In the medical field, hepatic colic is also known as biliary colic as it is a condition in which one large stone or many small stones obstruct the natural passage of bile.
Hepatic colic indicates in most cases a malfunction of the gallbladder, but what exactly is it
What are the main risks associated with hepatic colic
What must be done in the case of hepatic colic
Today we will answer all these questions together.

What is hepatic colic
As we have already mentioned in the short introduction, we can refer to hepatic colicalso with the term biliary colic as it is a pathological condition that also involves bile.
Specifically, when we talk about hepatic colic we refer to a very painful condition in which there are stones that obstruct the passage of bile, causing abnormal contractions of the gallbladder, or gallbladder (an organ adjacent to the liver responsible for collecting bile).
It is these contractions that cause intense pain and the pain is so strong that it also involves the surrounding areas, sometimes even reaching the back and right shoulder .
The spasms, or contractions, of the gallbladder become even more acute when the stone is in the main bile duct or rather in that duct known as a choledochus in the medical field.
Since it is precisely the stones that trigger the contractions of the gallbladder, to understand well what are the main causes of hepatic colic and the case of dwelling on the factors that influence the formation of these stones.

What causes hepatic colic
The presence of stones in the gallbladder , in medical jargon, is identified with the term cholelithiasis. When we talk about calculations we are referring to small “pebbles” that can form due to the following factors:

  • The deposit of calcium and bilirubin crystals;
  • The liver produces more cholesterol.

These stones therefore lead to a condition of hepatic colic when they aggregate, hindering the path of bile from the gallbladder to the intestine.

What are the most common symptoms of hepatic colic
To understand if we are suffering from hepatic colic or not, we need to know well the symptoms with which this condition usually occurs. In principle, we can summarize the symptomatological picture of hepatic colic in the following points:

  • Jaundice and subiteration;
  • Nausea vomiting;
  • Sudden attacks of diarrhea
  • The pains manifest themselves in an ascending way, ie they radiate throughout the back, up to involving the right shoulder;
  • The pains are acute and intermittent, they can recur several times throughout the day;
  • Increased body temperature;
  • Chills
  • Feces soft and rather clear.

If we recognize one or more of these symptoms, it is advisable to go to the doctor for a check-up. Surely the doctor will prescribe tests to do or a particular therapeutic treatment which we will discuss more in the next paragraph.

What to do if we are suffering from hepatic colic
Then, the doctor will surely subject us to specific tests to arrive at the certain diagnosis of hepatic colic. Among these exams we remember above all the following:

  • CT scan to evaluate the presence of stones in the gallbladder;
  • Transpapillary Retrograde Cholangiography, also known by the acronym ERCP, is used to identify even the smallest stones found in the choledochus;
  • The iminodiacetic hepatobiliary acid scan also known by the acronym HIDA;
  • Ultrasound, again to identify stones in the gallbladder;
  • MRI.

Among these diagnostic procedures, the most important is certainly transpapillary retrograde cholangiogafia, or ERCP, as it would also allow us to go and remove the stones, during the diagnostic examination.
As regards, however, the treatments provided for hepatic colic, it is necessary to take into account that often these are sporadic episodes, which will tend to disappear completely spontaneously. Consequently, it is usually not necessary to intervene with a drug treatment.
Obviously, however, the doctor will decide what to do. In fact, at times, it can be useful to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or antispasmodics, to relieve the symptoms that are often so painful as to be unbearable for those who suffer from them.
In addition, the doctor may consider it appropriate to intervene with antibiotic drugs in the event that the cause of hepatic colic is bacterial. Only with these drugs, in fact, it is possible to eradicate the bacterial outbreak in progress.
Finally, in the most serious cases, the doctor may deem it necessary to resort to a cholecystectomy, that is the surgical procedure in which the gallbladder is removed laparoscopically. This is a very common intervention in which there are no particularly relevant risks.

How we can change our eating habits to improve the situation
Make changes to our eating habitsand certainly the best way to improve the situation in the case of hepatic colic. In fact, after a hepatic colic it is of fundamental importance to follow a light diet, low in fat and other foods that are difficult to digest.
Among the foods that we recommend you take after a hepatic colic we certainly find the following:

  • Fruit;
  • Vegetables;
  • Partially skimmed milk and yogurt;
  • White meat;
  • The fish;
  • Pane;
  • Cereals;
  • Rusks.

These are just some of the foods recommended after a hepatic colic , but remember to always drink at least one and a half liters of water a day, to promote proper hydration of your body.
Do not forget, however, to stick only to the advice that your doctor will give you, especially as regards your diet as only your doctor can know which foods are most suitable for you.

How we can prevent hepatic colic
As with many other pathological conditions, even in the case of hepatic colic, the best treatment is prevention.
To prevent the onset of hepatic colicIt is important to follow some small precautions such as those mentioned below:

  • Do not do drastic diets , for example those in which fasting is foreseen or those aimed at losing a considerable amount of weight in a short time;
  • Always follow a healthy and balanced diet, which includes the right doses of fruit and vegetables;
  • Do the right physical activity, without exaggerating;
  • Don’t skip meals.

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