Risk factors of Gallstones and How to Prevent Gallstones

risk factors of gallstones

What are Gallbladder Stones?

The little, pear-shaped organ in your body called the gallbladder is where gallstones originate. These are concentrated bile components in the shape of pebbles. Bile is made of different components like lecithin, bile salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin. Sometimes, hard pieces called gallstones form in the gallbladder from too much bilirubin or cholesterol. These stones can be as big as a golf ball or as small as a grain of sand.

They get bigger when more stuff gathers, and bile keeps flowing over them. Surprisingly, the smaller stones are more likely to cause trouble. This happens because bigger stones usually stay in one spot, but smaller ones can move around. When these smaller gallstones travel, they can get stuck and block something, causing a problem.

Common Causes of Gallbladder Stones

It's unclear what causes gallbladder stones to form.  According to doctors, gallstones may develop when:

  • The formation of gallbladder stones is usually associated with high levels of cholesterol in the bile. The bile is typically capable of breaking down the cholesterol that is excreted by the liver. In case of excessive cholesterol, your bile cannot break down all of it, and the extra cholesterol may solidify into crystals and eventually become stones.
  • Another major cause of it is having too much bilirubin in the bile. Your body produces the chemical bilirubin when it breaks down red blood cells. Your liver produces excessive amounts of bilirubin when you have specific illnesses such as liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and blood problems. Gallstones occur as a result of elevated bilirubin levels.
  • Gallbladder stones can also occur as a result of improper gallbladder emptying. If your gallbladder does not empty completely or frequently enough, bile can become extremely concentrated, resulting in the production of gallstones.

What are the Risk Factors of Gallstones?

Serious issues related to gallstones include:

  • Gallbladder inflammation (acute cholecystitis). This occurs when a stone prevents your gallbladder from emptying. It results in fever and ongoing pain. If you don't receive treatment at a distance, your gallbladder may rupture or collapse.
  • Blocked bile ducts. Fever, chills, and jaundice—a yellowing of the skin and eyes—may result from this. Pancreatic inflammation, or pancreatitis, can occur if a stone obstructs the duct leading to the organ.
  • Infected bile ducts (acute cholangitis). An infected duct has a higher probability of obstruction. Sepsis is a serious illness that bacteria can cause if they enter your bloodstream.

Natural Methods for Gallstone Prevention

Usually, doctors advise either surgery or medication to cure gallstones. However, a few dietary decisions may help stop gallstones from developing. Discover how to prevent gallstones and discover natural treatments for them by reading further.

Diet - Research discovered that women who eat lots of fruits and vegetables and foods high in dietary fibre might not need surgery to remove their gallbladder as much. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your gallbladder healthy and lowers the chance of getting gallstones. If you enjoy rich or fatty foods like sweets, eggs, or high-fat foods, they could make gallbladder problems worse. Ask your doctor which gallstone foods to avoid, just to be safe.

Controlling weight - Gallstones are more likely to develop in obese people and weight loss can be attributed to gallstone prevention. It is important to note that weight loss has to be done in a consistent and healthy way instead of consuming extremely low calories in an attempt to lose weight. Extreme low-calorie diets can make gallstones more likely to occur. If you're wanting to lose weight, discuss a healthy and sensible weight-loss strategy with your doctor.

Clearing your gallbladder: Your liver may produce more bile than it can break down, which is one of the many possible causes of gallstones. Furthermore, your body may have an overabundance of a pigment called bilirubin that cannot be eliminated. Additionally, the gallbladder won't empty entirely or often enough.

A gallbladder cleaning or flush can help break up gallstones and empty the gallbladder. However, these assertions are unsupported by scientific data. Nonetheless, some people ingest olive oil and fluid for at least two days. They are only allowed to eat the oil mixture during that period. There needs to be a set recipe or blend. Those who have low blood sugar or diabetes may find this combination harmful. Consult your physician before starting any kind of cleansing. Not everyone may find it safe.

Apple juice: Some people think drinking apple juice can help treat gallstones at home. They believe it might soften and break down the stones. But there's no scientific proof for this yet. If you have diabetes, low blood sugar, stomach ulcers, or other medical problems, drinking a lot of apple juice might not be a good idea for you.

Yoga: Some people say doing yoga can help you remove gallstones naturally. There isn't any scientific proof to back up the use of yoga to treat gallstones, even though it might help with some of their symptoms.

Treating Symptoms of Gallstones

Many gallstone sufferers show no symptoms at all. These are frequently discovered while doing an abdominal surgery, standard x-ray, or other medical operation. The following tests are used to identify gallbladder inflammation or gallstones:

  • Ultrasound( abdomen)
  • CT scan (abdomen)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Gallbladder radionuclide scan
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA)

Those who have gallstone symptoms typically need to have their gallbladder removed surgically. Usually, gallstones that don't produce any symptoms or indicators don't require medical attention. In case you get diagnosed with gallstones and also have severe symptoms, the following procedures are used to get rid of the stones.


Endoscopy (ERCP) is used to remove gallstones from your bile ducts. This procedure does not require any cuts and is used to monitor the presence of gallstones. A lengthy tube with a tiny camera is inserted down your throat to where the gallstones are present. Once your doctor decides to remove your gallstones, laparoscopy (a minimally invasive surgery) is used for the same.

The removal of gallstones from your gallbladder involves a cholecystectomy or removal of the gallbladder.


A tiny camera known as a laparoscope is used to operate during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy through "keyhole incisions" made in your abdomen. Your surgeon uses one keyhole to implant the laparoscope while another is used to remove your gallbladder. Comparing smaller incisions to traditional, "open" surgery results in reduced pain after surgery and a quicker recovery period.

Open surgery

Certain individuals may have more complex medical conditions that need to be managed with open surgery. Because of your wider incision, open surgery will require a lengthier healing period both in the hospital and at home. If difficulties arise during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, your surgeon may need to switch to open surgery.