Seek immediate medical care if you are having some of these symptoms.
Your gallbladder is a small organ below the liver in the upper right abdomen. It’s a pouch that stores bile, a green-yellow liquid that helps with digestion. Your gallbladder stores and releases bile, a fluid made in your liver, to help indigestion. Bile also carries wastes like cholesterol and bilirubin, which your body makes when it breaks down red blood cells. These things can form gallstones.
Gallstones are stone-like objects that develop in the gallbladder or bile ducts (the pipe-like system within the liver). Gallstones can range dramatically in size, from tiny grains of sand to golf ball-sized objects. Interestingly, small stones can often cause the most trouble. These are stones that can leave the gallbladder and get stuck. Larger stones tend to remain quietly in the gallbladder. It is important to know that many people who have gallstones are never bothered by them and may not know the stones are even there. In these cases, no treatment is needed.
Gallstones can lead to pain in the upper right abdomen. You may start to have gallbladder pain from time to time when you eat foods that are high in fat, such as fried foods. The pain doesn’t usually last more than a few hours.
Gallstones symptoms may include:
Pain in the upper mid-abdomen or upper right abdomen. (Pain that lasts several hours)
Associated pain in the right shoulder.
Nausea and vomiting.
Fever or chills
Repeated similar episodes.
Jaundice (Yellowing of skin or whites of eyes).
These symptoms may be signs of a serious infection or inflammation of the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas. Gallstone symptoms may be similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as appendicitis, ulcers, pancreatitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, all of which should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Gallstone complications can occur if your bile ducts stay blocked. Left untreated, blockages of the bile ducts or pancreatic ducts can be fatal. Seek immediate medical care if you are having some of these symptoms.