Gallbladder stones or gallstones are concentrations of cholesterol or pigment that form in the gallbladder or anywhere there is bile in the body. The gallbladder stones can be small and cause no issues or can grow several inches big and cause lots of discomfort and harm.
Cholesterol is one of many chemicals that the liver secretes into bile. Detergents the body makes dissolve the cholesterol to help it move through the bile. If there is more cholesterol than the body can process, or the liver fails to make enough detergent the cholesterol will leave deposits in the gallbladder. These deposits begin sticking together and eventually become gallstones.
A pigment is a waste product from red blood cells. As hemoglobin is destroyed from old red blood cells, it becomes a chemical called bilirubin that the liver could secrete and the body can eliminate. If there is too much bilirubin in the bile, it will begin to stick and form with other particles to become gallstones.
Risk Factors for Gallstones:
- Obese patients are much more likely to form gallstones.
- Pregnancy. The gallbladder does not always contract normally because of a high amount of hormones in the body and as such gallstones are more likely to form.
- Rapid weight loss. Quick weight loss from bariatric surgery or even reduced calorie diets cause gallstones in 50% of patients.
- Crohn’s disease patients are more likely to develop gallstones because bile acids are not absorbed properly.
- Birth control pills and other hormone therapies that increase hormone levels.
Common Symptoms of Gallstones
There are gallstone disorders that can create the following symptoms.
Biliary Colic (is a recurring symptom)
- Extreme pain that comes on quickly, builds and peaks in a few minutes; in particular on the right side above stomach.
- Back pain in upper, middle back directly under shoulder.
- Nausea along with pain.
Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
- Constant pain in the right upper abdomen.
- The area is extremely tender to the touch because of inflammation.
- The patient must seek immediate emergency treatment.
Cholangitis (infection of the bile ducts)
- May have pain in the right upper abdomen.
- Extremely high fever.
- Skin turns yellow.
- Whites of eyes turn yellow.
Alternative Treatment for Gallstones.
Alternative treatment for gallstones is offered at Sunridge Medical and includes discovering the root cause of gallbladder disorder. Upon testing and discovery, we create a custom designed treatment plan to treat the whole body and not just the symptoms of gallstones but also to prevent the inflammation known to be the source of gallbladder cancer.
For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at 855-747-6832 to speak with a Patient Care Team. Let us help you get your life back.