Did you know that gallstones are involved in 95% of cholecystitis cases? More than one million of the population is diagnosed with gallstones every year, joining about 38 million who already have the disorder.
Are you wondering what is gallbladder? Well, it’s a pouch that stores bile, a green-yellow liquid that helps with digestion. And gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Read on to know more.
Risk factors for gallstones
Many people have bile with an abnormally high concentration of cholesterol and calcium from which stones might develop. Gallstones are more common in women. Other risk factors for gallstones are listed below.
- Genetics: Gallstones are more common in certain families and this suggests that family history has a role in gallstone development.
- Age: The risk of gallstones upsurges with age. The condition is extremely rare in children and becomes progressively more frequent over time, especially after the age of 40 years.
Other circumstances that can upsurge the risk of developing gallstones are:
- Use of medicines that contain estrogen such as birth control pills
- Frequent fasting
- Rapid weight loss
- Lack of physical activity
- Diabetes mellitus
- Severe scarring of the liver
- Certain medicines
Gallstones might cause no signs or symptoms. If a gallstone lodges in a duct and causes a blockage, the resulting signs and symptoms might include the following.
- Unexpected and quickly increasing pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
- Unexpected and quickly increasing pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
- Back pain between your shoulder blades
- Pain in your right shoulder
- Nausea or vomiting
Gallstone pain might last several minutes to a few hours.
Gallstones might result when:
- Your bile contains too much cholesterol: Normally, your bile contains enough chemicals to dissolve the cholesterol excreted by your liver. But if your liver excretes more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve, the excess cholesterol may form into crystals and eventually into stones.
- Your bile contains too much bilirubin: Bilirubin is a chemical that’s produced when your body breaks down red blood cells. Certain circumstances can cause your liver to make too much bilirubin, including liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections and certain blood disorders. The excess bilirubin contributes to gallstone formation.
- Your gallbladder does not empty properly: If your gallbladder does not empty totally or often enough, bile might become very concentrated, contributing to the formation of gallstones.
Complications of gallstones
Listed below are some of the complications of gallstones.
- Gallbladder Inflammation: A gallstone that becomes lodged in the neck of the gallbladder can cause inflammation of the gallbladder i.e. cholecystitis. This can cause severe pain and fever.
- Pancreatic Duct Blockage: A gallstone can cause a blockage in the pancreatic duct which can then lead to inflammation of the pancreas i.e. pancreatitis. Pancreatitis causes intense, constant abdominal pain.
- Gallbladder Cancer: People with a history of gallstones have an augmented risk of gallbladder cancer.
When to book an appointment
You should book an appointment with your homeopath if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. You should pursue instant attention if you develop signs and symptoms of a serious gallstone complication such as:
- Abdominal pain so intense that you can’t still or find a comfortable position
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes i.e. jaundice
- High fever with chills
Gallstones natural treatment
Homeopathy is considered as gallstones natural treatment. When the stones are smaller in size, homeopathic medicines may help reduce their size. Homeopathic medicines help in reducing the pain associated with gallstones and also reduce inflammation of the gallbladder. Homeopathy helps as preventive medicine in stone formation.
You should visit your nearest homeopathy clinic as soon as you notice symptoms before it’s too late.