Gallstones

What Causes Gallstones?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of gallstones we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow gallstones to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind gallstones consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to gallstones.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • High LDL/HDL Ratio
  • A Weight Problem
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
constant fatigue
mild discomfort when breathing
weak appetite
edema of the eyelids
edema of the hands
recent body hair loss
high sensitivity to bright light
very low HDL cholesterol level
having low-normal TT4 level
difficulty losing weight
suspected liver cirrhosis
short-term low-carb dieting
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of gallstones:
Cause Probability Status
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 90% Confirm
Epstein-Barr Virus 19% Unlikely
A Weight Problem 3% Ruled out
High LDL/HDL Ratio 3% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate gallbladder problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you had a problem with gallstones?
Possible responses:
→ My gallbladder has been removed / don't know
→ No, tests have confirmed none are present
→ Yes, but it/they were passed without surgery
→ Yes, but it/they only cause few/minor symptoms
→ Yes, they cause frequent/major symptoms
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate confirmed absence of gallstones, past non-surgical gallstone removal, having non-problematic gallstones or having problematic gallstones, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Cirrhosis of the Liver

If cirrhosis prevents bile from reaching the gallbladder, a person may develop gallstones as a result.

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)

Bladder dysfunction is said to be a symptom.

LDL/HDL Ratio, High

Gallstone formation does not correlate with blood cholesterol levels, but persons with low HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol) levels or high triglyceride levels are at increased risk.

Problems Caused By Being Overweight

Obesity in both men and women increases the risk for gallstones.  This may be a result of lower levels of bile salts relative to cholesterol in the bile causing a higher risk for cholesterol supersaturation and the formation of stones.

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