Gallbladder Stones: Gallbladder stones are small, hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder. These deposits can develop and go undetected for years. In fact, many people have gallstones and aren’t aware of them. They eventually cause problems, including inflammation, infection, and pain. Gallbladder stones typically cause short-term cholecystitis.
Common Bile Duct Stones (Choledocholithiasis)
Gallbladder stones can occur in the common bile duct. The common bile duct is the channel that leads from the gallbladder to the small intestine. Bile is ejected from the gallbladder, passed through small tubes, and deposited in the common bile duct. It’s then ushered into the small intestine. In most cases, common bile duct stones are actually gallbladder stones that developed in the gallbladder and then passed into the bile duct. This type of stone is called a secondary common bile duct stone, or secondary stone. Sometimes stones form in the common bile duct itself. These stones are called primary common bile duct stones, or primary stones. This rare type of stone is more likely to cause an infection than a secondary stone.
Signs & Symptoms
The most common symptom of a gallbladder problem is pain. This pain usually occurs in the mid- to upper-right section of your abdomen. It can be mild and intermittent, or it can be quite severe and frequent. In some cases, the pain will begin to radiate to other areas of the body, including the back and chest.
Unusual Stools or Urine:
Lighter-colored stools and dark urine are possible signs of a common bile duct block.
Yellow-tinted skin may be a sign of a common bile duct block or stone.
Having more than four bowel movements a day for at least three months may be a sign of chronic gallbladder disease.
Fever or Chills:
An unexplained fever may signal that you have an infection. If you have an infection, you need treatment before it worsens and becomes dangerous. The infection can become life-threatening if it’s allowed to spread to other parts of the body
Nausea or Vomiting:
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms among all types of gallbladder stones problems. But only chronic gallbladder stones disease may cause digestive problems, such as acid reflux, gas, nausea, and vomiting.
How do you know if it’s something to worry about?
See a doctor immediately if you have:
Pain that may be caused by gallbladder stones (continuous moderate to severe pain in the upper right abdomen) along with a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher and chills that are clearly not caused by stomach flu or any other reason.
Pain in the upper midsection or upper right abdomen, along with a yellow tint to your skin and the white part of your eyes, dark yellow-brown urine, or light-colored stools.
Diabetes or an impaired immune system and you have symptoms that may be caused by gallstones.
If you have symptoms of gallbladder stones but no fever, chills, or yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes, you may still require evaluation and treatment. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Although diet doesn't directly cause gallbladder stones -- and it won't cure them -- watching what you eat and keeping a healthy weight might help you prevent gallstones from forming and avoid some discomfort if you do develop gallstones.
Diet and Gallstone Risk
A number of risk factors contribute to the formation of gallbladder stones, including a family history of gallstones and gender. Women are twice as likely as men to develop them. Body weight is also a factor; the risk of gallstones is higher in people who are overweight and obese.
Diets that are high in fat and cholesterol and low in fiber appear to play a role.
If you're overweight, try to lose the extra weight; but do it gradually. There is a link between quick weight loss and gallbladder stones formation. Crash or "yo-yo" diets can cause the liver to release more cholesterol into the bile, disrupting the normal balance of cholesterol and bile salts. That extra cholesterol can form into crystals, leading to gallstones.
Healthy Food for the Gallbladder
Fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains (whole-wheat bread, brown rice, oats, bran cereal); lean meat, poultry, and fish; low-fat dairy products.
Certain foods have been studied for their potential to prevent gallbladder problems or reduce symptoms. For example, some research has indicated that drinking caffeinated coffee lowers the risk of gallstones in both men and women. Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol has also been linked to a reduced incidence of gallstones.
Foods to Avoid With Gallbladder Problems
Researchers say many gallbladder stones symptoms stem from the modern Western diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats.
Changing your diet won't get rid of gallbladder stones that are already there, but eating a healthy, balanced variety of nutrients and limiting the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol-heavy foods you eat may help ease your symptoms.
Try to avoid or limit these high-fat foods in your diet:
Highly processed foods (doughnuts, pie, cookies)
Whole-milk dairy products (cheese, ice cream, butter)
Fatty red meat
Also steer clear of very low-calorie diets. If you are overweight, aim for a gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week by sticking to a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Always diet under your doctor's supervision.
Gallbladder Stones: With over 20 years of clinical, surgical experience, if you think you may have gallbladder stones, please contact the SILS Centre at +65-6479-0608, or schedule a callback by clicking here.
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