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Causes of Gallstones

List of causes of Gallstones

Following is a list of causes or underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Gallstones) that could possibly cause Gallstones includes:

More causes:see full list of causes for Gallstones

Causes of Gallstones (Diseases Database):

The follow list shows some of the possible medical causes of Gallstones that are listed by the Diseases Database:

Source: Diseases Database

Gallstones Causes: Risk Factors

The following conditions have been cited in various sources as potentially causal risk factors related to Gallstones:

Race Patterns for Gallstones Causes:

Racial Information for Gallstones: Native Americans have the highest prevalence of gallstones in the United States. Among the Pima... (Source: excerpt from Native American Women's Health: NWHIC) ...more »

Gallstones Causes: Male-Female Gender Ratio

Gender of Patients for Gallstones: women 2:1 men...more »

Gallstones: Related Medical Conditions

To research the causes of Gallstones, consider researching the causes of these these diseases that may be similar, or associated with Gallstones:

Gallstones: Causes and Types

Causes of Types of Gallstones: Review the cause informationfor the various types of Gallstones:

  • Silent gallstones - unknown gallstones without symptoms
  • Symptomatic gallstones - causing symptoms
  • Cholesterol stones - about 80% of cases
  • Pigment stones
  • Mixed stones
  • more types...»

Causes of Broader Categories of Gallstones: Review the causal information about the various more general categories of medical conditions:

Gallstones as a complication of other conditions:

Other conditions that might have Gallstones as a complication may, potentially, be an underlying cause of Gallstones. Our database lists the following as having Gallstones as a complication of that condition:

Gallstones as a symptom:

Conditions listing Gallstones as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Gallstones. Our database lists the following as having Gallstones as a symptom of that condition:

Medications or substances causing Gallstones:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Gallstones as a symptom. This list is incomplete and various other drugs or substances may cause your symptoms. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

What causes Gallstones?

Article excerpts about the causes of Gallstones:

Gallstones: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Cholesterol Stones
Scientists believe cholesterol stones form when bile contains too much cholesterol, too much bilirubin, or not enough bile salts, or when the gallbladder does not empty as it should for some other reason.

Pigment Stones
The cause of pigment stones is uncertain. They tend to develop in people who have cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and hereditary blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia.

Other Factors
It is believed that the mere presence of gallstones may cause more gallstones to develop. However, other factors that contribute to gallstones have been identified, especially for cholesterol stones.

  • Obesity. Obesity is a major risk factor for gallstones, especially in women. A large clinical study showed that being even moderately overweight increases one's risk for developing gallstones. The most likely reason is that obesity tends to reduce the amount of bile salts in bile, resulting in more cholesterol. Obesity also decreases gallbladder emptying.

  • Estrogen. Excess estrogen from pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, or birth control pills appears to increase cholesterol levels in bile and decrease gallbladder movement, both of which can lead to gallstones.

  • Ethnicity. Native Americans have a genetic predisposition to secrete high levels of cholesterol in bile. In fact, they have the highest rates of gallstones in the United States. A majority of Native American men have gallstones by age 60. Among the Pima Indians of Arizona, 70 percent of women have gallstones by age 30. Mexican-American men and women of all ages also have high rates of gallstones.

  • Gender. Women between 20 and 60 years of age are twice as likely to develop gallstones as men.

  • Age. People over age 60 are more likely to develop gallstones than younger people.

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs. Drugs that lower cholesterol levels in blood actually increase the amount of cholesterol secreted in bile. This in turn can increase the risk of gallstones.

  • Diabetes. People with diabetes generally have high levels of fatty acids called triglycerides. These fatty acids increase the risk of gallstones.

  • Rapid weight loss. As the body metabolizes fat during rapid weight loss, it causes the liver to secrete extra cholesterol into bile, which can cause gallstones.

  • Fasting.Fasting decreases gallbladder movement, causing the bile to become overconcentrated with cholesterol, which can lead to gallstones.
(Source: excerpt from Gallstones: NIDDK)

Dieting and Gallstones: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Most researchers believe three conditions are necessary to form gallstones. First, the bile becomes supersaturated with cholesterol, which means the bile contains more cholesterol than the bile salts can dissolve. Second, an imbalance of proteins or other substances in the bile causes the cholesterol to start to crystallize. Third, the gallbladder does not contract enough to empty its bile regularly. (Source: excerpt from Dieting and Gallstones: NIDDK)

Medical news summaries relating to Gallstones:

The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Gallstones:

Related information on causes of Gallstones:

As with all medical conditions, there may be many causal factors. Further relevant information on causes of Gallstones may be found in:


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