Gallstone disease is the most common disorder affecting the body's digestive system. Bile is a thick fluid, made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It goes in the small intestine to digest fat. Bile contains cholesterol, water, proteins, bilirubin (a breakdown of blood cells), bile salts (it is a chemical necessary to digest fat), and small amounts of other materials. If the chemical balance of bile contains too much of any of these components, particularly the cholesterol, crystals form and can harden into stones.
The prevalence of gallstone disease varies worldwide. High rates occur in the United States, and some of the European countries. In the United States, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of adults have gallstone disease. Gallstones are most common among overweight, middle-aged women. About a million new cases are diagnosed each year, and some 800,000 operations are performed to treat gallstones every year.
Following are the symptoms of the gall stones;
1) Upper stomach (abdomen) pain. This occurs mainly after the fatty meals.
4) Tenderness on stomach.
5) Occasionally Jaundice.
It is a curable disease. The mainstay of the treatment is operation in which gall bladder is removed. This is done by a key hole surgery. Some people who cannot undergo operation may take medicine for the treatment. Medicines needs to be taken for more than 1-2 years and can causes significant diarrhea. The other problem with the medicine is that as soon as it is stopped; stones form again.
Though a gene has not been identified, but it has been seen to run in the families. There are other life style and environmental factors too, for the causative of gall bladder stones, such as;
b) High Cholesterol in blood.
c) Increasing age
I chose this problem because it is one of the commonest surgical disease. I also chose it is because it is fairly preventable ailment. We should aware people that good life style factors like healthy diet, regular exercises and ideal body weight maintenance can prevent the gall bladder stones.
It does affect few individuals;
1) Like fat women of forty to fifty years.
2) Women who use oral contraceptives.
3) Hispanics, Native Americans, and Caucasians of Northern European descent are most likely to be at risk for gallstones. African Americans are at lower risk.
I have a small experience of gall bladder stone disease. One of my Aunt was affected by it and was operated. She is well now.