3 Causes of Gallstones and their Risk Factors

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3 Causes of Gallstones and their Risk Factors
3 Causes of Gallstones and their Risk Factors

The cause of gallstones is not known for certain. However, there are several things that are thought to cause or increase the risk of developing this condition, which is characterized by sudden and intense abdominal pain

Gallstones are generally formed from bile deposits. This fluid consisting of cholesterol and bilirubin is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder before being excreted to digest fat in the small intestine.

3 Causes of Gallstones and their Risk Factors - Alodokter

Imbalance of components and disorders of bile secretion are thought to cause bile to settle and become gallstones.

Various Causes of Gallstones

There are a number of factors that can trigger the formation of gallstones, namely:

1. Too much cholesterol in bile

The most common cause of gallstones is excess cholesterol. In this condition, bile is unable to dissolve excess cholesterol that is excreted from the liver. As a result, cholesterol will accumulate and settle in the gallbladder, then form gallstones.

Excess cholesterol in bile can be caused by several things, namely:

  • Overweight or obese
  • Diabetes
  • Consumption of foods or drinks high in cholesterol, high in sugar, high in fat, and low in fiber, such as fried foods, fast food, and high-fat milk
  • Consumption of fibrates blood cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as gemfibrozil, in the long term
  • Consumption of birth control pills

2. Too much bilirubin in bile

Excess bilirubin can also be a cause of gallstones. Bilirubin itself is the end product of the breakdown of red blood cells or hemolysis in the liver.

Some diseases can cause the breakdown of red blood cells to increase, so that the amount of bilirubin in bile increases. Some of these diseases include:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Bile tract infection
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • thalassemia

When the bilirubin concentration is too high, the bilirubin cannot dissolve in bile. Over time, excess bilirubin will settle and harden into gallstones. Gallstones formed from bilirubin are usually dark brown or black in color.

3. Gallbladder emptying disorder

The gallbladder should need to be emptied regularly so that it is always he althy and can carry out its functions optimally. This emptying normally occurs whenever food arrives in the small intestine.

However, if there are certain conditions or disorders that hinder this process, bile will be retained longer and crystallize in the gallbladder. There are several conditions that can cause this, namely:

  • Chronic cholecystitis
  • Drastic weight loss due to diet
  • Consumption of certain antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone, or proton pump inhibitor drugs in the long term
  • Biliary dyskinesia or reduced ability of the gallbladder to excrete bile

In addition to the various causes of gallstones above, there are several factors that can also increase a person's risk of developing gallstones, namely age over 40 years, female gender, and family history of gallstone disease.

In addition, having liver disease, Crohn's disease, sickle cell anemia, or leukemia, and taking cholesterol-lowering drugs can also cause gallstones.

Although they rarely cause symptoms and complications, gallstones can cause serious conditions. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures against this disease.

Changing your lifestyle is one of the simple ways you can avoid gallstones, for example by maintaining an ideal body weight and improving your daily diet.

If you experience symptoms or have a condition that can increase your risk of developing gallstones, please consult your doctor. That way, the doctor can provide treatment according to the cause of the gallstones experienced.

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