Health & Beauty

Are Women At Higher Risk for Gallstones?

women-gallstones

A friend of mine recently became diagnosed with gallstones and to her surprise she didn’t know she had. The average person tends to avoid any symptoms instead when you feel pain, you brush it hope thinking is just temporary. Recently a close friend of mine began feeling a sharp pain on her right side to her surprise she had gallstones developing in the past few years.

women-gallstones

Gallstonesare formed when cholesterol and other things found in the bile make stones.  They can also form if the gallbladder does not empty as it should. People who are overweight or who are trying to lose weight are more likely to get gallstones.

Did you know more than 25 million Americans have gallstones, and a million are diagnosed each year? However, only 1-3% of the population complain of symptoms during the course of the year and few have any symptoms at all.

According to University of Miami Medical Center, women are much more likely then men to develop gallstones. Gallstones occur in nearly 25% of women in the U.S by age 60 and as many as 50% by age of 75.  Several factors for this are because estrogen stimulates the liver to remove more cholesterol from blood and divert in into the bile. Another is pregnancy, increases the risk of gallstones, and pregnant women with stones are more likely to have symptoms than non-pregnant women.
Other risk factors include:

  • Overweight and poor dieting
  • Women over 40
  • Genetics
  • High cholesterol
  • High consumption of iron
Symptoms include:
  • Pain starts in the center of the upper  belly and spreads to the right after back or shoulder blade are
  • Prevents you from taking deep breaths
  • Yellowing of the skin and white part of the eyes
  • Dark Urine
  • Fever and chills

Although gallbladder stones can be treated it’s important to listen to your body and get regular checkups.  It’s better to be preventive than to find once is too late.