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What Causes Gallstones?

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What Causes Gallstones?

Gallstones are not actually stones, but rather hardened deposits of digestive fluid that  form in the gallbladder. The gallblader sits just below the liver and sends digestive fluid called bile into your small intestine.

Gallstones can be as tiny as a grain of sand to the size of a golf ball. Multiple gallstones can form at the same time. Your genes, weight, and diet can all contribute to gallstones forming. Other medical conditions like diabetes, liver cirrosis or sickle cell anemia can cause gallstones.

Being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors, since obesity can raise cholesterol, making it more difficult for the gallbladder to empty.
If your gallbladder doesn't empty completely or often enough, bile can become concentrated, leading to the formation of gallstones.

Gallstone Symptoms
  • The symptoms of gallstones include
  • Sudden upper belly pain and upper back that can last for several hours
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating, indegestion, heartburn and gas
If you experience symptoms such as intense abdominal pain, yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes or high fever with chills, you should seek seek medical attention.

To determine if you have gallstones your doctor will give you a physical exam and a blood test to check for infection or obstruction. An ultrasound or CT scan may also be performed to image the gallbladder and detect the presence of any gallstones.

If gallstones are found your doctor may prescribe medications to dissolve the stones. Surgery may also be needed to remove the stones. In some cases surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder.
Read 1057 times Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2018 01:18
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