What to do about gallstones
Gallstones are one of the most common digestive problems treated in women.
More than 25 million people in the United States have gallstones, and 65% to 75% of them are women. Fortunately, for most people, gallstones are "silent" — they don't cause major symptoms. When they do act up, there are effective ways to address the problem.
What are gallstones?
Gallstones begin with bile, a substance that helps with the digestion of fats and the absorption of certain vitamins. Bile is made in the liver and carried to the gallbladder, a small, pear-shaped organ that concentrates and stores it. The fat in food triggers the release of a hormone that causes the gallbladder to contract and release bile into the intestine.