Gallstones and Bile Duct Stones



Gallstones, which are created in the gallbladder, form when substances in the bile create hard, crystal-like particles. Cholesterol stones, as the name implies, are made of cholesterol and appear light in color. Eighty percent of gallstones are formed this way.

Pigment stones are small, dark stones made of bilirubin and calcium salts that are found in bile. About twenty percent of gallstones are pigment stones. Risk factors for pigment stones include:
- cirrhosis of the liver
- biliary tract infections
- hereditary blood cell disorders (such as sickle cell anemia)

Gallstones can be as small as a grain of salt or as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder may develop many smaller stones, or a single, often large one. It may even develop several thousand stones.

Chronic Pancreatitis



Chronic pancreatitis is different from acute pancreatitis in that the inflammation and damage develop more slowly, and can become increasingly bad over time. The pancreas becomes scarred and loses its ability to make enough digestive enzymes and insulin. Thickening of the pancreatic juices may result in clogging of the pancreatic ducts and pancreatic stones which, along with damage to the ducts themselves can result in aggravation of the pancreatitis due to obstruction.

When chronic pancreatitis occurs in many members of the family, sometimes starting with childhood attacks, it is called familial pancreatitis. A similar form of chronic pancreatitis occurs in tropical countries, often associated with severe malnutrition.

Cholecystitis

Cholecystitis


Cholecystitis refers to inflammation of the gallbladder. Cholecystitis may be either acute or chronic. Acute cholecystitis results from blockage of the outlet of the gallbladder, usually by a gallstone. This leads to a build up of concentrated bile in the gallbladder that may become infected. Many patients with cholecystitis complain of abdominal pain in the upper-right quadrant which usually commences after a meal and can last from minutes to days, but which usually lasts for less than 24 hours. This pain often passes into the back and up to the right shoulder blade.

Other symptoms include fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. The abdomen may be very tender to touch beneath the right ribs. Patients with these symptoms should see their doctor whom may order blood tests, an abdominal ultrasound or possibly a CT scan of the abdomen. The usual treatment for attacks of acute cholecystitis is removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy), usually by laparoscopic surgery.

Cholangitis



Cholangitis refers to inflammation of the common bile duct due to one or more gallstones passing from the gallbladder and becoming lodged, thus obstructing flow of bile from the liver to the small intestine.

Acute Pancreatitis



Acute pancreatitis is usually a sudden and severe illness caused when the pancreas rapidly becomes inflamed. Pancreas enzymes and various poisons (toxins) may enter the blood stream in an acute attack, and injure other organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys. However, the pancreas can return to virtual normality if the cause of the attack is found and treated.

Unfortunately, with some patients, much of the pancreatic tissue is destroyed with severe inflammation occurring along with leakage of enzymes, fluids and poisons. This condition, known as a "hemorrhagic" pancreatitis, causes the pancreas to become very swollen and slushy which can then develop into a collection of fluid and damaged pancreatic tissue called a "pseudocyst". If a pseudocyst becomes infected, it is called a pancreatic abscess.

Also, severe attacks of hemorrhagic pancreatitis result in lowered blood pressure and poor circulation to the skin and other organs. Kidney failure may occur, requiring dialysis treatment.

Mild forms of pancreatitis (so called edematous pancreatitis) may resolve quite quickly, within a few days, without residual damage to the pancreas or other organs.

Intestinal Dysbiosis



Dysbiosis is a term for a microbial imbalance that most often affects a person’s digestive tract. That being said, dysbiosis can also affect the skin, eyes, lungs, ears, nose, sinuses, nails, and vagina.

Dysbiosis is also sometimes called dysbacteriosis or bacterial dysbiosis. That is because the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria to form the gut flora—also called the gut microbe. But, other tiny organisms also reside in the gastrointestinal tract, including yeast, fungus, viruses, and parasites.

The dysbiosis pronunciation is “diss-bi-osis.” Russian-born microbiologist and zoologist, Dr. Elie Metchnikoff, would first coin the term in the 20th century. Dr. Metchnikoff is the first scientist to discover the impact of the properties of probiotics—also known as that “good bacteria.” The terms “dys” and “symbiosis” translate to “not living in harmony.”

The gut, or GI tract, has three major roles: the absorption of nutrients, the digestion of foods while converting food into vitamins, and the prevention of toxins and pathogens from entering your body. There are approximately 500 species of bacteria that make up “the gut flora.” The beneficial bacteria are essential for good digestion and the proper maintenance of the intestines. The most common classification of “good bacteria” will begin with the names “Bifidobacteria,” or “Lactobacillus.”

When the gut flora is balanced, it is called “orthobiosis,” which again is a term introduced by Dr. Metchnikoff in the early 1900s. He considered dysbiosis so serious that is also said, “death begins in the gut.” The issue here is that not all of the friendly organisms in the gut flora are “friendly.” In fact, when there is an overgrowth of bacteria, parasites, fungus, yeast, or other organisms, it can lead to dysbiosis.

Peptic ulcer disease

Peptic ulcer disease


Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is stomach pain.

Peptic ulcers include:
- Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach
- Duodenal ulcers that occur on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum)

The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of aspirin and certain other painkillers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others). Stress and spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcers. However, they can make your symptoms worse.

The Acute Cholecystitis

The Acute Cholecystitis


Acute cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that sits below your liver and helps your body digest fat. Cholecystitis can become very severe and in most cases requires immediate medical attention. See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you have acute cholecystitis. This condition is can become chronic if it persists for a prolonged period of time or if you are having recurring symptoms from the inflammation.

The Cholelithiasis

The Cholelithiasis


Cholelithiasis is the medical name for hard deposits (gallstones) that may form in the gallbladder. Cholelithiasis is common in the United States population. Six percent of adult men and 10% of adult women are affected.

The cause of cholelithiasis is not completely understood, but it is thought to have multiple factors. The gallbladder stores bile and releases it into the small intestine when it is needed for digestion. Gallstones can develop if the bile contains too much cholesterol or too much bilirubin (one of the components of bile), or if the gallbladder is dysfunctional and cannot release the bile.

Different types of gallstones form in cholelithiasis. The most common type, called a cholesterol stone, results from the presence of too much cholesterol in the bile. Another type of stone, called a pigment stone, is formed from excess bilirubin, a waste product created by the breakdown of the red blood cells in the liver. The size and number of gallstones varies in cholelithiasis; the gallbladder can form many small stones or one large stone.

The Biliary Dyskinesia

The Biliary Dyskinesia


Biliary dyskinesia is a quite common disease of the gallbladder. The gallbladder stores the bile which is released by the liver. The bile reaches the small intestine where it digests the fat from aliments. To reach the small intestine, the bile must pass through the common bile duct and if the bile can not be secreted by the gallbladder or can not flow through the common bile duct, then will return in the gallbladder, leading to biliary dyskinesia.

When a person eats, a hormone known as cholecystokinin is secreted by the cells from the intestine. The main action of cholecystokinin is activation of receptors that are distributed in the muscle of the gallbladder, thus producing contraction of gallbladder and the elimination of bile. Then, the bile is cleared from the gallbladder and will reach the small intestine. If a patient is suffering from biliary dyskinesia, then the gallbladder can not contract properly.

At the end of the common bile duct are three muscles that form the sphincter of Oddi. In its action to contract the gallbladder, cholecystokinin it binds to the receptors in the sphincter of Oddi and cause muscle relaxation. In this way the bile is eliminated from the gallbladder and will reach into the small intestine. If the sphincter of Oddi does not work properly, the bile will not pass through common bile duct and will remain in the gallbladder, which will cause biliary dyskinesia.