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Biliary colic: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Biliary colic is a medical term used to recognize a reasonably intense pain in the upper abdomen. This alteration may be due to sedimentation, better known as pebbles or calculi, formed by calcium crystals and excess cholesterol and bilirubin found in the bile and accumulated in the gallbladder, being one of the most common pathologies in many sectors of the world population.

Some gallstone patients have pebbles in this organ that are as small as a grain of sand, while others are as large as a golf ball. For this reason, the biliary colic and other symptoms that this disease produces will depend on each particular case.

This discomfort in the upper abdomen area is because one of the stones in the gallbladder, generally in patients with large sedimentations, is expelled into the bile ducts. If you don’t know much about these episodes, in the following FastlyHealarticle, you will find much information about biliary colic: symptoms and treatment.

What is biliary colic, and why does it occur?

Biliary colic, also called gallbladder colic, is a typical episode gallstone patients suffer. The pain occurs when the stones within this organ are expelled into the ducts and usually occur after large meals, or minor is recommended for people with this pathology.

These discomforts can occur after ingesting :

  • Fatty foods.
  • Built-in.
  • Born.
  • Cakes.
  • Pastries.
  • Chocolates.
  • Other unhealthy foods.

These colic are more frequent at night, a few hours after the ingestion of food, and it becomes excruciating.

If the body does not dissolve the stone, it can obstruct the bile ducts and affect the pancreas and liver. However, it may happen that gallstone patients do not suffer any symptoms, although this occurs mainly in people who have small stones in this organ and do not usually represent a danger.

Symptoms of gallstone colic

Due to the site where biliary colic occurs, it may be confused with some other condition, and it is not even given the necessary attention even if the pain is acute. Therefore, it is essential to know how to detect the symptoms that accompany biliary colic, including:

  • Flatulence, stomach gas.
  • Swollen belly
  • Abdominal distention .
  • Slow digestion
  • Dizziness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Pain in the shoulders or back.
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Prickling sensation in the sternum.
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin is known as jaundice.

Treatment for biliary colic

To correctly determine that it is colic due to gallstones and rule out any other disorder, the doctor may choose to perform an abdominal ultrasound to see if the stone exists, where it is, and its size. Also, the specialist may order blood tests to check the functioning of the liver and pancreas.

The treatment of biliary colic will depend on the type of stone causing it; if the rocks in the gallbladder are smaller than 1 cm, the doctor may recommend treatment with oral medications.

If the stones are more significant than 1 cm, the treatment can be based on dissolving them using shock waves. However, there are some instances in which the rocks cannot be dissolved, so the treatment may be surgical, although it all depends on each patient and the professional’s considerations.

This surgery is known as cholecystectomy, and it is a reasonably safe process that does not involve significant risks. Despite this, particular care must be taken into account; for example, patients undergoing this treatment must follow a special diet, which will be indicated by the doctor in charge of supervising the evolution of the pathology.

How to prevent biliary colic

In addition to all the above, biliary colic can be prevented if the factors that prevent the formation of stones in the gallbladder are taken into account, significantly modifying eating habits, reducing fat intake, and controlling body weight. In addition, it is highly recommended to drink plenty of water, between 2 and 5 liters per day in hot seasons or after rigorous physical exercise.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Biliary colic: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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