What is gallbladder sludge?

(Last Updated: Nov 28, 2007)


Gallbladder sludge is tiny stone like structure developed in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ present below the liver in the human body.

Formation of sludge of gallstones results from excess amount of bile liquid in the gall bladder. This bile liquid helps the body in digesting fat and when there is excess of it present in the body; it hardens and forms a stone like structure.

Bile is stored in the gall bladder that pushes the liquid to the small intestine through a common bile duct. This aids in faster digestion. Bile contains cholesterol, water, fats, proteins, bile salts, and bilirubin. Bile salts aid in breaking salts and bilirubin provides a yellowish-brown color to bile and stool. If the bile present in the gall bladder contains too much cholesterol, salts, or bilirubin, it can harden and form gallbladder sludge.

There are two types of gallbladder sludge or gallstones, cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol gallbladder stones are made of hardened cholesterol and are usually yellow-green in color. Pigment stones are made of bilirubin and form small, dark stones that hamper the functioning of the gall bladder.

Gallstones or sludge can vary in size, ranging from a size of sand grain to a golf ball. It can either form one large stone or various small stones, blocking the normal flow of bile. This further causes inflammation in the gallbladder, the ducts as well the liver.

Read more about: Gall Bladder Stones Symptoms

answered by J


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