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Preventing gallstones is largely a matter of making lifestyle changes. Eat and maintain a healthy diet along with some form of regular physical activity to keep gallstones from forming.
Gallstones are pebble-like deposits that form in the gallbladder. The two types of gallstones that are formed in the gallbladder are cholesterol stones and pigment stones. The size of the gallstones can vary from as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Acute pain the abdomen is a common presentation of gallstones. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is curative for gallstones.
Gallstones can be diagnosed clinically based on medical history and physical exam. Tests are done to confirm the diagnosis. Some tests done which may be done to assess and evaluate gallstones include abdominal ultrasound, gallbladder scan, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).
Abdominal pain is the commonest symptom of gallstone but it can be a symptom of some life-threatening condition. Consult a doctor immediately for abdominal pain if you have intense pain, it is associated with fever and chills, is increasing in severity, or is associated with serious symptoms such as jaundice, recurrent vomiting.
Gallstone may or may not cause symptoms. Sudden and intense pain in abdomen (in the middle of abdomen or upper right side of abdomen) is the commonest symptom of gallstones. Other symptoms which may occur in gallstones include nausea and vomiting, bloating sensation of the abdomen, passing excessive gas and profuse sweating.
Prognosis is good in most cases as effective treatments are available. The disease can be diagnosed easily and effective treatment is available for management of gallstones. Surgical removal (cholecystectomy) is the preferred and curative treatment for gallstones. Gallstone treated with nonsurgical methods (medications and lithotripsy) has risk of recurrence.
Gallstones may or may not cause symptoms. In about 90% of cases gallstones do not cause any symptoms. The risk of developing pain and other symptoms during the first 10 years after gallstones form is small and after 10 years, the risk of symptoms decreases even further. Cholecystectomy is curative treatment for gallstones.
Gallstone is common medical problem which can affect anyone. There is no one way to prevent gallstones in everyone. Changes in diet (such as avoiding foods rich in fat and cholesterol, eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains) and losing weight (if you are obese) may help to prevent gallstones.
Treatment of gallstones is decided based on if you have or do not have symptoms. If you have no symptoms, then treatment is not needed. Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder) is the preferred and curative treatment of gallstones. Nonsurgical treatment includes medications such as ursodeoxycholic acid and lithotripsy.
Gallstones are a kapha disorder associated with underactive thyroid and slow metabolism