Gallstones are solid formations that are created from the components found in the gall juice. Gall juice is a yellowish-green liquid that contains acids, cholesterol, bilirubin, metals and other metabolites. Accordingly, we distinguish cholesterol (stones with cholesterol), bilirubin (stones with bilirubin) and mixed.
Causes of occurrence of bile rocks
It is not yet clearly defined what exactly leads to the appearance of gallstones. The reason may be one or a combination of the following theories.
- Inflammation of the bile pathways. Inflammation is thought to play an important role in the formation of gallstones. Therefore the change in the pH of the bile juice leads to the formation of fibrin which together with the bacteria is the basis for the formation of gallstones.
- Stagnation of the bile. If for any reason (malformation of bile pathways, obstruction, etc.) there is a delay, it is possible to form gallstones.
- If there is an elevated level of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile juice, and the level of lecithin and bile salts is reduced, it is possible to form stones as well.
Symptoms and signs
The clinical picture of gallstones in stomach can include:
- Sudden and severe pain in the abdomen, most often under the right rib cage. The pain can spread to the right shoulder and right back. It occurs most often after a plentiful, fatty meal and lasts 1-4 hours.
- Increased body temperature;
Treatment and prevention
Treatment of this condition depends on the clinical picture. If the disease is with acute symptomatology, medicines for alleviating pain, medications for treating infection are given, and urgent surgical extraction of gallstones is advised.
If the clinical picture is calm, besides the surgical intervention, there are other therapeutic methods that could be applied as lithotripsy and drug dissolution (stoning). For medical dissolution, it takes a period of at least 6 months for the stones to melt, and there is a possibility that the therapy will not give the desired effect. This therapy is expensive and is applied in patients who are at risk of undergoing surgery.
Studies have shown that proper nutrition can help prevent gallstones. It is advised to include a balanced diet that is not full of cholesterol and saturated fats, as well as regular consumption of meals throughout the day. Additionally, increased physical activity is also advised, especially in people who have an elevated body weight.