You could be walking around with gall stones at this very moment without even realizing it. That’s because in many cases these deposits which form in your gallbladder do not cause any symptoms at all. In other cases, however, the patient is not so lucky.
What are Gall Stones?
A gall stone is a deposit, usually made from calcium salts or cholesterol that forms a solid substance in your gallbladder or around the bile ducts. These stones are sometimes very tiny (like a grain of sand) or can be as large as golf balls.
When those stones cause you physical pain and other symptoms, this is called a gallbladder attack and requires treatment. Otherwise, you can become seriously ill and can even die.
What are the Symptoms of a Gallbladder Attack?
While you may not always have symptoms associated with the presence of gall stones, if you have an attack you will probably not be able to ignore the problem. You will suffer from several symptoms. One is pain in the upper abdomen. It comes on sudden and is intense.
You may begin experiencing the pain a couple of hours after eating. Although the pain usually only lasts a couple of hours at most, you could feel sore for days afterward.
Other symptoms of these attacks include nausea, bloating, gas, and sometimes fever. Generally, these types of problems are worse if you eat a lot of high fat foods.
What Causes a Gall Stone?
The basic cause of the formation of a gall stone is a chemical imbalance in the bile in your gallbladder. The bile’s purpose is to help with the digestion of fats in your small intestine but when the chemicals are out of whack, the elements of the bile can actually end up forming the stones.
While the entire process is not completely understood, high cholesterol can increase your risks of developing gall stones.
You may also run a high risk of developing them if you are female, between the ages of 20 and 60, from a family prone to gallbladder attacks, overweight, or dieting.
How Can Gall Stones be Treated & Prevented?
If you have a gallbladder attack, surgery will usually be recommended to destroy the stones.
However, other treatments, such as sound wave therapy or bile salt tablets, can also be used. Of course, prevention is the best idea, so maintain a healthy weight, eat a low fat and high fiber diet, and stay active.