What causes gallstones to develop are not fully understood by present day science. However, thanks to research and clinical studies, it is now known that certain groups are more prone to suffering from the condition than others.
Amongst those more likely to encounter problems are: People who experience problems with weight – particularly women, people who have recently experienced significant weight loss, and women who have been pregnant. Women that are on the contraceptive pill, or receiving treatments that include estrogen therapy, may also be at higher risk.
Further studies show that the majority of cases, as high as 80% in some instances, have been caused as a direct result of high cholesterol levels in the liver. Causes of high cholesterol can include an unhealthy diet; where large amounts of processed foods, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods are consumed. Smoking and excessive alcohol can also be contributing factors.
High cholesterol may also be caused by liver disease, genetic complaints, such as hypercholesterolemia or simply the result of advancing age.
In the rarest of cases, gallstones can occur when levels of Bilirubin within the bile are too high. A waste product produced by the body through the breaking down redundant red blood cells, it is not always clear why excessive Bilirubin is produced. Being a rare disorder, only people suffering from certain liver or blood disorders should be affected.
Gallstone symptoms are in themselves also rare, and often not found until investigating another complaint. However, if you are experiencing any significant pain below the ribs, in your back and shoulder, or are feeling nauseous, it could be worthwhile seeking diagnosis from your physician.
Though what causes gallstones is still to be discovered, professional treatment is seldom required. Surgery will only ever be scheduled if; the pain severe, or other complications are apparent.