Introduction: Gallstones


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Gallstones: Certain chemicals form solid deposits in the gall bladder of the bile ducts. These can exist for years without symptoms, but eventually can cause blockages or damage. This can cause extreme digestive symptoms and pain.

Gallstones: Gallstones form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. The liquid, called bile, is used to help the body digest fats. Bile is made in the liver, then stored in the gallbladder until the body needs to digest fat. At that time, the gallbladder contracts and pushes the bile into a tube—called a duct—that carries it to the small intestine, where it helps with digestion.

Bile contains water, cholesterol, fats, bile salts, and bilirubin. Bile salts break up fat, and bilirubin gives bile and stool a brownish color. If the liquid bile contains too much cholesterol, bile salts, or bilirubin, it can harden into stones. 1

Researching symptoms of Gallstones: Further information about the symptoms of Gallstones is available including a list of symptoms of Gallstones, other diseases that might have similar symptoms in differential diagnosis of Gallstones, or alternatively return to research other symptoms in the symptom center.

Misdiagnosis and Gallstones: Research more detailed information about misdiagnosis of Gallstones, underlying causes of Gallstones (possibly misdiagnosed), or research misdiagnosis of other diseases

Treatments for Gallstones: Various information is available about treatments available for Gallstones, prevention of Gallstones, current research about Gallstones treatments, or research treatments for other diseases.

Causes of Gallstones: Research more detailed information about the causes of Gallstones, other possibly hidden causes of Gallstones, or other general information about Gallstones.

Statistics and Gallstones: Various sources and calculations are available in statistics about Gallstones, prevalence and incidence statistics for Gallstones, and you can also research other medical statistics in our statistics center.

         Contents for Gallstones:

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Gallstones: NIDDK

Last revision: May 27, 2003

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