Gallstone or gall bladder stone formation occurs due to some substances in bile that are having a high concentration and are less soluble in the fluid present in gallbladder. When the concentration of bile is increased in gallbladder then bile become supersaturated with these substances which finally precipitate to form microscopic crystals. Then these crystals get trapped in the gallbladder and form deposits in gallbladder. With the passage of time, these crystals keep on accumulating and combine with each other and form macroscopic stones.
There are two major substances that lead to the formation of these crystals which are not soluble in the bile and that are as follows
• Calcium bilirubinate
Who Are At Risk?
Women are more prone to develop gallstones or gall bladder stone. With the increasing age risk of formation of gallstones increase.
• Cholesterol stones
Cholesterol stones have a dark central spot, oval in shape, 2-3 cm in length, varies from light-yellow to dark-green or brown color.
• Pigment stones
Pigment stones are made from calcium and bilirubin. These stone are small and dark in color.
• Mixed stones
mixed stones are made from cholesterol, calcium carbonate, palmitate phosphate, bilirubin, and other bile pigments.
A cause of the gallstone formation varies. Following are the risk factors:
• If gallbladder fails to empty bile properly
• Biliary tract infections
• Live cirrhosis
• Intravenous feeding.
• Organ transplant
• In certain conditions, the liver makes bilirubin in large amount e.g. chronic hemolytic anemia.
• Rapid weight loss.
Gallstones may remain asymptomatic for years, these are called silent stones. When the size of gallstones increases more than 8 mm. symptoms start appearing.
• During a gallstone attack, the person experiences severe pain in the upper right side of the abdomen with nausea and vomiting.
• Referred pain between shoulder blade or below the right shoulder.
• Pain after the fatty meal.
• Symptoms almost occur at night.
• Abdominal bloating
• Indigestion and belching.
• A positive Murphy’s sign.
• Jaundice occurs in cases of biliary obstruction, choledocholithiasis or gallstone pancreatitis.
• If there is jaundice with fever and chills it indicates cholangitis.
• Blood test
• CT scan
• Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan)
• Endoscopic ultrasound
• Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
Surgery is needed to take out the gallstones.
• Laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
• Open cholecystectomy.
• ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
• Avoid Non-Vegetarian diet
• Avoid fried food
• Avoid milk and milk products except for cheese.
• Oils like Ghee and mustard oil should be restricted in the diet.
• Low cholesterol and low saturated fat oils are recommended.
Symptoms of gallstones do not return after surgery.
• Stitching pains extend from the gallbladder region to the stomach and sometimes to the shoulder.
• Radiating pain can be felt in the groin and pelvic bones.
• Worse from standing up, and from changing position.
• Pain extends to the back, right shoulder, and shoulder-blade.
• The abdomen is distended, with a constricting feeling.
• Pain is worse from motion, and lying on the left.
• Nausea after eating fat or drinking something cold.
• Abdominal pain from gallstones is relieved by bending backward.
• Standing up and moving around gives relief.
• Pains can spread to the back, chest, and arms, or may shift around.
• The abdomen may feel swollen on the right and be very sensitive to pressure, with cutting pains that extend to the chest.
• Worse from stooping, standing, exertion, and better from lying on the painful side.
• Indicated for people who tire easily, feel cold and sluggish with clammy hands and feet.
• Crave sweets, and tend to feel anxious and overwhelmed when ill.
• Indicated for people who have chronic digestive problems with abdominal bloating, flatulence, and discomfort.
• Problems are worse from eating.
• Pains may extend from the right side to the left.
• Craving for sweets prefers warm drinks.
• Patient complains of gallstone colic.
• Liver and spleen are swollen and enlarged.
• There occurs severe flatulent colic better bending double.
• Pain in the right hypochondrium.
• Well indicated medicine for jaundice.
• Liver is torpid and tender to touch.
• Well indicated medicine for jaundice and gallstones.
• There is gastro-duodenal catarrh.
• Also indicated for gastritis.
• Patient is unable to eat bread or vegetables.
• Well indicated medicine for ulcers and cancer of the stomach.
• Blockage of the common bile duct leading to jaundice and bile duct infection.
• Blockage of pancreatic duct leading to inflammation of pancreas causing pancreatitis.
• Cancer of gallbladder.
• Bile duct tumors.
• Gallbladder cancer.
• Pancreatic cancer.
• Acute pancreatitis.
• Gastric and peptic ulcers.
• Bile duct strictures.
Why not ask your query directly to Dr. Thind’s team? Get an expert opinion FOR FREE!