The gallbladder is a storage pouch for stomach bile that is used to break down fats and other food substances. Situated between the liver and the stomach, the gallbladder releases bile through ducts into the small intestines as needed for digestion. In some cases, cholesterol or bilirubin within the bile can harden, creating gallstones within the gallbladder, which can lead to complications. At Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor, we offer gallstones treatment at our urgent care center in Los Angeles.
Gallstone Causes and Risks
Gallstones occur when cholesterol released from the liver does not break down correctly, or there is too much bilirubin in the bile. Gallstones may also appear when the gallbladder does not empty completely or as often as needed. Gallstones can be very tiny like grains of sand, or as large as a golf ball. Anyone can have gallstones, but there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of these stones:
- Females are at higher risk
- Over 40
- Liver disease
- High-fat or low-fiber diets
- Losing weight suddenly
- Certain medications
Many people who have gallstones do not have any symptoms. It is possible to have gallstones for years, even decades, without complications.
The most common complications from gallstones involve blockages. If a gallstone is released with bile, it may block one of the bile ducts. Pancreatic bile ducts can be blocked by gallstones, causing intense pain and inflammation in the related organs. The gallstones can also be lodged within the gallbladder neck, resulting in inflammation of the gallbladder. Blockages can result in the following symptoms:
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Shooting pain in between the shoulder blades
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in your right shoulder
When there is intense abdominal pain, fever or jaundice, you should seek medical attention. Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor offers gallstone diagnosis and treatment at our urgent care centers. There are medications that can be used to dissolve or prevent gallstones – severe blockages may require surgery to remove the gallstone.
If you are at high risk for gallstones and are experiencing abdominal pain, you may have gallstone complications. To seek diagnosis or gallstone treatment, contact us at Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor. We offer treatment through our house call service or at our Los Angeles, CA, clinic.