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Know about Gallstones

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    • Millions of people, mostly women, get gallstones, but might not show any symptoms.

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    • The most common symptom of gallstones is biliary colic, a cramping pain in the middle to right upper abdomen. Many people with gallstones never show any symptoms, and gallstones are often found during a routine x-ray or other medical procedures.


    • Many of the risk factors such as age and gender cannot be prevented; being female, over-weight, diabetic or a family history of gallstones are all major risk factors.


    • The most common kind of gallstones are made of cholesterol; cholesterol in the bile — the fluid made by the liver to help in digestion of fats — and not in the blood.


    • Perhaps the most effective way of preventing gallstones is to make lifestyle changes, including changes in diet and losing weight, if you are obese. Fats (particularly saturated fats found in animal products) and high intake of sugar have been associated with an increased risk of gallstone attacks. Diet high in refined carbohydrates — such as in bakery products — can also increase the risk; carbohydrates get converted to sugar in the body.


    • Persons who have a low-fat, high-fibre diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are less likely to develop gallstones.


    • Research at University of Maryland Medical Centre, USA, suggests that drinking coffee can lower the risk of gallstones. Caffeine in coffee is thought to stimulate gallbladder contractions and lower the cholesterol concentrations in the bile.


  • While it isn’t easy to build healthy diet and regular exercise, it is the best thing you can do to prevent gallstones.


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