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Common Digestive Woes and How to Treat Them

Common Problem #2: Gallstones

A diet high in fiber can help prevent gallstones Nearly 1 million Americans are diagnosed with gallstones, but only a quarter of those require treatment for them. Treatment to rid the body of gallstones typically means removal of the gallbladder, one of the most common U.S. surgeries.

Removal may be necessary if the stones cause inflammation or infection of the gallbladder, pancreas, or liver. This happens if a stone moving out of the gallbladder gets stuck and blocks the flow of bile in the ducts between the liver and the small intestine.

The pain of a gallstone lodged in a duct has a fairly quick onset. Pain starts usually in the right upper abdomen, between the shoulder blades, or under the right shoulder. Fever, vomiting, nausea, or pain can last more than five hours, and thus a trip to the ER is necessary.

Gallbladder removal can be performed laparoscopically and more recently has been done without an external incision by going through the mouth or vagina.

Make sure you maintain a healthy weight, and a lower-fat and high-fiber diet. Also, talk with Dr. Cofrancesco at GI North in Cumming, GA about risk factors.

© 2013 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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