Gallstones indicate a risk of diabetes

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Patients with gallstones have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Patients with gallstones have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the German Institute for Nutrition Research (DIfE) have published new findings on this in the US scientific journal "American Journal of Epidemiology". Gallstones or kidney stones would occur especially in patients with a "western lifestyle". The biggest problem, however, is that most patients are massively overweight. So far, it has been known that people with type 2 diabetes often produce gallstones, but the reverse context has not yet been established.

In total, the study lasted 7 years. During that time, data from around 25,000 people were evaluated. Of these, 3,300 suffered from gallstones and 2,500 from kidney stones. During the seven years, 850 people developed diabetes. Irrespective of other risk factors such as age, weight and lifestyle, patients with stones in the bile were 1.42 times more likely to suffer from "old age sugar". However, this connection could not be established in the patients with kidney stones.

The author of the study, Cornelia Weikert, pointed to an interplay between blood sugar metabolism and gallstone formation. "Evidence from animal experiments suggests that insulin resistance changes the composition of the bile in such a way that gallstones can develop," says Weikert. It is also known that an inability of the body to respond properly to insulin precedes the development of diabetes. "Gallstones can be a harbinger of diabetes, since both diseases are probably triggered by the same pathobiochemical processes." These results are important because patients with gallstones can now receive more targeted advice and can point out an increased risk of diabetes.

How can gallstone patients take precautions?
Sufficient physical activity is important, weight reduction when indicated and of course a balanced and healthy diet. Get detailed advice from your doctor. There is competent help available for weight loss that can be used. It is important to throw your old habits "overboard" and to rethink your current lifestyle. (sb, January 28, 2010)

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Author and source information

Video: Risk factors of Gallstones. Cholelithiasis. Gallbladder calculi. Cholelith. Choledocholithiasis


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