Gallstones are small, hard deposits that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located beneath the liver. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and released into the small intestine to help break down fats. Gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball, and they can consist of various substances, including cholesterol, bilirubin, and calcium salts.
Many people with gallstones do not experience symptoms and may not even be aware they have them. However, when gallstones block the bile ducts or gallbladder, they can cause the following symptoms:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially severe abdominal pain, schedule an appointment with a primary care provider today.
Gallstones can vary in size, shape, and color, depending on the composition of the stone. Here are some common types of gallstones and their characteristics:
Some alternative or natural remedies, like drinking apple cider vinegar or taking certain herbs or supplements, have not been proven to treat gallstones effectively and may even be harmful. Always consult your primary care provider before trying any new treatment or supplement.
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