All You Need to Know About Your Gallbladder

by Shalani Singh Health and fitness blogger by profession
Small and negligible as it may be, the Gallbladder is not as easily ignorable as it seems on paper. This pear-shaped sack hangs under the liver and acts as a storage pocket for the bile produced in it. The bile remains stored in the gallbladder till it is pumped to the small intestine, via the bile ducts, for the digestion and absorption of fat in the body.

Gallbladder Stone

Typically unremarkable, it is easy to keep this petite organ healthy, and only seldom necessitates gallbladder stone treatment. All you have to do is to stick to a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet and consume small meals at regular times. Following these simple steps to assure that the bile will not sit for too long and crystallize to cause Gallbladder stones.

But with today’s awry lifestyles a sizeable number of people seem to fall prey to these stones, promoting a sharp rise in the number of gallbladder stone removal surgeries across the country. Not all stones cause problems though; people commonly have to seek treatment only when these stones block the bile ducts.
Since, a hindrance to the flow of bile and triggers swelling of the gallbladder, which in turn causes indigestion, nausea and severe pain in the abdomen. The sizes of these stones vary heavily; they can grow from just a few millimetres to the size of a regular golf ball.

Causes of Gallbladder Stones

High levels of cholesterol form a majority of gallbladder stones. If your liver generates more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve, then there is a fair chance that this fat will crystallize to form yellow cholesterol stones. Calcium salts form the other 20 percent of these stones.

Another root cause seems to be letting the bile get collected in the gallbladder and sit for long, this eventually materialise as Gallbladder stones.

Some other unproven theories that explain the formation of gallbladder stones are:

  • Gender - Oestrogen in the females makes them more prone to stone formation.
  • Genetics – Having a family history of the condition, puts you at higher risk
  • Advancing Age – Crossing the age of 60 years increases one's chances of developing stones.
  • Obesity – A higher BMI also seems to promote stone formation in the gallbladder.

Over the years, the rate of gallbladder stone surgeries has gone up multifold within India. Statistics show a sharp rise majorly for the population in Northern India, where the frequency seems to be seven times higher. No matter how they are formed, surgery becomes necessary after a point as these stones do not cure on their own.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Few symptoms that help identify the condition are fever, chills, severe pain in the abdomen, vomiting and appetite loss. Doctors generally depend on various physical examinations including Ultrasound, Abdominal CT scans, blood tests etc., for accurate diagnosis.

Once detected, gallbladder removal surgery is typically advised for severe cases. There are two types of surgeries, Open Cholecystectomy and Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. 

Open Cholecystectomy

During an Open Cholecystectomy, a 5 to 8-inch long incision is made to remove the gallbladder.  While the Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy is a more common surgery that involves minimal intrusion and risk. For this surgery, a microscopic video camera is introduced through four tiny incisions in the abdomen to see inside the abdomen and remove the gallbladder. In most cases, patients can leave the hospital within hours or after an overnight stay. 

Life without a gallbladder is usually not very different. Initial discomfort usually fades within a week or ten days, leaving us to get back to our daily routines without much interference.

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About Shalani Singh Junior   Health and fitness blogger by profession

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Joined APSense since, March 15th, 2018, From New Delhi, India.

Created on Mar 16th 2018 01:37. Viewed 579 times.


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