What is a Gall Bladder?
Gallbladder is a pear shaped organ present close to the liver. Its function is to store and concentrate bile juice which is produced in the liver. It does not produce bile as many people think.
What are Gallstones?
Gallstones are stones which form within the gallbladder. They may vary in number and size. For management of these stones, size/shape and number is not relevant.
What causes Gallstones?
The exact cause for their formation is not known, however, risk factors include
- Gender: Women between 20 and 60 years of age are twice as likely to develop gallstones as men
- Age: Practically all age groups but more common in the 30’s & 40’s
- Excess estrogen (women on oral contraceptive pills etc.)
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
- Rapid weight loss
- Prolonged fasting
- Hereditary blood disorders
- Unknown geological factors such as gallstones are much more common in northern and eastern part of India