The most common symptom of
gallstones is pain in the stomach area or in the
upper right part of the belly, under the ribs.
- Start suddenly in the center of the upper
belly (epigastric area) and spread to the right upper back or shoulder blade
area. It is usually hard to get comfortable. Moving around does not make the
pain go away.
- Prevent you from taking normal or deep
- Last 15 minutes to 24 hours. Continuous pain for 1 to 5
hours is common.
- Begin at night and be severe enough to wake
- Occur after meals.
Gallstone pain can cause vomiting, which may relieve some
of the belly (abdominal) pain and pressure. Pain that occurs with a fever,
nausea, and vomiting or loss of appetite may be a sign of inflammation or
infection of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis). Symptoms that may mean that
a gallstone is blocking the
common bile duct include:
- Yellowing of the skin and the white part of the
- Dark urine.
- A fever and chills.
There are many other conditions that cause similar
symptoms, including heartburn, pain caused by a heart attack, and liver
problems. Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and food poisoning also can cause
symptoms similar to gallstones. Diarrhea and vomiting occur with the flu and
food poisoning, but the pain tends to come and go rather than be constant.
Also, pain with these conditions may be felt all over the belly, rather than in
Belly pain that comes and goes (rather than being
constant) and that occurs with nausea and vomiting and possibly a mild fever is
more likely to be caused by stomach flu or food poisoning than by gallstones.
This is especially true if others around you are sick with similar
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