Main symptoms of gallstones

The main symptom of gallbladder stone is biliary colic, which is sudden and intense pain on the right side of the abdomen. Usually, this pain appears about 30 minutes to 1 hour after the meal, but it passes after the digestion of food ends, as the gallbladder is no longer stimulated to release bile.

It is important that the stone in the gallbladder is identified quickly by means of imaging tests and, thus, treatment is started, which can be done with the use of medicines to dissolve the stones or surgery, depending on the amount of stones and the frequency that symptoms happen.

So, if you think you may have a stone, select your symptoms:

  1. 1. Severe pain in the right side of the belly up to 1 hour after eating
  2. 2. Fever above 38º C
  3. 3. Yellowish color in eyes or skin
  4. 4. Constant diarrhea
  5. 5. Nausea or vomiting, especially after meals
  6. 6. Loss of appetite
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However, symptoms occur in a few cases, so it is possible to discover gallstones during routine examinations, such as abdominal ultrasounds. Thus, people with a higher risk of gallbladder stones should make an appointment with the gastroenterologist to keep watch and identify the problem from the beginning.

The gallbladder is responsible for storing bile, a greenish liquid that helps digest fats. At the time of digestion, bile passes through the bile ducts and reaches the intestine, but the presence of stones can block this path, causing inflammation of the gallbladder and pain.

It can also happen that the stones are small and are able to pass through the bile ducts until they reach the intestine, where they will be eliminated along with the feces.

What to do in case of suspicion

If symptoms appear, you should see your GP or gastroenterologist. If the pain is constant or if there is fever and vomiting in addition to the pain, you should go to the emergency room.

The diagnosis of stone in the gallbladder is usually made by ultrasound. However, more specific tests such as MRI, scintigraphy or CT scan can be used to identify whether the gallbladder is inflamed or not.

Main causes

Gallbladder stones are formed by changes in the composition of bile, and some factors that can cause these changes are:

  • Diet rich in fats and simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and soft drinks;
  • Low fiber diet, such as whole foods, fruits and vegetables;
  • Diabetes;
  • High cholesterol;
  • Lack of physical activity;
  • Arterial hypertension;
  • Cigarette use;
  • Long-term use of contraceptives:
  • Family history of gallbladder stone.

Due to hormonal differences, women are more likely to have gall stones than men. Learn more about the causes of gallstones.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for gallbladder stone should be guided by a gastroenterologist and is done according to the size of the stones and the presence or absence of symptoms. People with small stones or those without symptoms usually take medicines to break the stones, such as Ursodiol, but it can take years for the stones to disappear.

On the other hand, people who have frequent symptoms are indicated for surgery to remove the gallbladder. There is also the treatment with shock waves that break the gallbladder stones into smaller stones, just as it is done in cases of kidney stones. In addition, the patient should avoid eating a diet rich in fats, such as fried foods or red meat, and engaging in physical activity on a regular basis. See more details about the treatment for gallstones.

Find out what the feeding for gall bladder should be like by watching: