Definition of Gallstones
Gallstone disease or cholelithiasis is a condition characterized by sudden abdominal pain due to the formation of stones in the gallbladder. Gallstone disease can also occur in the bile ducts.
The gallbladder functions to produce and store bile, which plays an important role in digestive processes, including digesting cholesterol from the food consumed. Most gallstones come from cholesterol deposits that harden and form stones.
Cholelithiasis (cholelithiasis) is generally mild and does not require hospital treatment. However, if gallstones block the bile duct, immediate treatment needs to be done to prevent complications.
Causes and Symptoms of Gallstone Disease
Gallstones are thought to arise due to deposits of cholesterol and bilirubin in the gallbladder. These deposits occur due to bile not being able to dissolve cholesterol and excess bilirubin produced by the liver.
The main symptom of gallstones is pain in the upper right or middle part of the abdomen that appears suddenly. Abdominal pain can also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, heartburn , and diarrhea.
Immediately consult a doctor if you experience the above symptoms, especially if accompanied by fever , chills, jaundice, or abdominal pain that lasts more than 8 hours.
Gallstone Disease Treatment and Prevention
Treatment methods for gallstones include surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) or medications. However, drug administration is rarely done because it is less effective in treating gallstones.
Cholelithiasis can be prevented by eating foods high in fiber and avoiding coconut milk or oily foods. Other prevention efforts that can be done are limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages, exercising regularly, increasing fluid consumption, and avoiding diets that are too strict.