The Difference Between Gallbladder and Kidney Stones

The Difference Between Gallbladder and Kidney Stones

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between kidney stones and gallstones to help you decide what kind of treatment is right for your condition.

Gallbladder stone

What are Gallbladder Stones?

Gallstones are small, pebble-like pieces of material that form in the gallbladder. They can vary in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Most gallstones do not cause symptoms or complications, and many people may never know they have them. However, large gallstones can block the passage of bile, which may cause an infection and inflammation of the gallbladder.

Symptoms of Gallstones

Gallstones can lead to symptoms that include right-sided upper abdominal pain that may spread to your back or shoulder. Other symptoms of gallstones generally result from complications due to gallstones blocking the flow of bile, which can cause inflammation of the gallbladder. Symptoms may include fever and chills, nausea, vomiting, or bloating

Learn more: How To Tell When You Need Gallbladder Surgery & Why It’s Necessary.

Causes of Gallstones

The most common cause of gallstones has too much cholesterol in the bile. Other risk factors include obesity, rapid weight loss, and certain genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, or Wilson’s disease.

Treatment Options for Gallstones

Laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery is the most common treatment for gallstones. This procedure typically requires three small incisions in your abdomen through which a laparoscope, tools, and other devices are inserted to remove the gallbladder. Find your treatment for gall bladder stone removal in long island.

Kidney stones

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are solid pieces of material that form when excess minerals in your urine become concentrated, allowing crystals to stick together and harden. Urine contains chemicals that protect the kidneys from producing stones, but certain people produce too much or too little of these substances or have a component in their urine that promotes stone formation.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

About 10 percent of kidney stones cause symptoms, but the pain can be excruciating with intense spasms and may radiate to your lower back, groin, or abdomen. Other signs of kidney stones include nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. If you have a small stone that remains in your kidney, you may not experience any symptoms until the stone moves and blocks a ureter.

Causes of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones typically form when your urine contains high levels of calcium and other substances that promote the growth and hardening of crystals. This can lead to several types, including calcium stones—Most kidney stones contain calcium. Uric acid stones—Uric acid is a chemical produced during the breakdown of purines, which are found in some foods and produced by your body. Struvite stones form from a combination of urinary tract infections and high levels of the substances that cause infection. Cystine stones—When cysteine, an amino acid that helps build and repair body tissues and muscles, is present in urine that lacks enough substances to prevent it from crystallizing, stones can form.

Treatment Options for Kidney Stones

Suppose your doctor determines your kidney stone does not require immediate removal. In that case, you will be instructed to drink lots of water and follow a special diet to increase urine flow and reduce the risk of further stone formation. In addition, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medications that can help prevent or control symptoms of kidney stones by increasing urine output.

Gallstone vs. kidney stones

Although symptoms for gallstones and kidney stones may be similar, the two conditions have different causes and treatments. Gallstones are bile deposits that form when the liver produces too much cholesterol or bilirubin. In contrast, kidney stones form in the kidneys, typically when your urine contains high levels of calcium and other minerals. If untreated, gallstones do not lead to any long-term harm, but kidney stones can lead to serious medical complications such as infection, chronic pain, or infertility. In addition, people with kidney stones may require medications to control pain and surgery in severe cases.