If you have been diagnosed with Gallbladder stones, fret not! There is nothing to worry about when it comes to this condition. As the name suggests, these are small rocks that develop in the gallbladder due to various reasons.
These stones are also known as ‘cholelithiasis’ and they occur when bile containing substances called fatty acids combines with minerals such as calcium, oxalate, and cholesterol. Because of this, small lumps start forming in the gallbladder which can result in pain and other symptoms. These stones are not an extremely common condition but still fairly prevalent. Statistics state that 1 out of every 20 people will develop Gallbladder stones at some point in their lifetime. If you are one of them, continue reading to know more about this condition and how to get rid of Gallbladder stones.
What are the types of Gallbladder stones?
There are a few types of Gallbladder stones but the most common ones are Calcium Oxalate stones and Struvite stones.
- Calcium Oxalate stones: These are the most common type of Gallbladder stones. Calcium oxalate is the main component of kidney stones and gallbladder stones. When these substances combine with bile, they get transformed into small rocks which then get lodged inside the gallbladder.
- Struvite stones: These stones are formed when bacteria such as E. coli get lodged inside the gallbladder. They form a compound known as struvite which gets crystallized and turns into stones. Struvite stones are more common in women who have recently given birth.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Stones
The main symptom of Gallbladder stones is:
- pain in the upper abdomen that is usually felt in the right side of the abdomen.
- The pain may feel like a heavy pressure and increases in intensity when you eat.
- If the stones are large in size, they may even cause vomiting. You may also notice an increase in your bilirubin levels and an abnormal increase in alkaline phosphatase.
Causes of Gallbladder Stones
There are many causes of Gallbladder stones and they each have their own risk factors. Some of these causes include:
- A diet high in fat: Fatty acids are the main reason behind the formation of Gallbladder stones. If you eat a lot of fatty foods like meat, cheese, butter, or oil and do not drink enough water, there is a high chance of stones forming in your gallbladder.
- Low fiber diet: Fiber is essential for the smooth functioning of the digestive tract. It helps in flushing out the toxins and excess bile whereas a low fiber diet is responsible for slowing down the movement of bile. This increases the risk of gallstones.
- Certain medications: Certain drugs such as diuretics, birth control pills, and antibiotics increase the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation in the gallbladder.
- Obesity: Being obese or overweight often results in the formation of gallstones. This is because the extra fat present in the body gets converted into bile which is then stored in the gallbladder. Over a period of time, this bile gets transformed into stones.
- Age: As you grow older, the risk of Gallbladder stones increases due to a decrease in the production of digestive juices such as bile.
How to prevent Gallbladder stones?
The best way to prevent yourselves from Gallbladder stones is by managing your diet and lifestyle. Some of the things you can do to prevent Gallbladder stones include:
- Eat a healthy diet: If you want to prevent Gallbladder stones, the first thing you should do is change your diet. You must avoid fatty foods, alcohol, and spicy foods that increase the risk of stones forming in the gallbladder. Instead, you can opt for a diet rich in fiber and water which is helpful in flushing out the toxins.
- Be mindful of your weight: Obesity is one of the main causes of Gallbladder stones and if you are overweight, you must try to lose weight. Excess weight increases the risk of bile getting converted into stones due to the extra pressure it puts on the gallbladder.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity is helpful in maintaining a healthy weight and flow of digestive juices. It also promotes proper bowel function which is helpful in preventing Gallbladder stones.
Dissolve gallstones naturally 3 most effective ways
- Consume chamomile tea: Chamomile is a medicinal herb that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is helpful in reducing the pain and swelling caused due to Gallbladder stones. You can drink chamomile tea or even use it in baking to get relief from Gallbladder stones.
- Take turmeric supplements: Turmeric is an excellent herb that is known to reduce inflammation in the body which helps in reducing the pain caused due to Gallbladder stones. You can boil turmeric in water and drink it as a tea, or you can also take turmeric supplements to get relief from this condition.
- Drink Ginger tea: Like turmeric, ginger is another herb that is helpful in reducing inflammation in the body which can result in reduced pain from Gallbladder stones. You can drink ginger tea or add it to your baking to get relief from this condition.
If you have gallstones, the first thing to do is to go to a doctor. It’s important to get them checked out.
The next step is usually surgery. This can be done through laparoscopy or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This procedure involves making an incision in your belly and inserting a scope into your gallbladder, which allows doctors to see inside it.
If there are gallstones present, then surgery may be necessary. The surgeon will remove the stones from your gallbladder with a small device called a cholecystoscope. You’ll need some form of anesthesia during this procedure because it requires cutting into your body (laparoscopy), so it’s best to give some anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
In some cases The drug metoclopramide is used, as well as the drug domperidone (Motilium). These drugs will reduce biliary spasms and make it easier for you to pass the stone. Doctors also suggests the person to drink more water along with diet modifications.
The main goal is to get rid of the stones so that they do not cause any problems after the treatment. So, if you are diagnosed with gallbladder stones, Consult your doctor and let the doctor decide the most appropriate course of action for you.
When you are diagnosed with Gallbladder stones, the first thing you should do is to change your diet and adopt a healthier lifestyle. You can also try some herbal remedies to get relief from this condition. If the stones are very large, you might need surgery to remove them.
What size of gallstone requires surgery?
Gallstones which may require surgery should have a diameter of 2mm or more.
If it is small enough to pass through a bile duct without a problem, then no surgery will be required. However, if a large gallstone has been lodged in the gallbladder for some time, then it may not have time to pass through its normal path and will require surgical removal.
Can gallstones cause liver damage?
Some experts believe that these stones can get into the liver, where they may cause inflammation, scarring and even cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). So, yes it can cause liver damage.
If you have gallstones, you may develop scar tissue in your bile ducts from repeated inflammation caused by the stones. This scar tissue causes the ducts to become narrower and less able to drain bile. Over time, this may lead to an obstruction called cholestasis. Cholestasis leads to swelling of nearby organs such as the liver, pancreas and spleen.
gallbladder stone in ultrasound?
On ultrasound, gallstones appear as lucent (less dense structure) with a peripheral inhomogeneous echo pattern and a narrow zone of contrast enhancement. Typically, they have been described as differentiating into four categories; type 1: acoustic shadow, type 2: ring-enhancement, type 3: “pseudo-cyst”, type 4: extended and predominantly peripheral enhancement.