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Dx Gallstone Treatment: Read more....


N.H.S. Choices
"Gallstones are small stones, usually made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder. In most cases they do not cause any symptoms. However, if a gallstone becomes trapped in a duct (opening) inside the gallbladder it can trigger a sudden intense abdominal pain that usually lasts between one and five hours. This type of abdominal pain is known as biliary colic.

The medical term for symptoms and complications related to gallstones is gallstone disease or cholelithiasis. Gallstone disease can also cause inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis). This can cause persistent pain, jaundice and a high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or above.

In some cases a gallstone can move into the pancreas, causing it to become irritated and inflamed. This is known as acute pancreatitis and causes abdominal pain that gets progressively worse.

The gallbladder is a small, pouch-like organ situated underneath the liver. The main purpose of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile. Bile is a liquid that is produced by the liver, which helps digest fats. It is passed from the liver through a series of channels, known as bile ducts, into the gallbladder. The bile is stored in the gallbladder and, over time, it becomes more concentrated, which makes it better at digesting fats. The gallbladder is able to release bile into the digestive system when it is required.

Treating gallstones
Gallstone disease is relatively straightforward to treat. The most widely used treatment is keyhole surgery to remove the gallbladder. Doctors refer to this as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This type of surgery is generally safe with a low risk of complications.

There are several non-surgical treatments that can be used to break up gallstones, but they often return at a later date. So surgery is usually the preferred option where possible.

You can lead a perfectly normal life without a gallbladder. The organ can be useful but it is not essential. Your liver will still produce bile to digest food.
You are more at risk of developing gallstones if you are: overweight female – women are two to three times more likely to be affected by gallstone disease than men 40 or over – most cases of gallstone disease first develop in people aged 40 or above a mother – women who have had multiple pregnancies have an increased risk of getting gallstone disease. It is thought that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase cholesterol levels Gallstones are very common. It is estimated that, in England, around one in 10 of the adult population has gallstones. However, in most cases, they do not cause symptoms. There’s a one in 50 chance of gallstones causing symptoms. Most people only experience biliary colic, but a minority of people go on to develop more troublesome symptoms or a complication.

Most cases of gallstone disease are easily treated. Cancer of the gallbladder is rare. Complications can include peritonitis (rupture of the gallbladder into the abdomen) and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas from a stone blocking duct).

Very severe cases can be life-threatening, especially in people who are already in a poor state of health, but deaths are now rare in England. It is estimated that the chance of dying from gallstone disease is less than one in 175.".

1. Bile Acids: Actigall®/ursodiol

Suggested Links:
*Merck Manual Home Edition

*[Editor] There has been an attempt to use statins or combined with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDA) to prevent gallstone formation and even dissolving pre-existing stones.[Not consistent]. There exists a small extracorpeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) that shows some promise in reducing recurrence of colic. The Norwegians in the most complicated cases have placed a catheter into the gall bladder and dissolved stones with methyl-tert-butyl ether.

*[Editor] ALTERNATIVE THERAPY on the Internet explains two plausible treatments: (1) vinegar or lemon juice and (2) caffeine or mint. The author suggested that 6 teaspoons of vinegar (regular or apple cider) daily for the first month and then 1 tablespoon twice weekly worked to stop most of her biliary attacks. If she had an attack, she took an extra dose. She felt that vinegar was key, but she felt that having coffee or a starlight mint kept the bile flowing. The Editor agrees with Quackwatch that the 'gallbladder/liver flush' with Epsom salts and citric juice does not work.

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