Gallstones – Who Are At More Risk?

Gallstones – Who Are At More Risk?


By Dr. Ashok M Ram, General Surgery

Gallstones are actually hard deposits or lumps that are formed in gallbladder. Gallbladder is a pear shaped, sac-like structure that is located in the upper right part of the abdomen that stores bile. Many people have gallstones present in their bladder but they never know it. This can be an alarming situation for people who have it.

What are the causes behind Gallstone?

  1. Cholesterol Stones: Higher levels of cholesterol that cannot be dissolved by bile (liquid secreted by the liver) also lead to the production of stones in the gallbladder.
  2. Chemical Causes: Bilirubin is a chemical that is produced when your liver destroys old red blood cells. Certain blood disorders and conditions like cirrhosis can lead to abnormal production of bilirubin than its optimum level. The stones are formed when your gallbladder cannot break-down excess bilirubin.
  3. Bile: Your gallbladder needs to empty bile to function properly. If it fails to empty that its bile. It becomes overly concentrated that causes stones to form.
  4. Heavy Smoking and Drinking: Too much intake of drinking and heavy smoking may lead to the formation of stones in the bladder.

Who are at more risk to having gallstones?

  1. Rapid weight loss within a short period of time.
  2. Eating diet that’s high in fiber.
  3. Having diabetes mellitus.

What are the treatments available for this?

  1. Surgery: One of the famous treatments include surgeries. The famous surgery is Cholecystectomy (Removal of gallbladder) that further includes Laparoscopic surgery and Open cholecystectomy.
  2. Medications: The patients who cannot undergo surgeries can also use drugs like ursodiol and chenodiol. But this can take months or years to remove stones from bladder.