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Gallstones vs Kidney Stones - How Are They Different?

Kidney stones are very common among individuals with low water consumption, especially those above the age of 30. It is a well-known phenomenon that many try to avoid with medicines, dietary, and lifestyle changes. It is a growing concern among individuals according to doctors at some of the best nephrology hospitals in India. 

On the other hand, gallbladder stones are very rare and often confused as being similar to kidney stones. The difference between them is vast and understanding gallbladder stones is very crucial. 

Gallbladder Stones - What Are They?

The gallbladder, a little organ under your liver, is where gallstones, solid objects, originate. If you have them, your doctor could diagnose you with cholelithiasis. The gallbladder is an organ whose operation is closely tied to that of the liver. 

It serves as a storage space for the bile the liver secretes, which is subsequently sent to the small intestine to aid in food digestion. Wastes like cholesterol and bilirubin, which your body produces as it breaks down red blood cells, are also carried by bile. 

Gallstones can develop from these things. The size of a gallstone can vary from a grain of sand to a golf ball. They may go unnoticed until they obstruct a bile duct and cause discomfort that needs immediate medical attention. There are two primary types of gallstones:

  • Cholesterol Stones: Typically, they are yellow-green. 80 percent of gallstones are of this kind, making them the most prevalent.
  • Pigment stones: They’re darker and smaller. They are bilirubin-based.


Gallbladder Stones vs Kidney Stones - What Sets Them Apart?

The food and drinks we consume can cause stones to form in the gallbladder and kidneys. In either situation, the stone may be the size of a golf ball or a grain of sand. Additionally, both disorders have several symptoms including nausea, vomiting, restlessness, fever, chills, feeling warm to the touch, discomfort under the ribcage, and pain between the shoulder blades. 

Until they grow large enough to obstruct the normal flow of fluids in their individual physiological systems, they won’t hurt or need treatment. 

The Key differences between these stones are:



  • Urinary tract stones develop into kidney stones. They move through the ureters and obstruct urine flow.
  • The gallbladder produces gallstones that prevent bile from entering the digestive system.


  • Crystals of calcium, phosphate, oxalate, and uric acid make up kidney stones.
  • Cholesterol, bile salts, and bilirubin make up gallstones.

Contributing Foods

  • For kidney stones there are often foods high in salt, calcium, phosphates, or oxalates including beets, tea, tomatoes, rhubarb, practically all nuts, spinach, and chocolate. Kidney stones can develop over time as a result of an excessive intake of certain foods and insufficient water consumption.
  • On the other hand, a diet high in bad fats and cholesterol can cause gallstones. Fried snacks, refined and processed meals, high-fat red meat, and whole-milk dairy goods like butter, cream, and cheese are all included in this.

Risk Group

  • Middle-aged men are more susceptible to kidney stones, especially if they take certain medications, have a history of kidney stones in their family, or have a medical condition that reduces urine production.
  • People with diabetes, individuals that are obese, or have lost a lot of weight quickly are more likely to have gallstones.

Pain Causing Areas

  • A radiating discomfort in the lower abdomen or groyne area, as well as an acute or excruciating ache, are all symptoms of kidney stones.
  • Sharp or excruciating pain in the upper right and middle of the abdomen is a symptom of gallstones.

Distinct Symptoms

  • Kidney stone pain is not constant; instead, it comes and goes in waves. Additionally, hematuria, or blood in the urine is a possibility.
  • Gallstones have the ability to cause Jaundice in many cases.


  • Men who have previously had a kidney stone are at risk of having another one in about 50% of cases.
  • The likelihood of gallstones returning is high, thus the doctor could suggest having the gallbladder removed after a few episodes. It is not a problem to remove the gallbladder because one may survive without it.


  • Small kidney stones are often washed out through the urine by consuming large amounts of water. Painkillers are used to lessen pain. If the stone has gotten rather big, lithotripsy, a minimally invasive surgical technique, is performed.
  • Usually, oral medicine is used to dissolve gallstones. However, the gastroenterologist can suggest removing the gallbladder entirely if they persist or if the pain or symptoms are severe. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a minimally invasive surgery, is used to accomplish this. Following this, the bile fluids leave the liver and go directly into the small intestine without first passing through a gall bladder reservoir.


  • By consuming less oxalate-rich foods and drinking lots of water, kidney stones can be avoided. If you are at risk of kidney stones, a nephrologist, dietician, or nutritionist will give you advice on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid.
  • A balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, complete grains, and healthy fats will help avoid gallbladder stones. Reduce your intake of foods that are high in bad fats and cholesterol.


Understanding these differences can help you identify the cause of pain and approach it the right way. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above, visit the best multispeciality hospital in Vadodara for the right advice from excellent doctors.  Multi-speciality hospitals like Parul Sevashram Hospital have a dedicated Nephrology and Urology department with expert doctors in ensuring your recovery from the pain and disease. They even offer various government schemes like MA Cards and PMJAY for certain departments like Nephrology. The hospital offers Consultation by Nephrologist & Urologist, Haemodialysis, Endourology, Ureteroscopic Retrieval of Stone, PCNL, Uro-oncology, Paediatric Urology, Female Urology & Laparoscopic Surgery, Andrology and Uroflowmetry among other treatments. So, visit the best nephrology hospital in India if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms now!