Before we proceed to the discussion about the signs and symptoms of gallbladder stones, please take note of the following points about the gallstone size:
- Gallstones vary in size. Some can be as small as grains of sand, while others are as huge as golf balls. The gallbladder may have one huge stone or a hundred small ones. At times, there is a mixture of big and small stones.
- The smaller stones are often more dangerous. Bigger stones that sit quietly in the gallbladder often do not cause symptoms. However, smaller stones can move out of the gallbladder and get stuck on the bile ducts, causing more harm. If the smaller stones block the common bile duct, it can cause an infection called cholangitis. Additionally, it can also result in pancreatitis or the inflammation of the pancreas.
The Signs and Symptoms of Gallbladder Stones
A lot of people may have gallstones and not be bothered by them. However, if the stones cause blockage in the bile ducts, you may be symptomatic. The following are the most common signs and symptoms of gallbladder stones.
Among the signs and symptoms of gallbladder stones, gallbladder attack is perhaps the most common. In simpler terms, a gallbladder attack is a pain in the gallbladder. You can feel it in the upper abdomen, either in the right upper side or the mid-upper side. You can describe the pain as “sudden and intensifying.”
The gallbladder attack may last from 15 minutes to several hours. Commonly, it’ll disappear in a period of 1 to 3 hours. Although the attacks are painful and quite long-lasting, there’s no need to panic. The pain itself is not considered a medical emergency.
Pain in Other Locations
Aside from the abdominal pain, a person who has gallstones may also experience pain on other parts of their body, including:
- Right shoulder
- Between the shoulder blades
Other Signs and Symptoms of Gallbladder Stones
Pain associated with gallbladder stones may be accompanied by: