The gallbladder is a sac-like organ in the body located just below the liver. It is connected to the liver and small intestines. It is basically a buffer for the storage of bile. Bile is a fluid created by the liver to help in the digestion of fats. Bile breaks down the fats and converts them into fatty acids, which are then absorbed by the intestines.
How Gallbladder Functions
While digestion processes are not occurring, the produced bile is stored in the gallbladder for usage when digestion takes place. When food is eaten, it squeezes the bile into the small intestines with the help of bile ducts. Bile then goes onto perform digestive actions on the fats present in the diet.
Keeping the Gallbladder Healthy
The trick to a healthy gallbladder is a high fiber diet with less sugar and refined carbs. Healthy fat, such as fish oil or olive oil, keeps the gallbladder active; its squeeze and storage function can only work properly if performed regularly. Healthy fats can keep the gallbladder engaged and, as such, healthy. As such, fried food and desserts have an unhealthy amount of fat which is risky for the gallbladder.
Gallbladder Stones or Gallstones
Bile is a combination of substances, including cholesterol and bilirubin. Depending on either of these components, the gallstones can be categorized into two types:
- Cholesterol stones are formed if the cholesterol level in the bile is too high.
- Pigment stones are formed if bilirubin concentration is too high.
The size of the gallstones can vary from a tiny grain of sand to as large as a ball. Generally, they are not harmful but may cause issues if the blockage of bile flow occurs. This can lead to abdominal pain, mild discomfort of indigestion, inflammation, and sometimes even cancer if left untreated.
Prevention is always better than a cure. A good, healthy diet is the best way to avoid all medical and health problems.
Below are some of the tips that can be performed to prevent gallstones:
- Avoid low-calorie intake. Anything below 800 calories can be harmful to the gallbladder.
- Excessive fat is to be avoided, but eliminating fat from the diet entirely is equally harmful. Balance is the way to go.
- Use food with high fiber content, like fruits, vegetables, and beans, etc.
- Nuts, like peanuts or cashews, should be eaten regularly.
- High cholesterol levels in the body can cause bile to thicken due to higher cholesterol concentration. This is why losing weight is a good start as well.
- Weight loss can be done through smart diet control and exercise regime.
There are many options to get rid of the gallstones; shockwave lithotripsy or dissolution of the stones through drugs. These are painful procedures, and can sometimes take a long time to complete. Fortunately, the gallbladder’s function is limited to storage only. It means that removing the gallbladder does not affect your health at all. Your body can function perfectly well even without it. Therefore, the expert opinion of specialists such as Dr. Parashanth J V is to undergo surgical removal of the gallbladder because it is the least painful and long-term solution. The procedure is called Laparoscopy, and Dr. Prashanth is an expert laparoscopic surgeon.
It is an invasive procedure performed by a surgeon that can take from 20 minutes to 1 hour. A tiny incision is made in the abdominal region and small tube-like instruments are inserted into the body. Among them is a camera that guides the instruments towards the gallbladder. The bladder is cut and removed, along with the stones.
Laparoscopy is less painful and has a faster recovery time. It is performed in an operation theater and has very little chance of complications.
Dr. Prashanth J V - Best Laparoscopic Surgeon In Bangalore
Dr. Prashanth is an exceptionally expert Laparoscopic surgeon with over 20 years of experience in the field. His prowess lies in Minimal Invasive Surgery and he is associated with the best medical institutions in Bangalore, India. He did his Fellowship in Laparoscopy from Kiel University in Germany. That, combined with his mastery of minimal invasive surgery, has granted him a long list of success stories with his patients. He can handle all critical and non-critical cases with professional expertise, and his diagnosis and procedures have a high success rate.
We hope that this article managed to highlight the causes, symptoms, and treatments of gallbladder stones.
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