Gallstones: What causes them & Their Most Common Indicators

Gall stones: causes and common indicators

Gallstones affect more than 25 million people in the United States, with women accounting for 65 percent to 75 percent of those affected. Gallstones, for the most part, are "silent" — they don't cause any noticeable symptoms. When they do act up, there are effective methods for dealing with the situation.

Gallstones are common, but two out of every three people who have them have no symptoms. They can cause pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes), pancreatitis (pancreatitis), and gallbladder inflammation. 

In case of any such symptom, you need to consult a family practitioner like Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD. He can help you with a personalized treatment plan. 

Why do gallstones develop?

Gallstones can develop for several reasons, including:

  • When the concentration of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile reaches a critical level, a clot forms.
  • If the gallbladder is lazy and does not completely empty itself of bile, this condition can develop.
  • Occurring in people with other conditions, like: 
  • Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Blood disorders.
  • During pregnancy.
  • When you rapidly lose weight.

Signs and symptoms

Gallstones vary greatly in size. Some people form a single large stone, while others form hundreds of small stones. Most commonly, gallstones are 5–10 mm in diameter.

Gallstones cause no symptoms in the majority of people. Upper abdominal pain is the most common early sign of gallstones if symptoms are present. This pain is most commonly felt in the upper right side of the abdomen, and it can radiate to the chest, back, or the area between the shoulders. 

If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, visit Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD at the earliest. He is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality patient-centered, and evidence-based medical care to the people.

Other symptoms that may occur include:

  • Indigestion 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • When gallstones block the passage of bile, it causes jaundice (a yellow appearance of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by bilirubin build-up in the blood).
  • Light-colored stools.

The abdominal pain associated with gallstones is referred to as biliary colic. This type of pain is commonly set off by eating fatty foods and often occurs in the middle of the night. The symptoms may be severe enough that people need to seek medical help right away. When the gallbladder is infected, a low-grade fever, sweats, and chills can occur.

According to many experts, a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of dietary fiber, can help people avoid gallstones. Gallstones can be prevented by maintaining healthy body weight.

Treatment is just a click away!

If you are trying to reduce your exposure to COVID-19, as well as other contagious illnesses, and still need to see your physician? Our safe and secure Telehealth powered by PatientMD is safe and easy — receive quality care from anywhere. Schedule a telemedicine consultation with our primary care doctor Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD, and get a checkup done. 

At Curewell Medical Center, we have the state-of-the-art infrastructure in place, to diagnose the issue at our onsite labs. Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD, our board-certified in-house physician, an internal medicine specialist with more than 20 years of experience in primary care of adults and adolescents over the age of 13, will examine and oversee the management of the health issue from early detection to cure. Call us at 630-889-2000/ 630-323-8595 to book your appointment.