What is a Gallstone? – Causes and Types of Gallstones

gallstones-jgp-123What is a gallstone?

A gallstone is a stone that is formed in the bile or gall due to various reasons. Bile is liquid sort of substance that is originated from the liver by the liver cells which is supplied to the intestine for the digestion of food and especially for the digestion of fat. These bile are usually secreted by the liver cells in to canal that is located within the liver itself.

The bile from the canals is then transported to the collecting ducts inside the liver. Then the bile still travels to various other places before it finally reaches the bile duct. Once the bile is stored in the bile duct, the bile can flow away in two possible ways. One is to the intestine and the other is to the cystic duct.

The water in the bile is removed once the bile gets collected in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is the place where the gall stones are formed. They also have a possibility of forming anywhere else. The gallstones formed can move from place to place from within.

What are the causes of gallstones?

The gallstones are more common in the United States and it accounts to about 20 percent of the total population in the United States. Study also shows that, gallstones are even more common in the Mexican Americans than the normal people. Hereditary also plays a vital role in the formation of gallstones.

What are the types of gallstones?

Cholesterol gallstones

The cholesterol gallstones are made up of cholesterol and are the most common type of gallstone formed. It forms about 80 percent of total gallstones in Europe and America. The cholesterol gallstones are more common because cholesterol is also one of the things that are secreted by the liver.

For the transportation of the cholesterol, the cholesterol has to be dissolved in the bile but unfortunately the bile is a watery substance and hence cholesterol does not dissolve because it is a fat. However, to overcome this difficulty the liver secretes two more solutions called the detergent bile acids to dissolve the cholesterol and the lecithin in to the bile.

When the cholesterol is secreted more when compared to the dissolving solutions or vice versa, the extra solutions may stay and form a solid substance in the bile and increase in size eventually. This is called the gallstones.

The formation of cholesterol gallstones can be because of two reasons. One is the abnormal growth of cholesterol particles in to the gallstones. The second reason is the reduced contraction and emptying of the gallbladder that can promote the growth of cholesterol gallstones in the gallbladder. The longer the time the gallstones present, the bigger the size the cholesterol particles in to.

What is a Gallstone? – Causes and Types of Gallstones
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