The gall bladder is one of the organs in the body that helps in the digestion process. It is a tiny pouch-like organ situated under the liver, and stores bile – to aid the digestive process – fluids, fat, and cholesterol. Gall bladder stones refer to a widely-known medical condition affecting gall bladder when there are hardened deposits of excessive amounts of cholesterol, bile salts, or bilirubin.
One thing to note about gallstones is that many people who have it are not even aware of their condition. The problem becomes noticeable only when it begins to create other health problems like pain, inflammation, or infection. Hence, it is crucial to keep a check on your health always and seek medical attention when required without any delay.
In this article, we shall discuss the causes and symptoms of gallstones and the right medical care for treating this condition.
Gall Bladder Stones: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors
In the majority of the cases, excess cholesterol in the bile produced by the liver can result in gallstones that are yellowish in colour. In other cases, brown-coloured gallstones are formed from a chemical known as calcium bilirubinate.
The risk factors for gall bladder stones include:
- Eating high-cholesterol foods
- Low amounts of fibre in the diet
- Diabetes mellitus
- Drastic weight loss
- Family medical history
- Certain medications
The gallstones may range in size from being as tiny as a grain to as large as a golf ball. Usually, surgery becomes an effective treatment option if a person shows symptoms of gallbladder stones and experiences discomfort. The symptoms include:
- Sudden intense pain in the upper right abdomen area or centre of the abdomen
- Pain in the back between the shoulder blades or only in the right shoulder
- Digestive problems, including acid reflux, gas, vomiting, and nausea
Gallbladder Stone Treatment Options
A medical professional can identify if a person has gall bladder stones, with the help of a physical examination and diagnostic tests like ultrasound, blood tests, and abdominal CT scan. Gallstones usually do not require any major treatment unless they start to cause pain and discomfort. In some cases, medication may become necessary. However, for a majority of patients, simple lifestyle changes prove to be the ideal solution for curing the condition. That includes:
- Managing a healthy weight
- Treating obesity with gradual weight loss techniques
- Adopting a healthy diet containing anti-inflammatory foods
- Going for exercises regularly
- Adding nutritional supplements like Vitamin C and Iron
Herbal remedies, as recommended in some alternative treatments, work best in treating such health conditions. For instance, citrus fruits, lemon juice and olive oil are known to cleanse the gallbladder.
For some individuals, doctors may recommend laparoscopic surgery for surgical removal of the gallbladder. This procedure for gallstones treatment is called Cholecystectomy.
Manage Treatment Costs with Health Insurance
Having to undergo surgery can make one anxious. Yet, it is a solution that will help you return to a healthier life once again. It also involves a lot of financial planning, considering the surgery costs, follow-up visits, etc. In India, the cost of surgery for gall bladder removal can cost you anywhere between Rs 60,000 to Rs 2 Lakh.
It is challenging to deal with medical expenses without any financial back-up. Hence, a health insurance policy becomes the need of the hour, as it protects you in times of a medical emergency. More importantly, it offers the facility of cashless medical treatment, so you do not have to face any hassle when undergoing surgery.
Take a step to good health by opting for a health cover by Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare Health Insurance). Care by CHI is a comprehensive cover that will offer coverage for gallbladder stone treatment. Make sure you read the policy documents to know the waiting period and other details for a hassle-free claim settlement.