Symptoms of Gallstones
About 80% of people who have gallstones have no symptoms. These cases are called “silent gallstones,” which cause no problems and do not require treatment.
For those people who do have symptoms, gallstones often cause pain in the upper abdomen. The “attack” begins suddenly, often after a fatty meal and often during the night.
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Typical Symptoms of an Attack
- Steady and sharp 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 and/or vomiting
- Abdominal bloating
- Recurring intolerance of fatty foods
- Worsening of heartburn
- Abdominal pain after a fatty meal
Contact your healthcare provider
if you have the above symptoms and any of the following:
- Low-grade fever
- Yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes
- Clay-colored stools
Adler DG, Baron TH, et al. ASGE guideline: the role of ERCP in diseases of the biliary tract and the pancreas.
Ahmed A, Cheung RC, et al. Management of gallstones and their complications.
Am Fam Physician.
American College of Gastroenterology
website. Available at: www.acg.gi.org.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
website. Available at:
Portincasa P, Moschetta A, et al. Cholesterol gallstone disease.
Portincasa P, Moschetta A, et al. Gallstone disease: Symptoms and diagnosis of gallbladder stones.
Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol.