Gallstones are hardened collections of bile materials that develop in your gallbladder. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a ping pong ball. Most don’t cause any problems, but they can cause problems if they get loose and travel into your bile ducts. The condition of having gallstones is called cholelithiasis.
When a gallstone causes a persistent blockage or an infection, you’ll have symptoms of acute inflammation. This may include:
You may also begin to show symptoms of bile accumulating in your bloodstream, such as:
While there is no foolproof way to completely prevent gallstones, cholesterol seems to play a major role in their formation. If you have a family history of gallstones, doctors may advise you to limit foods with a high saturated fat content. Some of these foods include: