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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gallstones - Usually Occur In Adults Between The Ages Of 20 And 50

By Ricardo Henri


Gallstones are pieces of hard stone like material in the gallbladder and may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball, depending on how long they have been forming. They often produce no symptoms and are usually revealed by a routine x-ray, surgery, or autopsy. Gallstones can sometimes move about within bile, for example, from the gallbladder into the cystic or common duct.

They are a common global health problem and occur more frequently in females than males becoming more common with age in both sexes. More than 20,000,000 Americans have them and approximately one million new cases are diagnosed per annum.


Gallstones sometimes feel like chest pain caused by a heart attack or other serious problems. Signs usually start after a large stone blocks the cystic duct or the common bile duct and usually do not come back after the gallbladder has been removed. Approximately 80 percent of people do not have any symptoms for many years, if ever, particularly if the stones stayed in the gallbladder.

Should you have symptoms, you most likely will have mild pain in the pit of your stomach or in the upper right area of your belly. About fifteen percent of those who have symptoms also have stones in the common bile duct. Exactly how diet affects gallstone formation is not known, but diets which are high in cholesterol and fat, and low in fiber may increase the risk of developing Them.

There are 2 primary types of gallstones. Pigmented (bilirubin) types are found most often in individuals with severe liver disease and patients with some blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. Cholesterol types are found most frequently in: females over 20, especially pregnant women, and males over 60 years old, People on "crash diets" who drop a lot of weight quickly, People who use certain medications including birth control pills and cholesterol lowering agents, Native-Americans and Mexican-Americans.


Gallstones that do not create symptoms do not require therapy, But if they block a duct, they do. Surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is the treatment of choice for gallstones that cause moderate to severe pain or other signs. However, only one of five persons can have this treatment. People who have it often produce new stones after a few years. One half of these require treatment, with a cost to society of several billion dollars yearly.

Numerous new approaches to treatment have been tested over the past several years, but surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is still the most widely used therapy. Non-surgical treatment encompasses pain medicines, antibiotics to prevent and cure infection, and a low-fat diet (when food can be tolerated). A doctor should be seen for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Gallstones mostly form in the gallbladder; however, they also may form wherever there is bile: in the intrahepatic, hepatic, common bile, and cystic ducts. They form when cholesterol and other things found in bile create stones. They can develop in many people without creating symptoms and do not cause belching and bloating. Gallstones routinely occur in adults between the ages of 20 and 50, and are more common in females in this age group.

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