Gallstones, also called cholestasis, is one of the most frequent pathologies of the digestive system. It is defined as the presence of stones in the gallbladder or ducts, which can cause obstructive problems. The size of gallstones can range from the size of a grain of sand to that of a golf ball.
Most cases of gallstones occur asymptomatically, that is, without obvious symptoms that alert the problem. And in symptomatic cases, biliary colic is the main symptom, although an episode of acute cholecystitis may appear directly.
Acute cholecystitis is the main complication of gallstones. It is characterized by causing inflammation of the gallbladder along with other discomforts such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and restlessness. There are two types of stones associated with this pathology:
- Cholesterol lithiasis: represents 75% of the cases of gallstones in the West. Its formation takes place by alterations in the metabolism of bile acids and cholesterol.
- Pigmentary lithiasis: it is produced by abnormalities in the metabolism of bilirubin (pigment present in bile). It accounts for 25% of the prevalence of gallstones.