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Passing a gall stone vs. kidney stone : white stool

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i want to know if you can pass a gall stone. my friend said she passed one and her stool was totally white. everything i have read says passing a gall stone is very rare and dangerous and usually requires hospitalization. could it have possibly been a kidney stone that she passed. she said the pain was really bad. i am just wondering what the difference is between passing one or the other

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replied December 10th, 2007
Kidney Conditions Answer A3440
A kidney stone can pass much easier than a gallstone. That is due to the different anatomy and function of the gallbladder and kidneys. Both conditions are very painful.

Pain in gallstones (billiary colic) is due to the spastic peristaltic of the bile ducts (ductus cysticus or ductus choledocus). Billiary colic starts from under right ribcage and radiates to the back side of the body. It is often accompanied by vomiting. If the gallstone gets stuck in the ductus choledocus, bile can't be drained into the intestines so stools become white (aholia) and skin becomes yellow (obstructive jaundice). Gallstones are usually accompanied by inflammation that can cause life threatening complications like gallbladder perforation.

During the passing of kidney stones, pain (renal colic) starts from the lower back side (left or right) and radiates to the front and down to the inguinal region and genitals. Renal colic is often accompanied with false urges for peeing, painful urination and sometimes even bloody urine. If the stone is not very big it can be expelled by the ureter’s peristaltic movements. This peristalsis in fact causes the pain. Drinking a lot of liquids can help expel a kidney stone. If the stone is big, however, it can get stuck in the ureter. In time that ureter will increase its lumen (hydroureter) due to the pressure that urine makes. Pressure will be transferred on the kidney itself and will cause atrophy of the kidney’s parenchyma (hydronephrosis) and its failure.

Both conditions - possible kidney or gallbladder stones - can be diagnosed via abdominal ultrasound.

Gallstones are usually treated surgically by gallbladder laparoscopic removal. Kidney stones can be expelled spontaneously by drinking lot of liquids. If they are not expelled spontaneously they can be broken by ultrasound. The final option for treating gall stones or kidney stones is surgical removal of the stone(s).

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