As per a study, overweight and obese teenagers are more likely to develop gallstones when compared to teenagers who are having the optimum weight.
Gallstones are hard, pebble-like particles that are formed from the bile secretions (a digestive juice produced by the liver) in the gallbladder. The size of a gallstone can vary from a small sized particle of sand to a large golf ball. The gallstones are mainly composed of cholesterol, calcium carbonate and calcium bilirubinate. It is a rare occasion when the stone is composed of none one of these substances, and such stones are known as pure stones.
Gallstones are formed when chemicals such as cholesterol, calcium carbonate and calcium bilirubinate in the gallbladder are out of balance. The different types of gallstones are Cholesterol gallstone and pigment gallstone. Cholesterol gallstone forms when there is too much of cholesterol present in the bile. While pigment gallstones are formed when the bile contains too much of bilirubin.
The cause of the development of gallstones is not clear, but gallstones are more common among overweight or obese people, people who recently lost some weight, people who intentionally lose weight, women who use contraceptive pills, high dose of estrogen therapy, high intake of dietary fat, people over 60 yrs of age, diabetic patients and people who use statins.
Most of the people show no symptoms for gallstones, this is because the stone does not create any problem in the gallbladder. But sometimes the gallbladder leads to inflamed gallbladder known as cholecystitis. The symptoms of gallstones after the gallbladder inflammation includes back pain, pain on the right side of the body just below the ribs, nausea, vomiting, pain in right shoulder, restlessness and sweating. Sometimes, the gallstone moves to the bile duct or duodenum and results in conditions like biliary colic, infection, jaundice and pancreatitis.
The treatment for gallstones is given only when it causes gallbladder inflammation, moved from the bile duct to the intestine or blocks the bile duct. The patient is kept on a low fat diet during the treatment of gallstones. The treatment includes Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of gallbladder), dissolving it with ursodeoxycholic acid, ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatolography) and lithotripsy.
Medication for gallstones are rarely used, and the choice of medication for gallstones are bile acids and vitamin supplements can also be taken, as gallstones can also be formed because of deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin E or calcium.