Gallstones: Bile Salt

Topics: Bile, Liver, Hepatology Pages: 2 (572 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Gallstones are pebbles and stones that form in the gallbladder of the human body due to bile build-up. According to Medilexion's medical dictionary, a gallstone is "A concretion in the gallbladder or a bile duct, composed chiefly of a mixture of cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, and calcium carbonate, occasionally as a pure stone composed of just one of these substances". Bile is a greenish-brown liquid produced in the liver then stored in the gallbladder which is use to digest fat. Bile contains water, cholesterol, fat, bile salts, proteins and a waste product call bilirubin. If the bile has too much cholesterol , bile salt, or bilirubin, they hardens into stones.

There are two types of Gallstones. The first and more common type is known as the Cholesterol Stone, which accounts for 80 percent of all cases of Gallstones. Their characteristics are usually yellow-green and mainly made of hardened cholesterol. The second type is called Pigment Stones, they are usually small in size, dark in color and usually made of bilirubin. Gallstones varies in size and can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball. They also varies in amount; some people have just one big stone, some may have hundreds or small stones and even a combination of both.

Inflammation of the gallbladder is cause by gallstones blocking normal bile flow, lodging stones in the hepatic, cystic and common ducts. Blocked bile ducts are often called a "gallbladder attack" because they occur suddenly. Attacks usually occurs after a big fatty meal and or at night. Symptoms includes steady pain in the URQ that lasts from 30 minutes to several hours, back pain between the shoulders blades, and pain under the right shoulder. Ducts that are clogged for a while can cause severe damage or infection in the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas. May even lead to death if left untreated. Signs and symptoms of a serious problem are fever, jaundice and persistent pain. It is often that...
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