What causes gallstones is not exactly clear. Some medical professionals believe that it may be caused by an excess amount of cholesterol being released from the liver. Usually, the bile from your gallbladder will contain enough chemicals to break down any cholesterol. However, suppose your liver excretes more cholesterol than your bowel can break down. In that case, the excess cholesterol may begin to crystallize and eventually turn into stones. These gallstones are usually yellow and are sometimes known as cholesterol gallstones. Another theory is that your bowel may contain too much bilirubin. Bilirubin is a chemical that is produced when your body breaks down red blood cells. Suppose you have a liver condition such as cirrhosis, a biliary tract infection or certain blood disorders. In that case, your liver may produce too much bilirubin. An excess of bilirubin typically contributes to formation of gallstones. When this occurs, the gallstones may appear dark, brown or black in color. And this type of gallstone is known as pigment gallstones. Gallstones may also be caused by your gallbladder failing to empty completely, or often enough. When this happens, the excess bile may become very concentrated, which might cause gallstones to form.
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