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If you experience pain or other symptoms that you think may be gallstones, visit your doctor

If you experience pain or other symptoms that you think may be gallstones, visit your doctor
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Gallstones

1-minute read

Gallstones are hard, pebble-like masses that form in your gallbladder, which is a small pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, below your liver.

Gallstones are formed from a digestive fluid called bile that is released by the gallbladder.

For reasons doctors don’t fully understand stones form in the bile that block the tubes that carry the digestive fluids from your gallbladder to your bowel. The stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.

You may develop one gallstone or many. You could have gallstones and never have any symptoms or problems. But if you do experience pain or other symptoms that you think may be due to gallstones, visit your doctor.

If your doctor suspects that gallstones are the cause, you’ll probably be tested for gallstone disease.

Gallstones can be made of undissolved cholesterol (called cholesterol gallstones) or bile (pigment gallstones).

Although diet doesn't directly cause gallbladder problems, or cure them, choosing a diet that’s low in fat and cholesterol and high in fibre, and maintaining a healthy weight, may help you prevent gallstones from forming and avoid discomfort if gallstones form. It’s possible that keeping to a healthy weight might also reduce your chances of having gallstones.

Last reviewed: November 2018

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Gallstones

Gallstones Category: Digestive Health Topic: The Gallbladder Send by email View as PDF Send by post Gallstones (biliary calculi) are small stones made from cholesterol, bile pigment and calcium salts, usually as a mixture that forms in the gall bladder

Read more on Queensland Health website

Gallstones: what are they? - myDr.com.au

Gallstones are stone-like deposits that form in the gallbladder. There are 2 main types of gallstones: cholesterol stones and pigment stones.

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Gallstones: complications - myDr.com.au

Complications relating to gallstones include: inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), bile duct (cholangitis), and pancreas (biliary pancreatitis); and obstruction of the intestine (gallstone

Read more on myDr website

Gallstones (choledocholithiasis; cholangitis) information | myVMC

Choledocholithiasis or bile duct stone refers to the passage of gallstones into the bile duct. The gallstones obstruct the bile duct, causing jaundice.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Gallbladder - gallstones and surgery - Better Health Channel

Medical treatment for gallstones may not be necessary unless the gallstones cause symptoms.

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Gallstones: diagnosis - myDr.com.au

Several tests may be used in the diagnosis of gallstones, including blood tests, ultrasound and other imaging tests.

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Gallstones: symptoms - myDr.com.au

The most common symptom of gallstones is recurrent attacks of pain in the upper abdomen or the back, known as biliary colic.

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Gallstones: treatment - myDr.com.au

Gallstones that are causing symptoms can be treated by removing the gallbladder using a procedure called cholecystectomy.

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Gallstones information | myVMC

Gallstone disease is characterised by the formation of cholesterol or pigment stones in the gallbladder. They do not usually cause symptoms.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Gallstones - Lab Tests Online AU

Gallstones are hard lumps of crystals that develop within the gall bladder.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

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