What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are collections of hard, solid material that form in the gallbladder. Some may be the size of a grain of sand, or they may be crystals that can be seen only with a microscope. Others may be the size of a golf ball. People can develop just one large stone, hundreds of smaller stones, or combinations of both.

Causes:

  • Gallstones form when cholesterol and other things found in bile make stones.
  • They can also form if the gallbladder does not empty as it should.
  • People who are overweight or who are trying to lose weight quickly are more likely to get gallstones
  • Women taking oral contraceptives.
  • Women undergoing high-dose estrogen therapy
  • People with a close relative who has had gallstones.
  • A study revealed that a gene variant significantly increases the risk of developing gallstones
  • People whose intake of dietary fat is high.
  • Twice as many women get gallstones than men.
  • People over 60 years of age.
  • People who take statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs).
  • People with diabetes

Symptoms:

  • Pain on the right-hand side of the body, just below the ribs
  • Back pain
  • Pain in the right shoulder
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness

 

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