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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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Gallstones: what are they and what are the symptoms of biliary colic?

Gallstones: what are they and what are the symptoms of biliary colic?

At least two out of ten people have gallstones, mostly asymptomatic. However, every year 1-4% of patients experience biliary colic or other complications related to stones.

But what exactly do gallstones consist of?

Stones are agglomerations ranging in size from a few millimeters to a few centimetres, which form inside the gallbladder, consisting in the majority of cases of cholesterol. Family and lifestyle (eating habits, obesity or even rapid weight loss) are some of the main risk factors. Other factors include pregnancy, due to the greater production of estrogen, as well as hormone replacement therapy during menopause, some drugs, and pathologies related to the liver and intestines.

Biliary colic is characterized by pain, fever, alteration of liver tests and possibly jaundice and complicates gallbladder conditions due to migration of the stone into the common bile duct, a duct that physiologically allows bile to flow from the liver and gallbladder into the intestine. In more serious cases, complications can be acute cholecystitis, cholangitis or acute pancreatitis. The first case is an acute infection of the biliary tract characterized by jaundice and pain and in which the migration of the stone into the common bile duct causes its acute dilation. The second, an acute infection characterized by jaundice and pain, often requires endoscopic surgery to remove the stones. The third is due to the migration of a stone in the common bile duct to the outlet of the pancreatic duct. Symptoms are pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and increased pancreatic enzymes.


Valentina Carlile - Osteopath expert in Osteopathy applied to voice and speech disorders since 2002. For information and reservations visit the page Contacts

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