Bile is produced continuously by the liver (liver bile) and is stored and concentrated in the gallbladder (gallbladder bile). Bile Juice is a dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver and it aids the digestion of lipids (fat) in the small intestine. When the bile contains too much cholesterol, it is unable to dissolve it all, hence the surplus solidifies. These tiny crystals move around in the gallbladder together in the form of gallstones.
Gallstones usually occur in adults between ages 20 and 50. The risk of gallstones in both males and females increases with age.
Some illnesses too contribute to gallstones – diabetes, pancreatitis, or heart disease; obesity or rapid weight loss; high hormonal levels during pregnancy; certain medications like contraceptive pills, and certain habits like alcoholism, tobacco, and smoking.
Symptoms include nausea, tummy upset, hyperacidity and gas. When a gallstone blocks a bile duct; nausea, vomiting, chills, and fever may begin. There may also be a yellowish tint on skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice). This shows that the infection has progressed to the liver.
Small gallstones don’t cause problems or symptoms. Larger gallstones can, as they may obstruct the passage and cause infection. Typical symptoms include extreme abdominal pain that radiates to the back, chest or in-between the shoulder blades.
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