Gallstones are small, hard masses made from the same material as bile that can cause inflammation and pain. Kidney stones happen when urine builds up in the kidneys and the bladder, forming crystals or other substances.
Both Gallstones and Kidney Stones may seem extremely similar, but they are exceptionally different.
- Gallstones occur in the gallbladder, while kidney stones form in the kidneys.
- Gallstones are caused by excess cholesterol and bilirubin in the bile, while high levels of calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in the urine cause kidney stones.
- Gallstones cause pain in the right upper abdomen and back, while kidney stones cause severe pain in the back, side, and groin.
Gallstones vs Kidney Stones
The difference between Gallstones and Kidney Stones is that Gallstone is a small substance that gets formed in the bile ducts found within the liver and consists of cholesterol and bilirubin, whereas Kidney stones, on the other hand, are more painful to pass and they occur in some people when there is an excessive amount of calcium, oxalate, or phosphate in the urine.
Gallstones occur when a person has a high intake of fat and cholesterol in their diet or if they have a very low iodine level in their body.
Moreover, Gallstone is a small, pebble-like particle that gets formed in the bile ducts found within the liver that is less painful and does not cause any problem for an individual.
Kidney stones may also lead to a type of kidney failure known as diabetic nephropathy. Moreover, Kidney stones are often more painful and cause problems for an individual.
The most common kidney stones are made of calcium, which is found in class C stones.
|Parameters of Comparison||Gallstones||Kidney Stones|
|Definition||A Gallstone is a small, pebble-like particle that gets formed in the bile ducts found within the liver.||Kidney stones happen when urine builds up in the kidneys and the bladder, forming crystals or other substances.|
|Constituents||Cholesterol and bilirubin.||Calcium, oxalate, and phosphate in urine|
|Formation||High fat and cholesterol intake in the diet or very low iodine levels in the body.||Kidney stones happen when urine builds up in the kidneys and diabetes patients.|
|Risk Factors||Inflammation, cancer, blockage of bile ducts, and infections.||Heart disease, painful urination, blood clots, kidney infections, chronic dehydration, diabetes mellitus, and obesity.|
|Symptoms||Discomfort, stomachaches, and diarrhoea.||Inflammation, nausea, stomachaches, discomfort, and pain.|
What are Gallstones?
Gallstones are small, hard masses made from the same material as bile. When present in excess or when a stone becomes too big to pass through a duct inside the gallbladder, it can cause inflammation and pain.
Gallstones occur due to some kinds of liver diseases and some kinds of cancer, but it is rare. In addition, certain kinds of hereditary conditions may cause Gallstones.
Bile is made in the liver, and it filters through the liver into your small intestine to help digest food. It is also made to help break down fat molecules in your food for absorption into your bloodstream.
The composition within bile can vary depending on what you eat, but these differences will also affect the composition of Gallstones.
The cholesterol content of bile is very high, especially when Gallstones are present. The cholesterol content of the Gallstone can be a huge factor in their formation.
Cholesterol stones can form from a high-cholesterol environment, which is often the case with people who have been on drugs or have an unhealthy diet.
The standard weight for a Gallstone is 5 grams, but it may vary depending on your diet and body weight.
Moreover, the stones may sometimes not produce any symptoms, but they still act as an obstruction for the bile ducts and cause all kinds of disorders, including discomfort, stomachaches, and diarrhoea.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones happen when urine builds up in the kidneys and into the bladder, which can then form crystals. As a result, they create a stone that is made of calcium and oxalate and may also include phosphate and magnesium in smaller quantities.
Some kidney stones can be so large they block the outflow of urine from the kidneys. These kidney stones often need to be surgically removed or broken up with high-powered water jet irrigators.
Kidney stones can be deadly if untreated, and they can cause brain damage and even death when they become large enough to obstruct the flow of urine from the kidneys.
Kidney stones may also lead to heart disease, painful urination, blood clots, kidney infections, and urinary obstruction due to blockage of urine outflow from the kidneys.
Kidney stones may also lead to a type of kidney failure known as diabetic nephropathy.
This progressive disease occurs when excess fluid and waste products build up in the kidneys over time, eventually leading to permanent damage and loss of kidney function.
The main risk factors for renal failure are high blood pressure, high levels of albumin in the blood, chronic dehydration, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
Main Differences Between Gallstones and Kidney Stones
- A Gallstone is a small, pebble-like particle that gets formed in the bile ducts found within the liver, whereas Kidney stones happen when urine builds up in the kidneys and into the bladder, which can then form crystals or other substances.
- Gallstones are often formed due to the high intake of fat and cholesterol in diet or very low iodine levels in the body, whereas Kidney stones happen when urine builds up in the kidneys and diabetes patients.
- The major constituents of Gallstones are Cholesterol and bilirubin, whereas the major constituents of Kidney Stones are Calcium, oxalate, and phosphate in the urine.
- The main risk factors for Gallstones are inflammation, cancer, blockage of bile ducts, and infections, whereas the main risk factors for renal failure are heart disease, painful urination, blood clots, kidney infections, chronic dehydration, diabetes mellitus, and obesity.
- The major symptoms of Gallstones are discomfort, stomachaches, and diarrhoea, whereas, in Kidney Stones, inflammation, nausea, stomachaches, discomfort, and pain occur.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.