A tiny organ, the gallbladder stones is situated just below the liver. A digestive fluid called bile is kept there and periodically released. The liver produces bile, which is then expelled into the small intestine. It facilitates food digestion, and bile is used to help digest fats and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Gallstones, also known as cholelithiasis or gallstones, are tiny, hardened deposits of bilirubin and cholesterol that develop in the gallbladder stones. When red blood cells, also known as RBCs, begin to degrade, the body produces a chemical called bilirubin.
Gallbladder stones can range in size from a pea to a golf ball. Gallbladder stones can obstruct the bile duct as they get bigger, which hurts. Medical attention and therapy are necessary for this disorder. One of the best hospitals in Rajasthan for treating gallbladder stones is Shantiraj Hospital in Udaipur.
Gallbladder stones can form in either the gallbladder or the biliary tract, which leads to inflammation and pain. They’re rare in babies, children, and teens but may occur at any age. About 5% of adults have gallbladder stones (those more likely to develop them include older adults, people with chronic liver disease, and those who have been treated with cholesterol-lowering medications).
Gallbladder stones usually result from excess consumption of dairy products, alcohol, and certain medications. However, if left untreated, they can be quite serious.
Distinctions between Gallbladder and Urinary Bladder
|A tiny organ found beneath the liver is called the gallbladder.
|The urinary bladder is an organ that resembles a sac that is situated in the lower abdomen.
|Bile, which aids in the body’s breakdown of lipids and some nutritional absorption, is stored and released by it.
|Prior to being expelled from the body by urination, it retains urine.
Gallbladder stones symptoms
Stones in the gallbladder can be as little as sand grains. There may be no signs of discomfort at this time. Many people who have tiny gallstones are unaware of them and don’t need any medical attention. They may result in some of the following symptoms when they are big, and numerous, and start to clog the bile duct.
- Discomfort or pain in the right upper abdomen
- Pain radiating to the right shoulder or the back
- Nausea or vomiting
- Heartburn, gas, indigestion
- Frequent digestion issues
- Yellow skin or eyes
- Dark urine
- Fevers and chills
Causes of Gallbladder Stone
So, what exactly leads to the formation of gallbladder stones? Multiple factors contribute to their development. The primary culprits are an imbalance in the composition of bile and changes in the gallbladder’s ability to empty properly.
The bile is composed of water, cholesterol, bile salts, bilirubin, and other substances. When there is an excess of cholesterol or bilirubin, the bile becomes supersaturated, forming crystals that gradually accumulate and form gallbladder stones. Additionally, if the gallbladder fails to empty fully or regularly, the stagnant bile can contribute to stone formation.
Moreover, certain risk factors increase an individual’s susceptibility to gallstones. These include obesity, rapid weight loss, a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of gallstones, certain medications, and various medical conditions such as diabetes or liver disease. Understanding these risk factors is paramount in preventing the development of gallstones.
Now that we understand the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of gallbladder stones, let’s focus on the available treatment options. Fortunately, advancements in medical science provide numerous alternatives to manage this condition effectively.
If gallstones are asymptomatic and do not pose any immediate threats, a “watchful waiting” approach may be adopted. However, if symptoms persist or complications arise, treatment intervention becomes necessary. The most common and widely-used method is surgical removal of the gallbladder, known as cholecystectomy.
Cholecystectomy can be performed through traditional open surgery or, more commonly, through a minimally invasive procedure using laparoscopy. The latter involves making several small incisions, inserting a tiny camera and other instruments to visualize and remove the gallbladder. Laparoscopic surgery offers faster recovery, minimal scarring, and reduced postoperative pain.
In some exceptional cases, where surgery isn’t an option, medication can be prescribed to dissolve small gallstones. However, this method typically involves long-term treatment, carries certain risks, and is only effective for specific types of stones.