Ursodiol | Ursodeoxycholic acid – Treatment of Gallstones
Ursodiol (ursodeoxycholic acid) is a secondary bile acid that is naturally produced by intestinal bacteria. It works in the body by decreasing the production of cholesterol and dissolves the cholesterol bile so that it cannot form gallstones. Primary bile acids are produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Once released by the gallbladder the primary bile acids gets metabolized into a secondary bile acid. The metabolism occurs due to intestinal bacteria that accelerate this reaction. Once the primary metabolites are metabolized, such as ursodeoxycholic acid, it is considered to be in its active form to degrade certain nutrients such as fat molecules.
Ursodiol, also known as ursodeoxycholic acid naturally exists in human beings. Ursodiol helps to regulate total body cholesterol by reducing the rate at which it is absorbed. However, if for any reason you do not have enough Ursodiol stored in your gallbladder to break down the cholesterol, then cholesterol begins to form and aggregate in the gallbladder. Since you cannot break down the cholesterol it will continue to collect until they form what is know as a gallstone.
Ursodiol, or ursodeoxycholic acid, is recommended to be given in two doses of 300mg for a total of 600mg per day for the prevention of gallstones in patients after bariatric surgery. This is a great alternative for the treatment of gallstones if you do not want to have surgery. However, the medication is only available in a brand name so it is quite expensive. The other option is to have your gall bladder removed. The procedure is done within just one day and it is a relatively safe procedure.
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