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Combatting Gallstones

Many are under the misconception that gallstones are triggered due to a high intake of caffeine, consumed on a regular basis. Medical experts in the area of gastronomy confirm that although caffeine can be a key contributor for gallstones, there are indeed other factors which can trigger these. This may be a drastic change in one’s body weight, diabetes, starvation diets or diets which cause rapid weight loss and the consumption of birth control pills. Another factor which may also cause gallstones in your gallbladder is when prescribed drugs are consumed to lower cholesterol levels. 

Gallstones are small, hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped like organ situated exactly beneath the liver. The function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile which is a liquid produced by the liver to help digest fats. 

Gallstones are thought to develop because of an imbalance in the chemical make-up of bile inside the gallbladder. In most cases, gallstones are formed because there is excess cholesterol or too much bilirubin in bile. 

Studies show that gallstones are more popular particularly amongst middle aged women. Medical professionals state that eating right and exercising on a daily basis can help prevent the formation of gallstones. 

Gallstones do not always have symptoms. In fact, medical experts are of the view that in the vast majority of cases, individuals may have gallstones without noticing. They may come with various symptoms such as intense abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion, jaundice or acute pancreatitis. Jaundice is a condition which makes the skin, colour of the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow, because of high levels of bilirubin. 

Pain in the abdomen usually starts to kick in when gallstones get trapped or move out of the bile duct precluding bile and digestive enzymes from leaving the gallbladder. This can cause inflammation and severe pain, infection and organ damage. 

When individuals suffer from frequent and severe complications related to gallstones such as a continuous inflammation of the gallbladder and high temperature, medical experts normally recommend that the gallbladder is removed. In fact, statistics show that on average half a million people worldwide every year have their gallbladder removed. Research has shown that humans are capable of adjusting and functioning normally for the rest of their life without a gallbladder.  

There are two kinds of procedures to remove the gallbladder. The most common procedure is the Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic operations are considered to be safe procedures. During this procedure, the surgeon passes instruments through several small cuts in the belly to view the inside of the body via a monitor. 

The other procedure is the open cholecystectomy. This procedure entails the complete removal of the gallbladder. If the surgeon notices that you have gallstones in your bile ducts, the doctor may use ERCP to remove them before eliminating the gallbladder.

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