Gallstones: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Prevention


Gallstones are hard deposits of one’s digestive fluid that forms in the gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped, small organ on the right side of the abdomen. Gallstones vary in size like a sand grain to the size of a golf ball. The ones that cause some symptoms need removal by surgery.

   Types of Gallstones:

Gallstones comprise a cholesterol mixture, calcium salts of palmitate, or bilirubin. They also include mucin and proteins. Gallstones can be of the following types.

  • Brown pigment gallstones

Brown pigment gallstones have an association with a parasitic infection or bacterial infection of your biliary system. They are usually present in the bile ducts. After cholecystectomy, they can also form stones of the bile duct.

  • Black pigment gallstones

Black pigment gallstones are a result of hemolysis and they have calcium bilirubin.

  • Cholesterol gallstones

Cholesterol gallstones occur due to an environmental or genetic predisposition to bile. The latter gets supersaturated with cholesterol. These gallstones have a mixed composition with low amounts of bilirubin salts and calcium palmitate.

  Risk factors of Gallstones:

  • Being obese or overweight.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Pregnancy
  • High-fat diet.
  • Diabetes
  • A diet low in fiber.
  • Liver disease.
  • A diet is rich in cholesterol.
  • Leukemia and other types of blood disorders.
  • Loss of weight.


  • Try to maintain a proper weight

Obesity can increase your chances of having gallstones. Try to reduce your consumption of calories and increase your physical activity. For this, you can continue to exercise and follow a diet that consists of fruits and vegetables.

  • Eat fiber-rich foods

You can include foods that are rich in fiber like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

  • Do not skip your meals

Try to have your meals at the right time each day. Fasting can increase your risk of having gallstones.


You can contact Dr. Ujwal Zambare if you are suffering from gallstones. His location is at Pune.