All about Gallstones! – Part 1

Ever heard of someone talking about having their gallbladder removed? Do we really need to remove an organ from our body to eliminate pain caused by gallstones!? Surgery seems like the number one remedy suggested by doctors and I wonder should we even be listening to them some times. Are there alternatives we can consider? I am sure many of you might have had similar questions. I implore you to educate yourself about your ailment, what causes them and what lifestyle changes can you incorporate that will completely alter your body to a higher state of wellness.

In this particular blog, my aim to educate you all as much as I can on Gallstones. It might get a little technical, but like always I will try to simplify it as much as I can. So, do you know where the Gallbladder in your body is located and what it does?The gallbladder is a small sack-like organ in the upper right part of the abdomen. It is located under the liver, just below the front rib cage on the right side. The gallbladder is part of the biliary system, which includes the liver and the pancreas. And the main job of the biliary system is to produce bile – a fluid made by the liver that helps in digestion of fats- and digestive enzymes. When we eat a high-fat, high-cholesterol meal, the gallbladder contracts and injects bile into the small intestine via a small tube called the common bile duct. The bile then assists in the digestive process.

What causes gallstones might be the next logical question that may come to your mind. The most common reason is the presence of excess of fat or cholesterol in the bile.Andwhen this happens, the bile becomes solid and formation of stones begin to occur.  Most people go through their entire life not knowing that they may be having gallstones. Let me just point out some symptoms that will help you to identify if you may be having gallstones:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Pain that may extend beneath the right shoulder blade or to the back
  • Pain that worsens after eating a meal, particularly fatty or greasy foods
  • Pain that feels dull, sharp, or cramping
  • Pain that increases when you breathe in deeply
  • Chest pain ,heartburn, indigestion, and excessive gas
  • A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Vomiting, nausea, fever, shaking with chills
  • Tenderness in the abdomen, particularly the right upper quadrant
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Stools of an unusual color (often lighter, like clay)

If you have any one, two or many of the symptoms mentioned above, I recommend you get a Abdominal CT Scan or an Abdominal Ultrasound.

My next Blog will talk about how you can prevent getting Gallstones and what you can do to get rid of them – sometimes even naturally without surgery – if you have them. Stay tuned!

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