The Causes of Gallbladder Attacks

I. Introduction: It is estimated that approxiamately 10 to 20 percent of the population in the United States and Western Europe are currently being affected by Gallbladder attacks.
Thesis statement: These attacks are mainly caused by the development of gallstones in the gallbladder. II. Definition.

III. Causes.

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D.Age and gender
IV. Symptoms.

A.Chronic indigestion
B.Sudden, steady and moderate-to- intense pain in your upper abdomen
C.Nausea and vomiting
V. Diagnosis.

It might sound interesting to explore the reason why so many people are currently being affected by these attacks. According to statistics, 1 out of 8 men and 1 out of 4 women will have gallstones or gallbladder problems before they reach the age of 60.

What then is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder according to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary is the pear shaped reservoir for the bile on the posteroinferior surface of the liver, between the right and the left quadrate lobe, from its neck the cystic duct projects to join the common bile duct’. The function of the gallbladder in the human body is to solve and concentrate bile, which is produced by the liver and is necessary for proper digestion of fats.

What are Gallstones?
Gallstones form when the liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. The liquid, called bile is used to help the body digest fats. Bile is made in the liver, and then stored in the gallbladder until the body needs to digest fat. At that time, the gallbladder contracts and pushes the bile into a tubecalled the common bile ductthat carries it to the small intestine, where it help with digestion.

Bile contains water, cholesterol, fats, bile salts, proteins, and bilirubin. Bile salts breaks up fats, and bilirubin gives bile and stool a yellowish color. If the liquid bile contains too much cholesterol, bile salts, or bilirubin, under certain conditions it can harden into stones. They may occur as a simple, large stone or many small ones. Gallstones are mixtures of compound, but are mostly cholesterol.

According to studies many people have gallstones and never know it. Matter of fact, gallstones often cause no symptoms and require no treatment. But in about 20 percent of people, gallstones can cause painful attacks.
Gallstones are caused by a good number of factors. Obesity is one of the major risk factors for gallstones, especially in women. A large clinical study showed that being even moderately overweight increases one’s risk for developing gallstones.
Secondly, excess estrogen from pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills appears to increase cholesterol levels in bile and decrease gallbladder movement, both of which can lead to gallstones.

Ethnicity is another important factor. According to scientists, Native Americans have a genetic predisposition to secrete high levels of cholesterol in bile. In fact, they have the highest rates of gallstones in the United States. A majority of Native American men have gallstones by age 60. Among the Pima Indians of Arizona, 70 percent of women have gallstones by age 30. Mexican-Americans men and women of all ages also have high rates of gallstones.

The fourth factor is Cholesterol-lowering drugs. Drugs that lower cholesterol levels in blood actually increase the amount of cholesterol secreted in bile. This in turn can increase the risk of gallstones.

Another factor is rapid weight loss. As the body metabolizes fat during rapid weight loss, it causes the liver to secrete extra cholesterol into bile, which can cause gallstones.

Gallstones may sometimes cause certain symptoms. These symptoms include Chronic Indigestion, which have symptoms such as nausea, heartburn and bloating.

Sudden, steady and moderate-to-intense pain in your upper abdomen is another more serious problem- a gallbladder attack. This pain usually begins shortly after eating and last from 15 minutes to several hours.

Nausea and vomiting sometimes occurs with a gallbladder attack, accompanied by abdominal bloating, recurring intolerance of fatty foods, colic, gas and belching.
According to research, Gallstones, especially silent stones are essentially diagnosed by accident, usually during test for other diseases. But when suspected, the doctor is likely to conduct an ultrasound examination. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images in organs. Sound waves are sent toward the gallbladder through a handheld device that a technician glides over the abdomen. If the gallstones are present, the sound waves will bounce them off, showing their location.

Another test for gallstones is Cholecystogram or Cholescintigraphy where the patient is injected with a special iodine dye, and x-rays are taken of the gallbladder over a period of time. The purpose of the test is to reveal the position of the gallbladder.

In the past, the diagnosis and treatment of gallbladder posed a huge problem to scientist and doctors at large, but in modern times quite a few methods of reliable treatments are available to sufferers of this disease.

There are basically, two methods of treatment of gallbladder namely, Surgical and Non-Surgical treatment. Surgical treatment is the most common way to threat gallstones, with a type of surgery called Cholecystectomy. The Non-Surgical approaches are used only in specific situations such as when a patient’s condition prevents using an anesthetic. In such cases, Oral dissolution therapy is used.

In conclusion, 1 out of 10 people are at risk for gallbladder attacks. Gallstones are the main reason for these attacks. If you’re older, a female or overweight and have a sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in fat and sugar, you pose to be a potential candidate for these painful attacks.

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
Mayo Clinic Health Information. “What are Gallstones?” 11 Nov 2000<>
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. “Gallstones.”<>