What Can Cause An Enlarged Bile Duct?


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Shane Richardson Profile
Enlarged bile ducts can be caused by a number of factors. It is difficult to self-diagnose an enlarged bile duct and so it is always advisable to visit a GP to ensure correct diagnosis. The main causes of an enlarged bile duct are as follows:

• Gallstones

• Cysts in the bile duct

• Bile duct cancer

Gallstones are generally the most likely culprit for an enlarged bile duct. Gallstones are caused by a build up of bile which forms small stone-like clumps. These 'stones' can cause blockages if they get too large and this will lead to an enlarged bile duct.

Since a GP will more than likely be the one to diagnose the problem of an enlarged bile duct, they will generally be able to give the details of the particular causes. The causes are different depending on what has led to the problem in the first place; gallstones, cysts and bile duct cancer will have different causes these can differ person to person. Continuing with the example of gallstones; the root cause of these can be something as simple as a high cholesterol diet. When small, gallstones can remain in the body unnoticed; however symptoms such as cramping and pain when the stones move. It is when these stones move and block the bile duct that they can cause an enlarged bile duct.

If left untreated an enlarged bile duct can result in significant complications and can even result in death (although this would generally be caused by the problem which caused the enlarged bile duct as opposed to the enlarged bile duct itself). Any shooting pain or cramping felt in the bile duct area should be checked out by a GP to determine whether or not there is a problem.

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