Gallstones


          One of the most common emergency cases in hospitals are patients with abdominal pain due to gallstones. The gallbladder is a small, pouch-like organ situated underneath the liver. Its main function is to store and concentrate bile is a liquid produced by the liver, which helps digest fats.

            Gallstones develop due to an imbalance in the chemical make-up of bile inside the gallbladder. When the levels of cholesterol in bile become too high, the excess cholesterol forms into stones. Generally, gallstones do not lead to any symptoms and do not need to be treated.

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Symptoms:

             Pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen and pain spreading to the right upper back or shoulder blade area.


Risk factors

* Being overweight                                     

* A high-fat/high cholesterol diet                 

* Female: women are 3 times more  likely to be affected than men        

* Diabetes                                                                                 

* Intake of cholesterol-lowering medications        

* Age 60 or older                                           

*   A family history of gallstones                                    

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Tips to reduce the risk of gallstones

• Eat high fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Also try lower-fat plant¬based protein options, such as beans, carrots & lentils.

• Have low-fat milk products every day.such as skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt & cheese   

• Include 2-3 servings of meat alternatives each day. Choose leaner meats. Avoid red meat, remove the skin from chicken before cooking it.

*Have unsalted nuts 4-5 times each week, studies show that 140 gm of nuts per week help reduce the risk of gallstones.

* Limit the fat used in cooking. Choose healthy fats like olive and soybean oils. Instead of frying your food bake, boil, roast, or steam it.

• Eat less sugar limit sweets, desserts, cake, and cookies

• Maintain a healthy weight by reducing the number of calories you eat and increasing physical activity.

• If you drink beverages like caffeine, do so in moderation -- not more than 2 cups of tea /coffee each day.

• Drink alcohol in moderation - not more than one drink a day.

• Do not skip meals eat at regular times each day. skipping meals or fasting can increase the risk of gallstones.