When the digestive fluid in your gallbladder hardens into solid deposits, they become what is known as gallstones. When gallbladder releases a digestive fluid called bile into the small intestine, the presence of gallstones obstructs the release of it, hampering the digestive process in the body. So, it’s important to know the symptoms and treatment of this problem and it is also essential to know the factors that make you more prone to having gallstones. Matthew Davies discusses here the risk factors of gallstones.
The Risks Factors
- Age and Gender – Though females are most likely to have gallstones, men above the age of sixty have a higher risk of developing them. Women in the age bracket of twenty to sixty are at risk of having gallstones. Pregnant women are also at high risk.
- Lazy lifestyle – When you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you do not exercise much. You tend to eat more, and your calories keep adding up. You are likely to become overweight. All these symptoms of having an inactive lifestyle put you at a higher risk of developing the gallstones.
- Any disease in the digestive system – When you have the surgical removal of the ileum which is a part of the small intestine, you are at risk of having gallstones. Any disease of the gallbladder or its ducts also increases your chances. Any pre-existing incident of gastric bypass brings you in the risk zone as well.
- Other diseases – There are many other illnesses that increase the risk of you developing gallstones. Some of those are blood diseases with chronic hemolysis such as sickle cell anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, Crohn disease, spinal cord injury, hyperthyroidism, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance.
- Genes and ethnicity – Genetic factors also play a role in developing gallstones. You are at an increased risk if your parents or any sibling has a history of developing gallstones. Your ethnic background is also a factor. It has been observed that gallstones are common in Northern Europeans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans, especially Pima Indians.
- Intake of drugs – Research shows that few particular drugs can be associated with the formation of gallstones. The most popular are oral contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy, cholesterol-lowering drugs, ceftriaxone, octreotide, thiazide diuretics, and somatostatin.
- Change in diet – When your body experiences a sudden change in the dietary plan, the release of bile gets affected, and the chances of developing gallstones increases. If you experience rapid weight loss, it causes the liver to secrete extra cholesterol into the bile. When you are fast frequently it decreases the gallbladder movement which makes bile more concentrated with cholesterol, hardening it. Intake of trans-fatty acids is also not recommended.
- Sugar Level – A diabetic patient is more likely to have gallstones. When the body develops insulin resistance or has a high dietary glycemic index or glycemic load your risk factor increases.
According to Matthew Davies, gallstones can cause a lot of pain and risk your health greatly. So, you should keep the factors that accelerate the formation of gallstones to lower your risk of developing them in your body.