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Gallstones

Gallstones are calculi (or stones) that form inside of the gallbladder. That may seem like an easily discovered definition due to the name itself, but let's go a little further. They are made out of bile elements that gather together. Despite forming in this one location, they may move away from their location of origin and reach other areas such as, for a couple of examples, the pancreatic and common bile ducts.

Symptoms

Gallstones can lead to elevated liver enzymes. However, as far as symptoms go, these stones often do not lead to anything noticeable. When they pass about 8 millimeters in size, symptoms may be noted by the patient. As an example of something that might occur, the person may feel severe abdominal pain, in the upper-right section. Nausea can also show up along with this, and the person might vomit. Indigestion can also appear as a symptom of gallstones. Keep in mind that this list is not intended to be exhaustive and other possibilities can be found.

Causes and risk factors

Those who are overweight are seen as having a higher incidence of gallstones. Other factors include advancing age (roughly 40 or beyond that), being female, caucasian, etc. Although no clear link has been shown as far as nutrition goes, one item that has been proposed as potentially increasing the growth of gallstones is a diet that is high in cholesterol and low in fiber.



Diagnosis

If you are concerned about the possibility of gallstones, please talk with a doctor or other professional in medicine to receive a diagnosis. Certain symptoms by themselves do not necessarily indicate that these stones are present.

Treatment

A patient who has gallstones may be treated in multiple ways. Of course, do not select one of these options, or rule out anything else, based on what you read on this website. Look to someone who has the proper training and information for assistance in making a decision. Medication is a possible treatment method, as gallstones might be able to be dissolved this way. Surgery, used to remove the gallbladder, is another method that can be used. It has a high rate of avoiding the recurrence of gallstones. However, as with other treatments, potential side effects exist and a patient might deem the risk not worth the benefits.

You can continue reading about other medical reasons behind these raised enzymes, or go to the home page to look into various aspects about elevated liver enzymes.

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