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The Gallbladder is the small pear-shaped sac-like organ present under the liver that collects the bile (digestive juice) manufactured by the liver. This bile is then released from the gall bladder as and when required which helps in breakdown of the dietary fats thus assisting in digestion.Gallbladder stones is the most common problem of the digestive system and affects a large percentage of population.

Around 15% of the people above the age 50 years are known to suffer from gall bladder stones. More common in females and overweight individuals, gall stones are the small biliary calculi that are formed by cholesterol, bile pigments or calcium salts. Gallstones are formed when there is excessive cholesterol in the bile, the crystallization of which results in incomplete emptying of the gall bladder.Most often, gall stones do not cause any symptoms and go unnoticed. However, if they do, the common symptoms include;

  • Jaundice
  • Severe abdominal and back pain
  • Fever, vomiting, indigestion
  • Abdominal pain usually after eating fatty meals

However, complications like blocking of the duct due to large stones, infections or pancreatitis may need quick treatment and surgery.
Gall bladder stones are easy to diagnose. The doctor may look for jaundice and get the blood tests done. Ultrasound is a convenient and quick way to get the gallstones detected. There are other complicated tests like ERCP if the doctor suspects stones in the bile duct.

The exact cause of developing gall stones is uncertain. However, gall stones may be formed due to one of the following reasons;

  • Alterations in the bile components
  • Failure of the gall bladder to empty completely
  • Excessive production of cholesterol in the liver which results in cholesterol crystals formation that ultimately grows into gall stones.

 

 

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