Gall Bladder Stones - Informative & researched article on Gall Bladder Stones
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Gall Bladder Stones
Gall bladder stones are considered as one of the most common types of diseases at present. Gall bladder stones can develop due to many causes and can be identified through various symptoms.
More on Gall Bladder Stones (4 Articles)
 Gall Bladder StonesGall Bladder stones are also known as Gallstones. These are basically small, pebble-like substances that build up in the gallbladder of a person. The Gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ of the human body, situated below the liver and is attached to the under-surface of the liver on its right side. It stores the bile which is a waste product secreted by the liver. The gall bladder stones usually form when the bile stored solidifies into pieces of stone- like material. Bile hardens mainly when it contains excessive cholesterol and bile salts. The gallstones are actually an inflammatory condition and are also known as cholecystitis. Most of the gall bladder stones build up because of accretion of cholesterol. Women are more affected by Gall Bladder stones compared to men.

Types of Gall Bladder stones
Gall bladder stones are of two types- cholesterol stones and pigment stones. The cholesterol stones are yellow-greenish in colour and are chiefly made of toughened cholesterol. This type of gall bladder stones account for near about 80 percent of all the gallstones.

On the other hand, pigment stones are in fact small, dark stones that are made of bilirubin. The size of gallstones may vary in size from that of a grain of sand or to that of a golf ball.

Causes of Gall Bladder stones
There are numerous causes behind the formation of gall bladder stones. The major cause is disorders in the composition of the bile. Further, a variation in the proportion of cholesterol and bile salts may result in the formation of deposits. The deposits are generally in the form of fine gravel in the initial period. They comprise the nucleus for additional deposits and ultimately lead to the formation of larger stones. An irritation of the lining of the gall bladder, caused by inflammation is also considered as a cause of gall bladder stones. Having excessive cholesterol or calcium in the diet can cause gallstones, and the way body processes these substances also plays an important role in the formation of gallstones. Some people may also inherit narrow bile ducts that later increases their chances of developing gallstones. Fatness is considered one of the major causes of gall bladder stones, as well.

Gall Bladder Stones Symptoms of Gall bladder stones
There are numerous symptoms of gall bladder stones that can help one in recognising them at an early stage. The most common symptoms include heart attacks, ulcers, appendicitis, pancreatitis, hiatal hernia and hepatitis. The signs of blocked bile ducts are sometimes termed as gallbladder 'attack', as they happen suddenly. A gall bladder attack may cause various difficulties like steady pain in the right upper abdomen as it increases quickly and it lasts for around 30 minutes to some hours; ache in the back between the shoulder blades; pain under the right shoulder.

The other common signs of gall bladder stones include nausea and vomiting; fever of low-grade or chills; yellowish colour of the skin or whites of the eyes; clay-coloured stools; etc. Symptoms like indigestion, gas, constipation, disturbed vision, intolerance to fats, jaundice, anaemia, dizziness, acne, etc. are also considered as common symptoms of gall bladder stones. However, some people with gall bladder stones may not show any of the symptoms and these gallstones are termed as "silent stones". These stones do not interfere with gallbladder, liver, or pancreas function and do not need treatment, as well.

The diagnosis of gall bladder stones is done in different ways. Most of the times, diagnosis is done based on a person?s symptoms. A simple physical examination like gently pressing just below the ribs on the right side of the chest with fingers may help in diagnosing gall bladder stones. Sometimes, blood tests or a simple x-ray can show signs of obstructed ducts. Apart from these, there are two tests that are used most commonly for diagnosis of gall bladder stones. These tests are named as abdominal ultrasound and the oral cholecystogram (OCG) or cholescintigraphy and both the tests can detect gallstones with great accuracy.

Treatment of Gall Bladder stones
Apart from the usual treatment procedures, many alternative medications are often used for the treatment of gall bladder stones. The alternative healing methods like Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Indian Naturopathy or nature care, water treatments, Yogic Asanas, dietary restrictions, Magnetic Therapy are used quite extensively for treatment of gall bladder stones. Further, oral bile acid suspension treatment; contact solvent dissolution; fragmentation through shock-wave lithotripsy combined with bile acid dissolution are also considered as effective medications for the treatment of gall bladder stones.

Several people get affected by the disease of Gall bladder stones every year. Though, the diagnosis and treatment of the gall bladder stones is quite easy to be done, delay in detection of the disease may cause greater harms to the affected person.

(Last Updated on : 15/02/2014)
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