Gallstone vs. Kidney Stone

Gallstone
Kidney Stone

Kidney stones are hard crystalline structures that are formed within the kidney or urinary tract while gallstones are hard lumps that develop in the gallbladder or bile duct. These stones differ in their position and composition in the body. Kidney stone patients are more likely to be men while gallstone patients are more likely to be women. Both kidney stones and gallstones are often asymptomatic until the stones grow too large, at which time the patient experiences excruciating pain.

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart

Gallstone

Kidney Stone

What is it? They are hard lumps that develop in the gallbladder or bile duct It is a hard crystalline mineral matter formed within the kidney or urinary tract
Medical term Cholelithiasis Nephrolithiasis
Stone type Cholesterol gallstones, pigment gallstones Calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones, cysteine stones
Stone composition Cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, calcium carbonate Minerals and acid salts
Symptoms Pain below ribs, back, right shoulder, nausea, sweating, restlessness and fever Pain below ribs, back, right shoulder, nausea, sweating, restlessness, fever, colicky pain (comes in waves)
Causes Age, ethnicity, obesity, crash diets, oral contraceptives, hereditary, high fat diet, statin drug Dehydration, obesity, calcium supplements, diet, hereditary, age, digestive diseases, hyperuricemia, pregnancy and ethnicity
Gender dominance Female Male
Diagnosis CT scan, cholangiography, cholescintigraphy, blood cholesterol test, jaundice CT scan, ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram
Treatment Cholecystectomy, ursodeoxycholic acid, ERCP, lithotripsy Pain control medications, lithotripsy, inducing polyurea, surgery
Prevention Vegetarian diet, low fat diet Drink more water, avoid food with high oxalate content

Contents: Gallstone vs Kidney Stone

One of the common symptoms for Kidney stone is pain in the abdomen
One of the common symptoms for Kidney stone is pain in the abdomen

edit Causes

edit What causes kidney stones?

Occurrence of Kidney stones is governed by a number of factors like dehydration, obesity, calcium supplements, diet, hereditary, age, digestive diseases, hyperuricemia, pregnancy and ethnicity (Asians and Caucasians have higher propensity).

edit Why do gallstones develop?

Occurrence of gallstones is governed by a number of factors like age, ethnicity (Natives American Indians have higher probability), obesity, crash diets, oral contraceptives, heredity, high fat diet, and statin drug.

edit Symptoms

Kidney stones common symptoms include pain in abdomen, groin or flank. There might also be hematuria (blood in urine), nausea, fever and chills in case of infection.

Gallstones are usually asymptomatic but in certain cases there might be pain below ribs, back and right shoulder, nausea, sweating, restlessness and fever.

edit Stone Characteristics

edit Size of gallstones vs kidney stones

Gallstones vary in size and shape. They are usually small but can grow to be as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder may contain a single large stone or many small stones. Kidney stones also vary in size. Once a kidney stone grows past 3 mm in diameter, it can obstruct the ureter. A vast majority of small kidney stones (less than 5 mm in diameter) pass spontaneously through urination. For larger kidney stones (5 to 10mm diameter), only about half pass spontaneously.

A gallstone
A gallstone
Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones

edit Types of Stones

The stones formed are usually mixed types with one predominant component from which they derive their names. Kidney stones are divided into 4 types: calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones and cysteine stones. Cysteine stones are rare and found in patients suffering from cystinuria, cystinosis, and Fanconi syndrome.

Gallstones are of 2 types: cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones (bilirubin). Pigment gallstones are common among people suffering from liver disease, infected bile tubes or blood disorders.

edit Stone composition

Kidney stones are composed of minerals and acid salts.

Gallstones are composed of cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, calcium carbonate.

edit Diagnosis

Kidney stones can be diagnosed by CT scan, ultrasound and intravenous pyelogram. The medical terminlogy for kidney stones is Nephrolithiasis (from the Greek nephro- (kidney) + lith- (stone) + iasis- (process).

Gallstones are diagnosed by CT scan, cholangiography, cholescintigraphy, blood cholesterol test, and jaundice. The presence of stones in the gallbladder is referred to as cholelithiasis (from the Greek chol- (bile) + lith- (stone) + iasis- (process).

edit Treatment

Kidney stones are treated by pain control medications, lithotripsy, inducing polyurea, and surgery.

Gallstones are treated by cholecystectomy, ursodeoxycholic acid, ERCP, and lithotripsy. Surgical removal of gallstone does not cause any major changes in digestive process.

edit Prevention

Kidney stones can be prevented by drinking more water and avoiding food with high oxalate content.

Gallstones can be prevented by controlling your weight, eating healthy (avoid saturated fats, sugar, carbs) and exercising.

edit References

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us on:

"Gallstone vs Kidney Stone." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 24 Oct 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Gallstone_vs_Kidney_Stone >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »
Top 5 Comparisons

Comments: Gallstone vs Kidney Stone

Comments via Facebook

Anonymous comments (1)

February 22, 2014, 5:17am

I have a kidney stone right now. I wanna shoot myself!

— 68.✗.✗.28
-1

share

Up next

Back Pain vs. Kidney Pain