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Gallstones – Risk Factors

People At Risk:


Some of the reasons that may put people at a risk of developing gallstones are



Women in general are at a higher risk of developing gallstones than men due to their hormone levels. The female hormone estrogen significantly increases the discharge of of cholesterol into the bile. Pregnant women are also a a risk of developing gallstones due to the increase in estrogen levels during pregnancy.


Being Overweight:

People who are overweight and fat generally have higher amounts of cholesterol in their bile. Due to this their chances of developing gallstones are naturally higher. Gallstones are therefore less likely to form in people who are fit and thin than in obese people.


Rapid Weight Loss:

Sudden and rapid weight loss may affect a person’s gallbladder causing it to compress and empty out cholesterol less frequently. It is therefore advisable to lose weight gradually and slowly without putting your body into shock. It has also been observed that individuals who have undergone bariatric or gastrointestinal surgery are at a very high risk of developing gallstones in the gallbladder.


Age is also an important factor in which elderly and older people are more susceptible to develop gallstones than younger and healthier people.


Crohn’s disease:

Crohn’s disease, a condition in which the intestines get inflamed may also facilitate the formation of gallstones. This happens because the terminal ileum gets diseased and hence the bile salts that are essential for the solubilization of cholesterolare not absorbed properly into the body.


Also people affected with hemolytic anemia, cirrhosis of the liver and biliary tract infections may develop pigment gallstones which occurs when there is an increased load of bilirubin on the liver.


Next read about gallstones diagnosis

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