Causes and Risk Factors
Bile, or the greenish-brown fluid
that is made of bile salts, fatty
compounds, cholesterol, and other
elements, is produced by the liver
to aid in digesting fat in the
small intestine. Bile is concentrated
and stored in the gallbladder,
which eventually releases bile
to aid in the digestive process.
A chemical imbalance of bile causes
gallstones to form that may vary
in size and in number.
mentioned earlier, there are two
types of gallstones: cholesterol
gallstones and pigment gallstones.
A high cholesterol level in the
bile of an individual, which is
not related to a high cholesterol
level in the blood stream, is
one of the causes of gallstone
formation. Incomplete or infrequent
emptying of the gallbladder leads
to a high concentration of bile
and eventually contributes to
the formation of gallstones. This
may occur because of several factors
including maintenance of a very
low-calorie diet, skipping meals,
rapid weight loss, and pregnancy.
Females, people over the age of
40, and those who are overweight
are more likely to develop gallstones.
The condition also seems to be
more prevalent among the individuals
of Asian and European origin.