A gallstone (which may also be written "gall stone") is a hard mass formed in the gall bladder from varying proportions of:
- Bile pigments
- Cholesterol, and
- Calcium salts.
Cause of gall stones:
The formation of gall stones in the gallbladder is called cholelithiasis and occurs when the physical characteristics of bile become such that cholesterol is less soluble.
Symptoms & Effects of gall stones:
- Gall stones may exist for many years without any
However, they may cause
- Severe pain (biliary colic), or they may
- Pass into the common bile duct, leading to obstructive jaundice or cholangitis.
Medical Tests and Treatments for gall stones may involve:
- Gall stones are usually diagnosed using ultrasonography but gall stones that contain calcium may be seen on a standard X-Ray image.
More about the Digestive System:
This section includes pages about:
- Introduction to the Digestive System
- Terminology about Digestion
- Passage through the alimentary tract
- Component Parts of the Digestive System, incl. Teeth, Stomach, Liver, Small Intestine, Large Intestine
- Chemical Processes in the Digestive System (introductory level)
- Diseases and Disorders of the Digestive System
For further information see also our pages of books about gastroenterology.
- The digestive system (introduction)
- Digestive System Terminology
- Main Stages of the Digestive Process
- Transit through the Alimentary Canal
- Absorption Sites
- Structures of the mouth
- Teeth - as part of the digestive system
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
- Digestive System Diseases & Disorders