07 Sep 2018 - 3 min read
Gallstones are formed in the gallbladder due to an imbalance in the composition of bile or due to stasis. Gallstones are generally composed of cholesterol, bile pigments, and mucin. Gallstones can be asymptomatic and incidentally detected on an ultrasound scan. They can cause pain (biliary colic), acute calculous cholecystitis, chronic cholecystitis, acute pancreatitis (a very serious condition), common bile duct obstruction, obstructive jaundice, and cholangitis (can be severe and cause multiple organ failures).
Gallstones are a common condition. Gallstones form in the gallbladder due to an imbalance in the composition of bile. About 1500 ml of bile is secreted by the liver every day.Normally, bile is necessary for digestion of fat and absorption of fat soluble vitamins. It is also a medium through which waste products of metabolism, like bile pigments, cholesterol, drugs, etc., are excreted through the body. Bile salts and lecithin (phospholipids) keep the insoluble components of bile in a solution or an emulsion. Bile salts and lecithin are mainly responsible for emulsification. Whenever there is an imbalance of these, the pigments and cholesterol can precipitate and form stones.
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