Health Tip: Risk Factors for Gallstones

Wednesday, September 19, 2007; 12:00 AM

(HealthDay News) -- Gallstones are formed when bile inside the gallbladder hardens into rock-like pieces. They may or may not be painful, and may have to be removed or broken apart if they're causing problems such as infection.

Here are common risk factors for gallstones, courtesy of the U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse:

Retaining excess estrogen, from pregnancy, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. Having a family history of gallstones. Being overweight or obese.Undergoing excessive, rapid weight loss, which can be characteristic of fad dieting. Eating a diet low in fiber and high in cholesterol and fat. Having diabetes.

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