Which is the best treatment for gallbladder stones?

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  Gallbladder stones or gallstones disease is a medical condition in which the gallbladder is occupied by stones that cause the emergence of symptoms. Gallstones disease is a common disease. This disease affects 6% of men and 9% of women in America. Patients with gallstones disease can be asymptomatic or present with signs and symptoms. Treatments for gallbladder stones by specialists are the best intervention if you are suffering from this disease.

   Most patients with gallstones disease are asymptomatic. This group of people will only know that they have this disease upon an incidental finding of abdominal imaging. Some patients will develop signs and symptoms especially if they already develop complications from gallstones disease. The clinical features are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Regurgitation
  • Abdominal distension
  • Central upper abdominal burning sensation
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Belching
  • Early fullness upon eating

  Abdominal pain due to gallstones disease is also known as biliary colic. This kind of abdominal pain is a dull and intense discomfort on the right upper quadrant of the abdomen that may radiate to the back. This pain is usually constant. Patients usually complain of pain after a meal. This is because of the gallbladder contracts to aid the act of digestion. This pain is not worsened by movement. The pain will not be relieved by fart, bowel open, or squatting. The duration of this kind of pain will last around 30 minutes. Patients are usually free from fever or rapid heartbeat.

  The complications of gallstones disease are:

  • Cholecystitis or inflammation of the gallbladder
  • Choledocholithiasis or the presence of stone in the common bile duct
  • Acute cholangitis
  • Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gallstone ileus
  • Mirizzi syndrome

  Before proceeding with the treatment of a disease, we must know that a diagnosis must be made. This is important to ensure only accurate treatment is given. History taking, physical examination, and investigations are a must in detecting the underlying cause. History taking and physical examination will focus on signs and symptoms analysis. Findings from investigations will add on to the signs and symptoms analysis. The investigations are:

  • Blood studies
  • Transabdominal ultrasound
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Bile microscopy
  • Oral cholecystography
  • Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan)

  Other diseases that may mimic gallbladder stones disease are:

  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Acute cholecystitis
  • Choledocholithiasis
  • Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
  • Functional gallbladder disorder

  There are three types of gallbladder stones. They are:

  • Cholesterol stones
  • Black pigment stones
  • Brown pigment stones

  Risk factors for gallbladder stones disease are:

  • Increasing age
  • Female
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Consumption of fibrates
  • Consumption of ceftriaxone
  • Consumption somatostatin analogues
  • Estrogen therapy
  • Intake of oral contraceptives
  • Prolonged fasting
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Crohn disease
  • Ileal resection

  Protective factors for gallbladder stones disease are:

  • Intake of ascorbic acid
  • Coffee consumption
  • Intake of nuts
  • Consumption of vegetable protein
  • Physical activity
  • The use of statins

 Prevention is better than cure. The preventive measures are:

  • Eating a well-balanced meal
  • Weight reduction in overweight and obese patients
  • Regular exercise
  • The use of ursodeoxycholic acid in certain patients

  The treatments are:

  • The use of painkillers to control pain
  • Surgical removal of the gallbladder and gallbladder stones

  Asymptomatic patients will not require any treatment and intervention. Treatments for gallbladder stones by specialists are the best intervention if you are suffering from this disease.

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