Lifestyle Health

Thursday 14 December 2017

Gallstones not always a case for concern

BETWEEN 10-15pc of the adult population have gallstones but in most cases they don't cause any symptoms. Gallstones are small stones, made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder.

In a small number of cases, they can become trapped in a duct (an opening or channel), and can irritate and inflame the gallbladder.

This can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:

  • A sudden intense pain in your abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes).

Known risk factors for gallstones include:

  • Age: the older a person is, the more likely they are to develop gallstones.
  • Sex: women are two to three times more likely to develop gallstones.
  • Obesity.

If your symptoms are mild, painkillers may be prescribed.

If they are more severe, surgery to remove your gallbladder may be recommended.

Irish Independent

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