Gallstones are hard, solid formations that develop in the gallbladder due to the aggregation of certain components of digestive secretions. There are two kinds: cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones consist of cholesterol found in bile. Pigment stones consist of bilirubin. About 80 percent of gallstones are cholesterol stones and are yellowish-green in color. Pigment stones are smaller and darker in appearance. In most circumstances, having gallstones is not a life-threatening condition. However, they can be excruciating, and in the unfortunate instance of complications, they can be seriously disabling. Gallstones are the most common cause of emergency admission of patients with severe abdominal pain. The most severe complication that can occur with gallstones is an infection. This can be dangerous if it spreads to other parts of the body. Those with gallstones must look out for the following signs of stones in the gallbladder. When they appear, consult a physician immediately.
Gallstones don't often produce symptoms. This is because they do not pose any problems just by virtue of their existence. Doctors call these "silent stones," and they do not require treatment. An X-ray or an investigation may reveal them when a doctor is looking for another condition. However, they cause a problem when a stone gets lodged in the bile duct, thereby causing a blockage. At this point, you need to seek medical attention to reduce the symptoms and remove or eliminate the stone.
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