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Gall Stones


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GALL By: Sami Stewart
        Kat O’Donnell

 Gallstones are formed when bile , a liquid substance
  produced in the gallbladder to digest fats, is
  hardened. They look like small pebbles. They get
  stuck in the common bile duct with the bile when it is
  released from the gallbladder. This creates blockage
  of the ducts that the bile travels through.
     •   Obesity. This is a huge risk factor. Obesity can cause a rise in cholesterol,
         and can also keep the gallbladder from emptying completely.
     •   Estrogen. Women who are pregnant or who take hormonal birth control have
         higher levels of estrogen. This can cause a rise in cholesterol, as well as a
         reduction in gallbladder motility.
     •   Ethnic background. Certain ethnic groups, including Native Americans and
         Mexican-Americans, are more likely to develop gallstones.
     •   Gender and age. Gallstones are more common among women and among older
     •   Cholesterol drugs. Some cholesterol-lowering drugs increase the cholesterol in
         bile, which may increase the chances of developing cholesterol stones.
     •   Diabetes. People with diabetes tend to have higher levels of triglycerides (a
         type of blood fat), which is a risk factor for gallstones.
     •   Rapid weight loss. If a person loses weight too quickly, his or her liver
         secretes extra cholesterol, which may lead to gallstones. Also, fasting may
         cause the gallbladder to contract less.

•   The two types of stones, cholesterol and pigment stones, have
    different causes.
•   Cholesterol stones:
    –   There are two types of gallstones, cholesterol and pigment stones.

•   Pigment Stones:
    –   These stones tend to develop in people who have liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, or hereditary
        blood disorders in which the liver makes too much bilirubin.

 Most  of the time gallstones don’t cause any symptoms until the
  person is in a dangerous stage.
 These are not generally discovered until the patient is being
  examined for another condition
 Pain in upper back and upper abdomen for several hours

 Gastrointestinal problems

 Vomiting

   A persons doctor can use the following test to diagnose gallstones:
        Blood tests checks for signs of infection or obstruction and/or to rule out other conditions.
        Ultrasound: This procedure transmits high frequency sound waves through the body. The
         echoes are recorded and transformed into images of various parts of the body. An ultrasound
         can be used to identify gallstones.
        CAT scan: This test uses specialized x-rays to create cross-section images of organs and
         body tissues.
        Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan): This test can determine whether the gallbladder is
         contracting correctly. A radioactive material is injected into the patient and makes its way to
         the gallbladder. The technician can then observe the movement of the gallbladder.
        Endoscopic ultrasound: This test combines ultrasound and endoscopy to look for gallstones.
        Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: The doctor inserts an endoscope through the
         patient's mouth down to the small intestine and injects a dye to allow the bile ducts to be
         seen. The doctor can then remove gallstones that have moved into the ducts.

   Gallstones can be treated with surgery, oral dissolution treatment, and
    contact dissolution therapy.
      Surgery is needed when symptoms repeat numerous times and the doctor feels
       that the only way to prevent them is to remove the gallbladder all together.
       Most of the time laparoscopy is used unless the gallbladder is damaged in some
      Oral dissolution treatment drug made from bile acid that dissolves gallstones.
       This treatment can be used from months to years.
      Contact dissolution therapy is an experimental procedure involving and injecting
       a drug directly in the gallbladder that dissolves cholesterol stones.

 http://www.webmd.com/digestive-
 http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs

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