gallbladder scan too.

Once it is diagnosed, it should be treated properly. Sometimes the pain goes on its own but it can return too. If the pain is vanished, then it should not be considered that now you don’t have this problem. you should still consult your doctor. If the condition is not so worse and gallstone is not blocking bile duct, then oral medication can be prescribed to dissolve the gallstones but if the condition is severe and is blocking the gallbladder then the doctor can suggest you surgery of the gallbladder to remove the gallstone. In most of the cases, surgery is adviced.