Download &

Print on Demand

Gallstones

The gallbladder stores bile. This substance helps digest fats. Gallstones form when bile hardens into pieces of stone-like material. These deposit in the gallbladder or bile ducts (which carry bile to the small intestine). The stones can range in size from less than a pinhead to 3 inches across.

Signs &

Symptoms

Causes

Treatment

Questions
to Ask

Self-Care /

Prevention

Illustration of gallbadder with gallstones.

Gallstones

•  Feeling bloated and gassy, especially after eating fried or fatty foods.

•  Steady pain in the upper right abdomen lasting 20 minutes to 5 hours.

•  Pain between the shoulder blades or in the right shoulder.

•  Indigestion. Nausea. Vomiting. Severe abdominal pain with fever. Sometimes a yellow color to the skin and/or the whites of the eyes.

{Note: Gallstone symptoms can be hard to tell apart from heart-related or other serious problems. A doctor should evaluate any new symptoms.}

Image of gallstones.

•  Ethnic background (i.e., Native Americans) and family history of gallstones. Being middle age.

•  Obesity. Very rapid weight loss.

•  Being female. Having had many pregnancies. Taking estrogen.

•  Having diabetes. Having diseases of the small intestine.

•  A low-fat diet.

•  Surgery to remove the gallbladder. This is the most common treatment. You can still digest foods without a gallbladder.

Image of doctor writing.

01

Question

Do you have any of these problems?

•  The skin and the whites of your eyes are yellow in color.

•  Pain in your upper right abdomen with vomiting and/or a fever. Or, the pain goes away and comes back.

See Self-Care / Prevention

Image of water bottle with fruit, weights and measuring tape.

•  Avoid high-fat foods. Don’t eat large meals.

•  Get to and stay at a healthy body weight. If you are overweight, lose weight slowly (1 to 1-1/2 pounds per week). Do not follow a rapid weight loss diet unless under strict medical guidance.

•  Eat a high fiber, low-fat diet.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

The American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) is not responsible for the availability or content of external sites, nor does AIPM endorse them. Also, it is the responsibility of the user to examine the copyright and licensing restrictions of external pages and to secure all necessary permission.

 

The content on this website is proprietary. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute, in any manner, the material on the website without the written permission of AIPM.

2018 © American Institute for Preventive Medicine  -  All Rights Reserved.  Disclaimer  |  www.HealthyLife.com