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
Hot Water Soak May Help Ease Poor Leg CirculationHealth Tip: Understanding RosaceaHealth Tip: Causes of Swollen Lymph NodesAHA News: Study Provides Rare Look at Stroke Risk, Survival Among American IndiansCDC Opens Emergency Operations Center for Congo Ebola OutbreakScared Safe: Pics of Sun's Damage to Face Boost Sunscreen UseNo Needle Prick: Laser-Based Test Hunts Stray Melanoma Cells in BloodBats Are Biggest Rabies Danger, CDC SaysEmgality Receives First FDA Approval for Treating Cluster HeadacheZerbaxa Approved for Hospital-Acquired Bacterial PneumoniaBlood From Previously Pregnant Women Is Safe for Donation: StudyStudy Refutes Notion That People on Warfarin Shouldn't Eat Leafy GreensCancer Survivors Predicted to Top 22 Million by 2030Your Guide to a Healthier Home for Better Asthma ControlHigh Blood Pressure at Doctor's Office May Be More Dangerous Than SuspectedAHA News: 3 Simple Steps Could Save 94 Million Lives WorldwideHealth Tip: Dealing With Motion SicknessHealth Tip: Symptoms of MeningitisRace Affects Life Expectancy in Major U.S. CitiesVitamin D Supplements Don't Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: StudyChickenpox Vaccine Shields Kids From Shingles, TooWhooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades With Time: StudyOpioids Put Alzheimer's Patients at Risk of Pneumonia: StudyHealth Tip: Early Signs of Lyme DiseaseHealth Tip: Hiccup Home RemediesSheep Study Shows a Stuffy Side Effect of VapingShould Air Quality Checks Be Part of Your Travel Planning?Health Tip: Preventing Swimmer's EarHeartburn Drugs Again Tied to Fatal RisksHealth Tip: Nasal Spray SafetyFDA Approves First Drug to Help Tame Cluster HeadachesMany Dietary Supplements Dangerous for TeensAverage American Ingests 70,000 Bits of Microplastic Each YearFalls Are Increasingly Lethal for Older AmericansChicken No Better Than Beef for Your Cholesterol?Another Use for Beta Blockers? Curbing A-fibCaffeine, Nicotine Withdrawal Can Cause Problems in the ICU: StudyYounger Gout Patients Have Higher Odds for Blood ClotsFDA Approves First Test for Zika in Human BloodCDC Warns Again of Salmonella From Pet HedgehogsWhy Some Kids With Eczema Are at Higher Allergy RiskMany Heart Failure Patients Might Safely Reduce Use of DiureticsU.S. Measles Cases for 2019 Already Exceed All Annual Totals Since 1992: CDCForget Fasting Before That Cholesterol TestU.S. Cancer Cases, Deaths Continue to Fall'Controlled Burns' Better for Kids' Health Than Wildfires: StudyHighly Processed Diets Tied to Heart Disease, Earlier DeathHealth Tip: Signs of Irritable Bowel SyndromeA Less Invasive Fix Works Well for Abdominal AneurysmFace Transplants Improve Lives Years Later
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.