What are the major differences between kidney stones and gall bladder stones?

What are the major differences between kidney stones and gall bladder stones?

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    What do kidneys do?

    Kidneys are a vital organ in the body to keep our overall health right. Their basic function is to remove the toxins and filter the waste products from the body. Following that it will get converted into urine. Basically, it will keep the chemicals and fluids balanced in the body.

    What do gallbladders do?

    The gallbladder is the organ that is in close relation to the way the liver functions. Its main function is to store the bile which is produced by the liver and then it goes to the small intestine which helps in digesting the food.

    Can stone develop in the kidney and gallbladder?

    Stones in the gallbladder and kidney can occur in anyone. Basically, there is a high risk of developing stones in both these body parts due to the food & drinks we consume.

    What are the Kidney stone and gallstone sizes?

    Well! It can be different for every patient. Usually, it can be the size of small grain or as big as a golf ball. In both of the conditions, the patient can have symptoms like:

    • Nausea
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Feeling sweaty
    • Pain
    • Restlessness
    • Vomiting
    • Pain b/w the shoulders
    • Pain under the ribs

    Apart from these, both of the conditions are different from each other.

    Difference: Kidney Stone Vs GallStone


    Kidney Stone GallStone


    Kidney stones are formed in the urinary tract. They go to the ureters and then the urine flow is stopped.

    Gallstones are formed in the gallbladder. In such conditions, the bile flow is stopped from going to the small intestine.


    Kidney stones are made of crystals of:

    • Oxalate
    • Uric Acid
    • Phosphate
    • Calcium

    Gallstones are made of:

    • Bilirubin

    • Bile salts

    • Cholesterol

    Contributing food

    Some of the food items which make the condition worse are

    beetroot, almost all nuts, tea, tomato, rhubarb, spinach and chocolate. If you drink less water, then also you are at higher risk of getting kidney stones.

    If your diet is filled with unhealthy fats and cholesterol, then there are increased chances of gallstone. You need to limit the consumption of processed food, whole-milk dairy items (butter, cheese, and cream), refined food, high-fat red meat, and fried food

    Risks groups

    People have higher risk of kidney stone who are middle-aged men and especially when the person have history of kidney stone. Sometimes a certain medication can also result in problems as the urine output gets less.

    People from Hispanic and native American-Indian women are at higher risk of gallstone. In case the person have health issues which are mentioned-below can increase the risk also like:

    • Diabetes

    • Obesity

    • Rapid weight loss

    Pain occurrence

    It results in intense and sharp pain which originates from lower back and sides. It is possible that the pain can go to the groin and lower abdomen area.

    It results in intense and sharp pain which originates in the abdomen centre and upper right side.


    50% of men are at increased risk of kidney stones.

    The recurrence is extremely high and therefore, it is suggested to get it treated on time.

    Unique Symptoms

    The pain comes in waves and it is not present all the time. In addition, it can be blood in the urine or hematuria.

    These can result in jaundice which makes the eyes white part as yellow and the skin turns yellow.

    What if you left kidney stones untreated?

    • Abscess in the kidney (pus formation with swelling & inflammation)
    • Kidney serious infection which affects its normal functioning
    • Ureters scarring or narrowing-down (stenosis)
    • Perforation or formation of holes in the ureters
    • Extravasation (result in urine leakage)
    • Severe loss of kidney function can lead to pain, fever, sepsis, and death.
    • Formation of the urinary fistula which occurs between the urinary tract and another organ like bowel or vagina

    What if you left Gallstones untreated?

    • Empyema or pus in the gallbladder
    • It can migrate into the bile ducts and cause injury to bile ducts that affect the liver
    • Various infections within the gallbladder, which can trigger further complications
    • When the gallbladder has bile build up it can get infected (cholecystitis)
    • Due to the size of the gallstone, it can tear the gallbladder or it might get burst
    • Gangrene (gallstone is stuck in the gallbladder opening which affects the blood flow. It might lead to death)


    • In the case of kidney stones when the size is small, then can flush out from the urine. So, you should drink water in excess. To reduce the pain, the doctor will suggest you take pain medications. In case, the size is large then the doctor will suggest lithotripsy which is a minimally invasive procedure.
    • In the case of gallstone, oral medications are suggested. In case the pain is in excess or they occur on a continuous basis then the doctor will suggest getting it removed. For that laparoscopic cholecystectomy is done.

    If you are in doubt that you have any of this issue, then you should consult the medical expert right away. Schedule the appointment, without any delay.

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