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Gallstones – Symptoms

May 31, 2021


Symptoms and signs of gallstones can vary. You may experience a sudden and rapidly increasing pain, either in the center or upper right section of your abdomen. Sometimes, this pain may come after you eat foods that have a high fat content. You may also experience back pain between your shoulders, blades or pain in your right shoulder. All other symptoms and signs of gallstones can include bouts of nausea and vomiting. More uncommonly, people may have more non-specific symptoms such as having bouts of indigestion and diarrhea. This is more generally a sign of digestive issues. Still, they can also be attributed to gallstones, as can an increased amount of burping or gas. Sometimes the gallstone can mobilize out of the gallbladder and end up in what we call the common bile duct. This common bile duct essentially connects the gallbladder via the cystic duct to the small intestine. When the common bile duct is occluded by a gallstone, this can cause an obstruction of the flow of bile to the intestine, and you may notice urinary and stool changes. You may find that when you urinate, your urine is darker than usual, and that is due to the bile being excreted in the urine. Similarly, if your stool has changed color and begin to look a little bit clay colored, when the bowel duct is blocked, the bowel can also deposit in the skin causing a characteristic yellow appearance also known as jaundice.

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