Symptoms of Gallstones
Symptoms of gallstones can be very painful. Usually gallstones symptoms are:
- Pain in your gallbladder region: Your gallbladder is located right below your liver, on the right side of your body half way between your throat and belly button. The pain can range from a constant, dull ache to sharp, passing pain.
- Abdominal pain: Though your gallbladder may be having issues with gallstones, other parts of your abdomen may hurt as well. The pain can be continual or when your press on a certain part of your abdomen.
- Pain in your right shoulder: Pain from gallstones can radiate to your right shoulder blade.
- Jaundice: The whites of your eyes or your skin can become slightly yellow. This comes from your liver having difficulty filtering your blood when it is full of gallstones.
- Bloating, gas, or different looking stool: As your gallbladder helps with digesting fats, if your gallbladder isn’t working right due to gallstones, it can affect the rest of your digestive tract.
- Fever, nausea, and vomiting: Though these symptoms can be tied to many other health issues such as a flu or food poisoning, they can also be tied to gallstones.
What are Gallstones
Gallstones, or cholelithiasis, are small, rock-like materials that can develop in your gallbladder. Right below your liver is a small, pear-shaped organ – your gallbladder. At a high level, when bile – the fluid stored in your gallbladder – gels and eventually hardens, it becomes gallstones. The liver manufactures bile to digest fats and stores it in the nearby gallbladder.
Testing for Gallstone Symptoms
To test for gallstones, the first thing a medical professional will test is seeing if your abdomen is painful to the touch. They will likely also order blood tests (bilirubin levels, liver tests, and pancreatic enzymes), ultrasounds, CT scans, X-rays, an oral cholecystogram, endoscopic ultrasound, and/or a gallbladder radionuclide exam.
Treatment for Gallstones
If you are having severe abdominal pain, seek immediate medical attention. Often, medical professionals will advise removal of the gallbladder. However, there are many alternatives to removal that allow you to avoid surgery, keep your organs in place, and live a healthy, happy life. Please search this site for alternatives.