Who Gets Gallstones?

Did you know there are many risk factors which affect your chances of developing gallstones? If you want to avoid them, it helps a lot to know what these risk factors are.

So, how likely is it that you will grow gallstones? We’ll look at who gets gallstones and the risk you should be aware of.

Common Gallstone Risk Factors

Despite that gallstones are extremely common, some people are more prone to developing them than others. The most common risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Being female
  • Race
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Diet and weight

Gallstones are known to be more common in old age. Your risk increased also if you have a family history of gallstones. So, if your mother or your father suffered with them, there is a higher risk you will suffer with them too.

Women are risked with gallstones more than men. This is especially true with pregnant women who have more Estrogen in their body. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can also increase the risk.

Interestingly, a race factor involved. It discovered that American Indians and Mexican Americans have an increased risk of developing it. American Indians are at risk due to their genes which increase the amount of cholesterol in the bile. American Indians have the highest prevalence of gallstones more than any other race in the US.

Cirrhosis, low HDL cholesterol, haemolytic anemias and diabetes are associated with a higher risk of gallstones.

Diet and weight can also play a role. Those who are obese or have undergone weight-loss surgery, or who are on a high-calorie, low-fiber diet, are all more susceptible of developing gallstones.

Which Risk Factors Can You Control?

Unfortunately, certain risk factors are out of your control. But, there are a some that you do have some control over.

As some gallstones develop because of weight and diet problems, controlling your weight and eating healthy can preventing them. The healthier and fitter you are, the lower your risks of developing gallstones.

If you have medical conditions which will increase risk of gallstones, you can gain control by managing the conditions. Taking medication and reducing the effects of the conditions can prevent the development of gallstones. You can talk to your doctor about the risks and anything you can do to reduce the risk.

Finally, most gallstones cannot be prevented. Anybody can develop them at any age but the older you are, the bigger the risk is. But being aware of the risk factors will gives you a better position to watch out for the symptoms and assess your likelihood of developing gallstones.