A gallstone is a stone formed in the gallbladder from precipitated bile components. The term cholelithiasis can refer to the presence of gallstones or to a disease caused by gallstones, and choledocholithiasis refers to the presence of migrated gallstones in the bile ducts.
Most people with gallstones (about 80%) are asymptomatic. However, when a gallstone blocks the bile ducts and causes acute cholestasis, reflexive spasm of the smooth muscles often occurs, resulting in an intense convulsive visceral pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, known as bile colic (or "gallbladder attack" ). This occurs each year in 1-4% of those with gallstones. Complications of gallstones can include inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), obstructive jaundice and infection of the bile ducts (cholangitis). Symptoms of these complications may include pain lasting more than five hours, fever, yellowish skin, vomiting, dark urine and pale stools.
Risk factors for gallstones include birth control pills, pregnancy, a family history of gallstones, obesity, diabetes, liver disease or rapid weight loss. The bile components that form gallstones are cholesterol, bile salts and bilirubin. Gallstones formed primarily from cholesterol are called cholesterol stones, and those formed primarily from bilirubin are called pigment stones. Gallstones can be suspected based on symptoms. The diagnosis is then usually confirmed by ultrasound. Blood tests may identify complications.
BeterKliniek is the clinic for Integrative Medicine that bridges regular and non-regular medicine.
An van Veen (physician) and Michael van Gils (therapist) look for the cause of a condition or disease. That is where the treatment starts otherwise, as people often say, it is 'carrying water to the sea'. We call this cause medicine. Sometimes it is also desirable to treat the symptoms (at the same time). We call this symptom medicine.
Chronic disorders often have their cause in epi- genetics. You can schedule a free informative telephone consultation (phone number 040-7117337 until 1 p.m.) at BeterKliniek to discuss your symptoms so that we can provide you with further advice.