Gallstones

Gallstones occur in the gall bladder and are small stone like deposits of cholesterol, bile pigment and sometimes calcium. They are one of the most common problems of the digestive system. For people who experience symptoms, removal of the gallbladder is usually the best form of treatment. Gallstones can cause complications such as pancreatitis or jaundice which is best avoided as it may be life threatening.

Symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the low chest/upper abdomen which can be felt in the back and last longer than half an hour.

Gallstone induced pain is often confused for heart attack. Your local doctor will advise you as to whether gallstones are causing the pain and it is always wise to promptly have the heart checked. The best, and least expensive test to diagnose gall bladder stones and disease is an ultrasound, as CT only shows 10%-20% of stones, and requires radiation.

For more information see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001318/

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