Gallstone is an abnormal small hard crystalline mass formation in the gallbladder. It may affect the cystic duct, bile duct, pancreatic duct or vater ampulla; and in more serious cases the ileum (the final part of the small intestine) also.
Gallstone can be severe leading to pancreatitis or cholangitis. This is a very serious situation and requires immediate medical attention. It can also be fatal sometimes.
There are three types of Gallstones; cholesterol Gallstones, pigment stones and mixed stones. Gallstones vary in size, and in some select cases they do not need treatment.
Gallstones generally do not give trouble but a mild pain in the stomach or in the upper right side of the stomach just below the ribs may occur, and this may shoot to the shoulders .When you eat the pain worsens. The chest and belly may also get affected.
For Gallstone, one should consult a General Physician or Gastroenterologist in the case of both adults and children.
Gallstones are curable. They are generally dissolved by oral medication. Ultrasonic shock treatment is also given. In extreme cases, Cholecystectomy is performed, which is a surgical remedy to remove gallstones or to remove an infected or inflamed gallbladder.
Gallstones if untreated can affect permanently. There is obstruction in the bile duct. This can cause duodenal diverticulitis, jaundice, alkaline phosphatase and increased cholesterol. There is a permanent feeling of being unwell.
A sensible diet is the best way to prevent Gallstones. Avoid crash diets or a very low intake of calories. Get good sources of fiber like raw fruits and vegetables, cooked dried beans and peas, whole-grain cereals and bran and avoid eating too much fat. A high-fiber, low-fat diet helps keep bile cholesterol in liquid form. Too little fat can also result in Gallstone formation so intake of fat should be optimal.
Recent studies have shown that moderate consumption of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons a day) may actually lower your chances of developing Gallstones. An ingredient in olive oil evidently helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and gallbladder. Researchers have found that the incidence of Gallstones is relatively low among people who live in areas where olive oil consumption is high.
Studies suggest that lecithin, a natural substance used as a thickener in ice cream, mayonnaise, and other foods may help prevent Gallstones by keeping cholesterol from solidifying in the gallbladder. Lecithin is found in a number of foods, including soybeans, oatmeal, eggs, milk, peanuts, cabbage, and chocolate. Even though most people get plenty of lecithin in their normal diet, supplements are available in tablet or liquid form at chemists.