Gallstones aren’t really stones. They’re pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located under the liver.
We might not even know we have them until they block a bile duct – causing pain that you need to get treated right away.
At a glance, gallstones disease is the most common disorder affecting the body’s billiary system, the network of organs and ducts that create, transport, store and release bile.
In size, gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a gold ball. A person can have from one large stone in their gallbladder or hundreds.
Type of Gallstones
There are two types of gallstones: cholesterol and pigment stones.
About 80% of all gallstones are cholesterol stones, yellow-green stones made up of hardened cholesterol. Cholesterol stones are associated with bile that contains an overabundance of cholesterol or is supersaturated with cholesterol.
The other 20% of gallstones are pigment stones; composed of bilirubin and other elements. Pigment stones are often seen in Asian cultures but rarely in U.S patients. They are black or brown in color and why they occur is not fully understood. Black pigment stones tend to remain in the gallbladder where as brown pigment stones often lodge in bile ducts
What causes Gallstones?
- Problems with gallbladder
Bile can be a part of the problem too. Our body needs bile but if it has too much cholesterol in it, gallstones can appear.
Gallstones may cause no symptoms. Gallstones pain may last several minutes to a few hours. If a gallstone lodges in a duct and causes a blockage, the symptoms may include:
- Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the