Gallstones: Types, Symptoms, and Causes

Gallbladder Stones
Understanding the symptoms, and causes of gallbladder stones.

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in our gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of the abdomen, just beneath the liver.

The gallbladder holds a digestive fluid called bile that is released into the small intestine.

Gallstones can vary from being as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. Some people develop just one gallstone, while others may develop many gallstones at the same time. The two common factors, female or forty plus, may increase the risk of gallstones.

Two types of gallstones can be formed in the gallbladder:

Cholesterol gallstones. This is the most common type of gallstone and is often yellow. These gallstones are composed of undissolved cholesterol but may contain other components

Pigment gallstones. These dark brown or black stones form when bile contains too much bilirubin

What are the common symptoms of gallstone?

Gallstone pain may last several minutes to a few hours. It may happen that gallstones may or may not cause any symptoms.

However, some of the most common symptoms of developing stones in the gallbladder are as follows:

• Pain on the right-hand side of the body, just below the ribs, or in the right shoulder

• Back pain between the shoulder blades

• Nausea


• Sweating

• Restlessness

What are the causes of gallstones?

Some of the major causes of gallstones are:

  • Bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, contains a good amount of cholesterol excreted by the liver and is dissolved in the Bile by the chemicals. However, the issue arises when the liver passes more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve, and this excess cholesterol may form crystals which eventually turn into stones
  • Bilirubin is a type of chemical which is produced when the human body breaks red blood cells. Certain conditions cause the liver to generate too much bilirubin, including liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and blood disorders. This excess of bilirubin production can contribute to gallstone formation
  • When the gallbladder is not able to empty itself, bile may become concentrated, thereby contributing to the formation of gallstone

Disclaimer: This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals that have expertise in writing for healthcare. Suppose you see any issues related to stone or pain because of that. We strictly advise you to seek medical consultation. You may book you consultation with Dr. Smita Goel through SmartCare.


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