The Gall of Gall Stones

Gallstone disease is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders affecting adults and seniors. It is affecting one in 12 Americans and gets harder to treat the longer it stays untreated.

It is important for you to know how to manage gallstones because they can cause so much pain among the elderly.

What are gallstones?

Gallstones are pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder. These may vary in shape, size, color, and texture depending mainly on what they are made of. The two types of gallstones are cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones develop once there is too much cholesterol in the bile secreted by the liver.

Typically, bile can dissolve or break down cholesterol. However, once there is too much cholesterol in the blood, bile function is overpowered, leading to stone formation.

Stones that are made of cholesterol are usually yellow-green in color and occur very often; while Pigment stones tend to be smaller and very dark because of its bilirubin content.

Bilirubin is a chemical produced when your liver destroys mature red blood cells. Certain conditions may cause an overproduction of bilirubin or production of bile that is highly concentrated, leading to the formation of pigment stones.

Who can develop gallstones?

Women are more likely to develop gallstones than men. As it is frequent in the elderly, home care facilities like are careful to know these risk factors. The following are risk factors in the development of gallstones: obesity, a high cholesterol diet, a high fiber diet, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, and high estrogen.

What are the stages of gallbladder disease?

What is common among all patients who have gallstones is that they tend to experience severe pain especially during the later stage of gallbladder disease. This pain is known as the “gallbladder attack,” wherein extreme pain lasts more than one hour up to a few hours and happens only once the stones block the movement of bile from the gallbladder. When it gets to this point, you have to check with the doctor right away.

What are the symptoms of gallstone disease?

The most common symptoms of gallstone disease include pain on the right side of the body usually below the ribs, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, restlessness, yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes, and clay-colored stools.

What is the treatment for gallstone disease?

The most effective treatment for this disease is surgery, whether it is keyhole or open surgery. No amount of medication can help eliminate gallstones.

What is the best after-surgery management approach?

The best way to properly manage gallstones after they’ve been scooped out of the body is to avoid giving high-fat, high-fiber, spicy, and packaged foods. It is crucial to give as many alkaline-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is best to stick to water, instead of giving soda, tea, and coffee. The diet should be watched with caution regularly because eating restricted foods can contribute to the patient getting the disease again.

Proper management is key to success so gallstone disease does not occur again. Make sure you are giving fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help support the after-surgery treatment.

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