Gallstones in gallbladder is not something that is a rare condition. Many might have gallstones but they do not present any symptoms at all. Only when the gallstones begin to block the cystic duct that transports the bile does the problem actually start. So what to do if we have gallstones? Let us explore in detail.
A brief of how gallstones are formed?
The gallstones are of two types, the cholesterol stones and the pigment stones. Most of the time, around 80%, it is the cholesterol stones.
Cholesterol stones are yellow-green in colour and are formed by a complex process. One theory says that if the food taken is deficient in fibre, the bile is recycled at a higher rate back into the body. This is because the non-fibre food moves slowly in the digestive system and as a result the bile is absorbed back. The bile that is recycled back and passed on to liver can come back to gallbladder and form a biliary sludge. It may be noted that bile is manufactured from cholesterol through complex bio-chemical processes. Hence the biliary sludge is made of cholesterol as they solidify further.
Pigment stones are formed from the solidifying of bilirubin pigments found in the bile. Sometimes both stones may be present in the gallbladder.
Can all gallstones in the gallbladder cause problem?
Not essentially. The gallstones if they remain confined inside the gallbladder do not cause any symptoms at all. On the other hand if they get released from the gallbladder and travel down the cystic duct, there are many possibilities that might occur.
They may remain in the cystic duct without causing obstruction to the flow of the bile
They may travel down the cystic duct and may obstruct the common bile duct obstructing the flow of bile.
They may travel further down the common bile duct and obstruct the flow of both bile and pancreatic juice which flow in a common duct (the common bile duct meets the pancreatic duct before a single duct drains both the digestive juices inside the duodenum)
Simply put, whenever there is an obstruction to the ducts and as a result whenever the digestive juices cannot pass, the conditions present as symptoms. If the gallstones block the bile duct, they cause inflammation of gallbladder, known as acute cholecystitis. If they block the pancreatic duct, then they inflame the pancreas causing pancreatitis.
What to do if symptoms begin to appear? – Dr Kalanidhi’s
Dr Kalanidhi says that if the symptoms begin to appear due to the presence of gallstones, the only way forward is to remove the gallbladder completely. An inflamed gallbladder with gallstones cannot be reclaimed and hence the removal. Dr Kalanidhi assures that even without gallbladder the body can perform digestive functions normally.