A gallstone is a crystalline concretion formed within the gallbladder by accretion of bile components. These calculi are formed in the gallbladder, but may pass distally into other parts of the biliary tract such as the cystic duct, common bile duct, pancreatic duct, or the ampulla of Vater.
Presence of gallstones in the gallbladder may lead to acute cholecystitis, an inflammatory condition characterized by retention of bile in the gallbladder and often secondary infection by intestinal microorganisms, predominantly Escherichia coli and Bacteroides species. Presence of gallstones in other parts of the biliary tract can cause obstruction of the bile ducts, which can lead to serious conditions such as ascending cholangitis or pancreatitis. Either of these two conditions can be life-threatening, and are therefore considered to be medical emergencies.
Though a life threaten disease to rumirants, gallstone is a source of wealth for the rearers. This clay like solid substance, golden brown coloured when dry and fully processed. It is about the size of a peanut or a medium size bitter kola and could be as big as a pigeon’s egg. Sometimes, it can be up to the size of ordinary eggs and weigh between 18 to 20 grammes if wet and unprocessed.
Gallstones are used for medical research in developed countries like USA, Canada, UK and Asian countries. They are usually collected by pharmaceutical companies for further processing.