What is gallstones disease really?
These are deposits called stones that are found in the gallbladder or in the bile grogs. The cholesterol and bile pigments contained in it are usually deposited in the form of deposits, which ultimately irritates the mucosa of the follicle, causing it to become inflamed, and all causes the release of calcium, which is additionally deposited in the stones. The stones inhibit the proper flow of bile, which is essential in the digestive process.
Most often, gallstone disease affects:
people with excess cholesterol in the body
people at the age scare
The characteristic symptoms for a patient can be very strong, sometimes describing an attack. As soon as the gallstone moves freely and releases its bile, discomfort and pain go away, but with possible recurrence. If the neck of the bladder or bile duct is wedged by a stone, then bile stasis builds up in the bladder. Bile irritates its mucosa, which ultimately causes acute inflammation of the gallbladder. The patient may experience prolonged, constant and acute pain, sensitivity to pressure under the right rib, fever.
The most common symptoms of gallstone disease are (in the case of infected cholelithiasis):
Dull pain in the area of the right lower abdomen
Pain in the area of the sternum
A quick feeling of satiety after even a very small meal
The most common symptoms of gallstone disease are (in the case of ductal urolithiasis):
Sudden and severe pain in the epigastric region
Sudden and severe pain in the area of the shoulder blade
Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
The most common symptoms of gallstone disease are (in the case of uninfected cholelithiasis):
Pain at the shoulder blade
All of the above-mentioned symptoms of gallstone disease should not be underestimated, because the gallbladder contracts when eating food, releasing bile into the duodenum. The presence of urolithiasis inside can clog the mouth of the bubble, which causes a large increase in pressure inside it. The main and best known causes of gallstone disease is “biliary colic attack”, it is a sudden, sharp pain under the right costal arch. Usually, it lasts for a few hours in a patient, and then it may gradually disappear. Symptoms mainly occur after eating a very fatty meal, drinking a drink containing caffeine or other products that are not acceptable to the patient at the moment. Unfortunately, the attack tends to recur. During a colic attack, there may also be less specific symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, flatulence or heartburn, which are often underestimated in terms of a sick gallbladder. During the medical examination, you may find pain when squeezing and shaking the liver area. Often the patient is in a position where pain is uncorrected because the follicle may be so large that it is difficult to position any of the items. In such situations, the blister is felt when touching the patient, and at the same time it brings discomfort to the patient.
Treatment and management of gallstone disease
In patients with rare attacks, the use of painkillers and diastolic drugs that contain a large amount of hyoscine, papevarin or drotaverine are recommended. Medicines to suppress attacks are available over the counter, such as diclofen or ketoprofen. In a situation where medications help, the next step is hospitalization. Performing a few basic tests, such as ultrasound of the abdominal cavity, which will allow to assess the condition of the follicle wall, its thickness and the presence of any pathological formations, as well as performing a morphology will also prove helpful. This will certainly help doctors decide whether the only thing left to do is surgery to remove stones or the entire bag or further hospitalization based on the administration of drugs and adjusting the diet, e.g. a liver diet.
For people with contraindications to surgery, there is a pharmacological solution to dissolve the stones. This is done by dissolving the deposits with ursodeoxycholic acid. It is one of the bile acids that helps dissolve cholesterol stones. However, this type of therapy is long-term. Since stones are very slow to dissolve in this way, medications should be taken for up to two years, while at the same time there is a high risk of relapse.
The most common complication of cholelithiasis is inflammation of the gallbladder – as a result of acute inflammation, immediate surgery is recommended. The difficulty in such a situation is also considerable, because if the patient arrives with sudden acute pain (inflammation), it is treated for a 24-hour waiting period so that there are no complications after surgery. Antibiotic therapies or diastolic and analgesic treatment are also used – in the case of hepatic colic. If left untreated, cholecystitis leads to life-threatening complications such as peritonitis, empyema, and liver abscess.
If minor urolithiasis is not treated, stones may come out of the bladder, which causes ductal urolithiasis and acute inflammation of the bile ducts, intestinal obstruction and acute pancreatitis. It is worth remembering that the symptoms of choledocholithiasis are identical to those of biliary colic. With inflammation of the bile ducts, there is also a high fever with chills. There may also be symptoms of shock and disturbed consciousness.
Many patients are unaware that they have gallstones because it has no symptoms. The news about a sick gallbladder may come out accidentally with ultrasound of the abdominal cavity. In this situation, prophylactic cholecystectomy may be considered in young or extremely obese people.
If the entire gallbladder is calcified, then we speak of a porcelain bladder – it is a risk factor for developing gallbladder cancer. In such situations, an attempt to prophylactically dissolve the gallstones with ursodeoxycholic acid may be considered.
How Can I Deal With Gallstones?
Applying the right lifestyle can significantly improve the patient’s situation. The diet that should be followed in patients is one that is low in fiber and fat. The main ingredients of a good diet should be cooked vegetables and fresh fruit. In order for the diet not to have adverse effects, you should go to a dietitian, because too high a caloric deficit is conducive to the development of the disease. We should also take care of physical effort, which should occur at least 3 times a week for about 45 minutes.