24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
AHA: Taking Medicine for a Cold? Be Mindful of Your HeartStudy Examines Link Between Type 1 Diabetes, Broken BonesDisrupted Sleep Plagues Hospital Patients, But New Program Might HelpStem Cell Therapy Shows Early Promise Against Macular Degeneration1 in 4 Antibiotic Prescriptions Isn't Needed: StudyClimate Change Already Hurting Human Health, Review ShowsGene-Linked Iron Disorder More Common Than ThoughtRace May Matter for Liver Transplant SuccessLife in Space May Take Toll on Spinal MusclesHealth Tip: Understanding a Heart MurmurCalling All Blood Donors …Opioids Now More Deadly for Americans Than Traffic AccidentsWhy Your Heart Needs a Good Night's SleepNature or Nurture? Twins Study Helps Sort Out Genes' Role in DiseaseVaccines: Not Just for KidsExercise Caution to Protect Your Skin at the GymMake Cancer Prevention a Priority in 2019AHA: New Cholesterol Guidelines Put Ethnicity in the SpotlightBroad-Range Ebola Drug Shows Promise in Animal TestsPrescription Opioids May Raise Pneumonia RiskHealth Tip: Prevent Travelers' DiarrheaCancer Patients May Face Greater Risk of ShinglesThyroid Surgery Complications Can Land Some Back in the HospitalRadiation Doses From CT Scans Vary WidelyHealth Tip: Job-Related Chemical Exposure Through the SkinJob Insecurity May Take a Toll on Your HeartPhysical Therapy Can Keep Sports Injuries at BayPersistent Cough May Mean See Your Doctor1 in 10 Adults Have Food Allergies, But Twice as Many Think They DoCatching Up on News About Catch-Up SleepHepatitis C Screening Can Help Prevent Liver DiseaseCan Herbal Drug Kratom Kill?Cholesterol Levels Spike After ChristmasDeadly Meningitis B Targets College StudentsNew Cholesterol Drug's High Price May Not Be Worth It: StudyAsthma Often Goes Undetected in Urban Teens, Study FindsBe Alert for Concussions in Young AthletesHow Seniors Can Prevent Hypothermia This WinterWhopping Numbers on Whooping CoughKidney Disease Risk Tied to Sugar-Sweetened DrinksHealth Tip: Understanding Whooping CoughHealth Tip: Strep Isn't an Ordinary Sore ThroatHolidays' Pitfalls for Those With Food AllergiesWinter's Many Challenges to Eye HealthHeart Risks High in Older Cancer Patients Before DiagnosisCertain Antibiotics Tied to Deadly Heart Vessel Tears: FDAHepatitis C Cases Cluster in States Hit Hard by OpioidsEven Non-Concussion Head Hits Affect Young Football Players' VisionAverage American Getting Fatter, but Not Taller1 in 4 People Over 25 Will Be Hit by Stroke
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Could You Have Silent Gallstones?

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Dec 14th 2018

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Dec. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As many as 20 million Americans have gallstones. Most don't have any symptoms, but not all will escape a gallstone attack.

The gallbladder is a small organ in the upper right abdomen. It's a reservoir for bile, the fluid made by the liver to aid digestion. Experts aren't sure why, but gallstones form from imbalances in the substances that make up bile, such as cholesterol. You can have one or hundreds of gallstones, and they can be as small as a grain of sand or the size of a golf ball.

Gallstones: Who's Most at Risk:

  • Women.
  • Anyone age 40 and older.
  • Anyone with a family history of gallstones.
  • Native Americans.
  • Mexican Americans.

"Silent" gallstones don't interfere with the function of the gallbladder, liver or nearby pancreas. Often they're discovered during an imaging test for another health concern.

If a gallstone blocks any of the ducts that connect the gallbladder to the liver or pancreas, you can suffer a gallbladder attack. It often happens at night, after a heavy meal, and the pain can last for several hours. The attack usually stops when the stone moves. But if the duct remains blocked, you risk complications such as inflammation or infection. Untreated blockages can be fatal if they stop the pancreas from working normally.

The good news is that serious gallbladder attacks affect only about 8 percent of people with stones, according to a Danish study. Most at risk are women in general and people who have one large stone or multiple stones.

Whether or not you know you have gallstones, know the signs of a potentially serious gallstone event and contact your doctor even if the pain goes away.

Warning Signs of Gallstone-Related Infection or Inflammation:

  • Abdominal pain lasting more than 5 hours.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Jaundice, the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Tea-colored urine and light-colored stools.

If tests confirm stones, you may want -- or need -- to have your gallbladder removed, a very common operation. And because the gallbladder isn't essential, you can live normally without it.

More information

Read more about gallstones at the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.