Difference Between Kidney And Gallbladder Stones?

Difference Between Kidney And Gallbladder Stones

Difference Between Kidney And Gallbladder Stones – Kidneys are an important organ in the human body. They filter out excessive wastes and fluid from the body. The acid which the cells produce are removed by this organ to help maintain a proper balance of minerals, water, and salts in the body. These minerals comprise calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium in the bloodstream. 

Located underneath the liver lies the gallbladder, another important organ of the digestive system in the human body. It concentrates and stores bile from the liver and then releases it into the small intestine’s first section. This is where the food fats are broken down and absorbed into the body.


Formation of Gallbladder and Kidney Stones

Both these organs play a vital role in the proper functioning of the human body. This is so because one is related to the digestive system while the other is related to the urinary system. However, in certain cases, due to a high cholesterol and fat intake, stones can develop in your gallbladder. Besides, sometimes, your urine may have a higher concentration of crystal-forming substances with respect to the capacity of your to dilute the fluid in your urine. This may result in the formation of kidney stones. 

Such gallstones and kidney stones are just a few millimeters in diameter, however, they can be very painful. These stones are very common and may exist in your body without causing any issues or pain. However, if they grow big enough in order to hinder the usual flow of the fluid in your body, they may require treatment. 

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Difference Between Kidney And Gallbladder Stones

Gallstones V/S Kidney Stones

We have already discussed how these stones are formed in our body. Here are the other differences between the gallstones and kidney stones:


CategoryGallstonesKidney Stones
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Chills and fever
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Back pain which can reach your groin
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Chills and fever
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Increased urine frequency
Where does it hurt?Gallbladder stones create pain in the upper middle part of your abdomen which can radiate under the right portion of your shoulder or even your back.The kidney stones result in sharp pain in the side or lower back of your body and it may even reach your groin or lower abdomen
Treatment Generally, people with gallstones do not require any kind of treatment if they don’t show any kind of symptoms. However, if you face issues with your gallbladder stones, your doctors might advise you to get it removed. This is considered to be a routine surgery and is done laparoscopically.The diameter of your kidney stones will dictate your treatment. If it is less than 10 millimeters in diameter, it can pass itself. Medication will help to mitigate the pain, ease vomiting or nausea, if any, and provide relaxation to your ureter. These processes will help the stone to pass.

However, following are a few surgical options which are minimally invasive:

  • Shockwave lithotripsy
  • Ureteroscopy
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy
Who’s at risk?Mostly common amongst the adults who are middle-aged.

However, there is an increased risk for the following:

  • Adults who are more than 40 years old
  • Women or those who are assigned females when they are born
  • Individuals who consume drugs which are cholesterol-lowering
  • Individuals who have lost weight significantly in a very short span of time
  • Individuals who are overweight or have a body mass index of more than 25
Mostly common amongst the adults who are middle-aged.

However, there is an increased risk for the following:

  • Individuals with a generational history related to kidney stones
  • Individuals who have low urine volumes or fluid intake
  • Individuals who consume diets which have high concentration of animal protein, oxalates, and salt
  • Individuals who have several other health related conditions which influence the concentration of some substances in their urine
PreventionIn order to mitigate the risks associated with gallstones, you must pay attention to the quantity of cholesterol you intake. You can follow these ways:

  • Limit fried foods consumption
  • Replace red meat consumption with that of fish
  • Consume higher quantities of whole grains, vegetables, and fiber fruits
  • Reduce weight eventually
In order to mitigate your chances of developing kidney stones, you must follow the below-mentioned tips:

  • Limit your salt consumption
  • Maintain your body mass index
  • Study your urine for 24 hours and make modifications in your diet accordingly
  • Consume enough fluids in a day to excrete at least 2 liters of urine on a daily basis


Right Time to See a Doctor

It can get difficult to gauge if it is the right time to seek treatment for your gallstones or kidney stones, or it is just your usual abdominal pain. Gallstones are generally in your abdomen’s upper right quadrant, however, it could feel like a pain which is boiling down from your right shoulder or back. If you feel nauseous in such a scenario, you should be careful and visit a doctor immediately. On the other hand, kidney stones result in flank pain which might make you think that you may have back related problems. However, if you get even a slight hint that you may have kidney stones, you must visit a doctor immediately. They will perform certain tests and treatments to figure out the size and the location of your kidney stones. 


Bottom Line

Kidney stones and gallstones share certain common symptoms such as nausea and pain, however, they are two different conditions which demand different treatments. The treatment options for both these conditions may differ and may comprise certain surgical procedures, medications, and several other interventions. If you experience any of the symptoms as mentioned earlier, you must seek medical attention in order to receive proper diagnosis and accurate treatment. Early diagnosis is better for a faster cure. 

However, it is important to note that these treatment procedures can be financially draining, thereby burning a hole in your pockets. It is, therefore, advisable to compare health insurance plans and buy the one that best suits your requirement. A health insurance policy is a smart purchase decision you can make to support your treatment without worrying about your finances.