Common myths & key facts about Gallstones

Common myths & key facts about Gallstones

by Dr. Sanjoy Mandal

Posted on 20th September, 2023 at 6:30:45 AM

Gallstones are hardened deposits of bile (digestive fluid) that can form in your gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen beneath the liver). A gallstone specialist doctor in Kolkata states that the size of a gallstone can range from the size of a grain to as large as a golf ball.

Myths and facts about gallstones

Myth 1: Only older people can get gallstones

Fact: Gallstones can affect individuals of all ages. Factors like rapid weight loss, obesity, and genetics contribute to the formation of gallstones at a younger age.

Myth 2: Gallstones always cause symptoms

Fact: Symptoms of gallstones arise when the bile duct is blocked, leading to pain in your upper right abdomen and nausea. Many people have gallstones and do not feel any discomfort.

Myth 3: Eating fatty food causes gallstones

Fact: If a diet is high in saturated fats and cholesterol, it can increase the risk of gallstones. A balanced diet can decrease the risk of gallstone formation.

Myth 4: You must be under medication or undergo surgery if your doctor detects gallstones

Fact: You can live a comfortable and healthy life even with gallstones if they don’t trouble you.

Myth 5: gallbladder stones can be dissolved with medicines

Fact: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the only treatment for gallbladder stone. There are quite a few medicines available in the market which claim to dissolve stones but none of them are effective. GALL STONES CANNOT BE DISSOLVED WITH ANY MEDICATION!

Myth 6: Gallbladder removal leads to digestive problems

Fact: The gallbladder is a storage organ for the bile produced by the liver. After the gallbladder removal, the bile flows directly into the small intestine, which can lead to a change in digestion for some people. However, most individuals adapt to this change without significant digestive problems. If the digestive issues persist, medications and diet modifications are given.

Myth 7: Drinking more liquids, especially milk, will remove gallstones from the body

Fact: Gallstones are different from kidney stones. No medical evidence says consuming more liquids or milk can eliminate or dissolve gallstones. Similarly, apple cider vinegar is not a proven home remedy to remove gallstones.

Myth 8: Once gallstones are removed, they can come back

Fact: Surgery for gallbladder stones involves removing the complete gallbladder with the containing stones. Hence, once the gallbladder is fully removed, gallbladder stones cannot recur. However, if, in certain rare situations, complete removal of the gallbladder is not possible, and a portion of the gallbladder is left behind, stones may develop again in the remaining portion of the gallbladder. However, this situation is rare.

If you develop severe symptoms of gallstones, like sudden and intense pain in the upper right part of your abdomen, back pain between your shoulder blades, nausea, or a high fever with chills, you must visit a gallstone specialist

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