You’ve probably heard the term float around before. Grown men might have told you it’s their most painful experience as whichever women occupying the room who’ve experienced pregnancy will then proceed to laugh said men out of the room. But what are gallstones? What are kidney stones? Is there a difference?
Gallstones are hardened deposits of your own digestive fluid, usually yellowish in color. Your gallbladder is a rather small, pear-shaped organ in your body to the right of your abdomen, just below your liver. Your gallbladder contains digestive fluid (bile) that’s released into your small intestine that will break down food. A person can have one or many gallstones at a time.
Let’s go over the main responsibilities of the two main organs associated with gallstones and kidney stones (gall bladder, and kidney, respectively). Your kidneys primary purpose is to filter your blood, which will in turn create urine. Your gallbladder, as mentioned above, stores bile that is produced by your liver, aiding in your digestion as well as absorption of fats.
One common misconception is that only men can get gallstones. In fact, women not only can get gallstones, they are at an increased risk to get them!
Gallstones and Kidney Stones
While a gallstone is a hard, stone-like cholesterol or pigment deposit formed inside of your gallbladder, a kidney stone is a solid mass of tiny crystals made of minerals (calcium, oxalate, as well as uric acid). Each organ can produce a stone varying in size from as small as a tiny grain of sand to as large as a golf ball.
Symptoms for gallstones include sharp pains in the upper right abdomen, back pain as well as nausea or vomiting. Kidney stones tend to have similar symptoms as gallstones with the addition of blood in the urine. Kidney pain will also result, as well as urine blockage (in cases of large stones), which is said to cause excruciating pain — hence the “male pregnancy” stigma attached.
But don’t fret. Gallstones can be treated and removed during surgery which will prevent further attacks and pain. Make sure to schedule your consultation at Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health today and we’ll assess your individual situation and circumstances. Depending on the severity of the situation, actigall pills can be used to dissolve your gallstones, if you are a good candidate for this. If inflammation of the gallbladder occurs, surgery might be the better option.
At Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health we’d like to remind you that certain factors can make you at a higher risk of acquiring gallstones and kidney stones. If you have a history of diabetes, if your family has a history of gallstones or kidney stones, or you are experiencing pregnancy or are currently taking birth control pills, you could be at increased risk.