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Who is at risk for gallstones?

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You're more likely to get gallstones if:

Gallstones are also more likely if they run in your family, and they're likelier among women, older people, and some ethnic groups, including Native Americans and Mexican-Americans.

  • You're obese. This is one of the biggest risk factors. Obesity can raise your cholesterol level and also make it harder for the gallbladder to empty completely.
  • You take birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms, or are pregnant. The extra estrogen is the problem. It can increase cholesterol and make it harder for the gallbladder to empty.
  • You have diabetes. People with this condition tend to have higher levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat), which is a risk factor for gallstones.
  • You take medicine to lower your cholesterol. Some of these drugs boost the amount of cholesterol in bile, which may increase your chances of getting cholesterol stones.
  • You lost weight too quickly. Your liver makes extra cholesterol, which may lead to gallstones.
  • You’re fasting. Your gallbladder may not squeeze as much.

From: Gallstones: What You Should Know WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 28, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCE: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 28, 2018

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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