Gallstones Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and More

Gallstones: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and More

What is Gallstones?

Gallstones are the deposits forming in the gallbladder, a pear-shaped small organ located below the liver on the right side of the abdomen. The gallstone size may vary from small grain to large-sized golf balls.

You may feel nausea, inflammation, and pain after finishing the meal because of the gallstones, which you may mistakenly confuse with the food you have consumed.

There may be other gallbladder issues that may require immediate medical attention in the form of surgery when the gallstone does not let the bile exit the gallbladder. It is the case of cholecystitis when you may severely experience fever and pain.

How common are gallstones?

Approximately, 6% of the population has been affected with biliary tract disease and the problem has been found more in women than men. 

Researchers have found Northern and Northeastern states have the highest number of gallstone cases.

Elderly women and men have been diagnosed with gallstone or biliary tract consumption as a result of excessive consumption of chickpeas and lentils, diabetes, and a high percentage of pollutants and metals in drinking water.


Signs of gallstones are hardly noticeable until it has manifested themselves in large quantities or sizes causing

  • Biliary colic pain may be severe or crampy lasting between weeks and years.
  • Increasing pain due to consumption of fatty foods.
  • Experiencing nausea and vomiting tendencies
  • In further extreme cases, one can experience:
    • i) Fever and chills  
    • ii) an Increase in the speed of heart rate
    • iii) Under eyes skin appearing dark or hollow
    • iv) Urine color changing to dark brown or bright yellow


Diagnosis of gallstones is determined by  varying causes given below:

High cholesterol

Gallstone formation is likely when there is an excess of cholesterol in bile. Cholesterol crystalizes and turns into gallstone

A high percentage of bilirubin

Just as a high percentage of bilirubin can cause jaundice and also trigger the formation of gallstones. Such gallstones are in pigmented form.

Slow movement of the bile

It can be any disease occurring in the bile duct or pregnancy slowing down the motility of bile. Thus bile gets crystallized and turns into gallstones.

Excess fats in the body

Accumulation of unhealthy fats in the body is responsible for type 2 diabetes and so does this condition leads to the formation of crystallized gallstones.

Quick weight loss

Speedy weight loss can put pressure on the liver to discharge excess cholesterol into bile and that can increase the risk of gallstones.

Hereditary factors

Chances of suffering from gallstones are likely for the person whose family’s medical history has gotten with gallstones.

Increasing age and gender 

People are prone to the disease of gallstone in their old age and it affects the womenfolk the most.

Certain medical complications

The problem of gallstones has been noticed in people who have been suffering from diabetes, liver disease and gastrointestinal problems.

Gastrointestinal factors

Gallstones may affect those whose digestive system is not functioning properly or who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.

Poor dietary conditions

Eating readymade or processed food from outside sources may not go well with many people. Such food items are low in fiber and do not go through easily in the digestive tract and impair the bile duct and trigger the formation of gallstones.


One can meet with complications if the gallstones are high in number or size is larger and cause blockage or move to the other part of another section of the digestive tract.

Such advanced life-threatening medical problems seen in several people with gallstones are:

Inflammatory gallbladder

A gallbladder suffers inflammation and infection when the way through the bile duct gets closed by gallstones.


One might experience complications like skin and eyes turning yellow when the gallstones do not let the bile flow from the bile duct. It is a case of Jaundice which is further determined based on the urine color turning darker.

Acute pancreatitis

This complication tends to take away the life of the person when his gallstones block the pancreas. Suffering will be unbearable in the form of high temperature or fever and jaundice conditions.

Cancer of gallbladder

It is a painful stage for the person who has been suffering already from an inflammatory gallbladder for a long period. It requires immediate medical attention in the form of surgery and chemotherapy.

Gallstone ileus

This complication is about the gallstone passing through a channel abnormally opened and blocks the bowel movement and thus causing the problem of fistula.It is one of the rare conditions affecting few but requires urgent treatment.


To avoid and control the risk of the development of gallstones and its life-threatening complications, one needs to follow or make lifestyle alterations like

  • A healthy balanced fiber rich diet comprising of wholegrains, green vegetables and olive oil as a cooking medium. Consuming two tablespoons of olive oil along with specific fruit juice will aid in cleansing the gallbladder.
  • Managing Stress by performing stress-relieving physical activity including yoga reduce the chances of developing cholesterol and fats in the body.
  • Avoiding depending on alcoholism and nicotine and also limiting consumption of saturated fats and processed foods. Such things can increase the risk of cholesterol which may later turn into gallstones.

Management and Treatment

Modern or allopathic 

Modern laparoscopic surgery and allopathic medications for dissolving gallstones

Inflamed and affected gallbladder with gallstones require removal. It would not hamper the digestive metabolism.

Allopathic medications are not very effective in dissolving large amounts of gallstones or larger-sized gallstones.


  • Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy

It is an age-old technique that is prevalent even today because of its ability to alter the abnormal conditions in the body with oils, laxatives and natural diet. It eliminates the problem of gallstones through Vamana, Virechana, Nasya and Basti methods

  • Liver flush

You can combine olive oil, lemon and spices at home and drink it on an empty stomach every morning for three days. This home remedy will ease inflammation and reverse pain and stimulate the gallbladder to release gallstones from the body.

  • Hot pack

Apply a hot compress pack of castor oil in the abdominal area centering the gallbladder. It will boost blood circulation and stimulate the flow of bile after calming down pain and inflammatory conditions.

  • Hingwashtak churna

A powder made up of the following ingredients: saindhav lavan (rock salt), ajmoda (celery seed), saunf (fennel seed), jeera (cumin seed), maricha (black pepper), shunthi (ginger), and hing (asafoetida). This churna stimulates the liver and gallbladder, improves bile flow, dissolves stones, and lessens gas, bloating, and indigestion. It also increases digestive fire and controls pitta dosha elevation.

Ayurvedic Herbs for gallstones

Inflammatory gallbladder and gallstones are the outcomes of the rise of pitta dosha. But you will find relief from such problems by using given herbs like:


Garlic is one of the best foods for good liver health. Eating it daily raw or in fried form will aid in removing gallstones and bile from the gallbladder to the intestines. It will reduce infection and inflammation.


It is an essential cooking spice which is powerful in managing cholesterol stones and protecting the liver and gallbladder from inflammatory conditions.


It is another pain-relieving herb used as a major spice in different recipes. It prevents nausea and vomiting and activates liver enzymes and improves gallbladder function.

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Try Stones Veda for Kidney Stones Removal

When to see the doctor?

Getting in touch with the doctor will bring clarity to the severity level of your gallbladder problem once you have shared your health concerns related to:

  • Experiencing pain and discomfort in the right side of the abdomen.
  • Skin and eyes turning yellow.
  • Suffering from high fever followed by shivering and other digestive problems.


Sizes of gallstones may vary from small to big as golf balls. Though, the gallbladder may not be a vital organ it is responsible for the formation of bile. 

Eating processed and unhealthy fats leads to higher amounts of cholesterol formation which gets crystalized into gallstones. Gallstones may not be life-threatening until it do not block the liver, pancreas and gallbladder.

In some cases, it can disrupt bowel movement. Ayurvedic treatment with panchkarma and different herbs are highly effective in dissolving gallstones.

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