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Symptoms of Gallstones

Symptoms of Gallstones: Introduction

The types and severity of symptoms of gallstones vary between individuals depending on a variety of factors, such as where the gallstones are located and the size of the stones, and the presence of complications.

Many people have no symptoms or physical problems and may be totally unaware that they have gallstones.

When symptoms do occur they often include severe, sharp epigastric pain, abdominal pain, ride sided abdominal pain, and/or pain that radiates around the right rib cage and into the back. This pain may occur just after eating. A commonly used general term used for the pain caused by gallstones is biliary colic.

Other symptoms may include fever, chills, loss of appetite, jaundice, nausea, and vomiting. The abdomen, especially the right upper area, may be very tender to the touch.

Serious complications of gallstones include the development of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a serious disease of the pancreas, an organ and gland in the upper abdominal area. It is characterized by a sudden and severe inflammation of the pancreas and can be life-threatening and led to other serious complications.

Other complications of gallstones include biliary cirrhosis, peritonitis, and cholangitis....more about Gallstones »

Symptoms of Gallstones

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Gallstones includes the 26 symptoms listed below:

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Gallstones: Symptom Checkers

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Gallstones: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Gallstones: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Gallstones:

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Do I have Gallstones?

Gallstones: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Gallstones:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Gallstones?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Gallstones includes:

Gallstones: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Gallstones:

Gallstones: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Symptoms of gallstones are often called a gallstone "attack" because they occur suddenly. A typical attack can cause

  • Steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen that increases rapidly and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours.
  • Pain in the back between the shoulder blades.
  • Pain under the right shoulder.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

Gallstone attacks often follow fatty meals, and they may occur during the night. Other gallstone symptoms include

  • Abdominal bloating.
  • Recurring intolerance of fatty foods.
  • Colic.
  • Belching.
  • Gas.
  • Indigestion.

People who also have the following symptoms should see a doctor right away:

  • Sweating.
  • Chills.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes.
  • Clay-colored stools.

Many people with gallstones have no symptoms. These patients are said to be asymptomatic, and these stones are called "silent stones." They do not interfere in gallbladder, liver, or pancreas function and do not need treatment. (Source: excerpt from Gallstones: NIDDK)

Dieting and Gallstones: NIDDK (Excerpt)

However, most people with gallstones don't know they have them and experience no symptoms. Painless gallstones are called silent gallstones. For an unfortunate minority, however, gallstones can cause painful attacks. Painful gallstones are called symptomatic gallstones, because they cause symptoms. In rare cases gallstones can cause life-threatening complications. (Source: excerpt from Dieting and Gallstones: NIDDK)

Gallstones: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Most people with gallstones do not have symptoms. They have what are called silent stones. Studies show that most people with silent stones remain symptom free for years and require no treatment. Silent stones usually are detected during a routine medical checkup or examination for another illness. (Source: excerpt from Gallstones: NWHIC)

Gallstones: NWHIC (Excerpt)

A gallstone attack usually is marked by a steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen. Attacks may last only 20 or 30 minutes but more often they last for one to several hours. A gallstone attack may also cause pain in the back between the shoulder blades or in the right shoulder and may cause nausea or vomiting. Attacks may be separated by weeks, months, or even years. Once a true attack occurs, subsequent attacks are much more likely. (Source: excerpt from Gallstones: NWHIC)

Gallstones as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Gallstones, it is also important to consider Gallstones as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Gallstones may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Gallstones as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Gallstones as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Gallstones.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Gallstones:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Gallstones. This signs and symptoms information for Gallstones has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Gallstones signs or Gallstones symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Gallstones may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Gallstones symptoms.


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