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Posts Tagged ‘Gallstones’

Risk factors for gallstone formation

Several factors increase the risk of gallstone formation in bile: • Gender. Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are twice as likely to get gallstones as compared to men. Oestrogen (the female sex hormone) increases the amount of cholesterol in the bile. Extra oestrogen from birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy may further increase bile’s cholesterol content. It also may slow gall bladder emptying, allowing bile to remain in gall bladder for longer periods of time.  

Gallstones Formation

The gall bladder is a hollow, pear-shaped organ. It is located in the right upper part of the abdomen, just beneath the liver.   The function of the gall bladder is to store bile which is made by the liver. Bile is a digestive juice that helps the body digest fats. Bile flows from the liver into the gall bladder, where it is stored. During a meal, the gall bladder contracts and squeezes bile into the intestine.  

Treatment of Gall Stones

Most gallstones are silent. If silent gallstones are discovered in an individual at age 65 (or older), the chance of developing symptoms from the gallstones is only 20 per cent (or less). Such cases do not require any treatment. In young individuals, treatment should be considered even for silent gallstones because of young individuals’ chances of developing symptoms from the gallstones over a lifetime will be higher. Once symptoms begin, treatment is a must since recurrences are likely and... 

Gallstone Complications

Complications of gallstones • Jaundice Jaundice occurs when a gallstone obstructs the common bile duct. There is yellowing of the eyes, the urine turns dark yellow and stools become pale and whitish like clay. When a stone shifts and the block is released, the jaundice improves. The stone can block the bile flow and again cause jaundice. Therefore in cases of recurrent jaundice, obstruction due to gallstones must be ruled out.  

Diagnosis Procedures of Gallstones

Diagnosis Gallstones are diagnosed either when there are symptoms or signs that suggest gallstone, and the patient is being investigated for the diagnosis of gallstones or coincidentally while a non-gallstone-related medical problem is being evaluated. •Ultrasound. Ultrasonography is the most important investigation for diagnosing gallstones.  An ultrasound confirms whether gallstones are present or not and can calculate their size. Ultrasound scans are painless, do not involve X-rays or use...