7 Symptoms of Gallstones

Gallstones refer to small stones of the digestive fluid that build in the gallbladder, which is a pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver in the upper abdominal right side. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile, a green-yellow fluid produced in the liver to aid in digestion.

Gallstones may also occur when your gallbladder fails to empty correctly. For your gallbladder to stay healthy, it needs to drain regularly. Failure to do so results in highly concentrated bile, which causes the formation of stones. You may not experience any signs and symptoms of gallstones. However, when the condition blocks the bile duct, you may experience a number of signs and symptoms. It is advisable to seek urgent medical help when the signs and symptoms of gallstones persist to avoid possible complications, including gallbladder cancer, pancreatic duct blockage, and gallbladder inflammation.

1. Back Pain

Gallbladder back pain usually occurs when the stones cause inflammation in the gallbladder. The pain occurs in your upper right abdomen and usually radiates to your lower back. The back pain may also occur when gallstones cause biliary colic. Biliary colic is a gallbladder condition that occurs when gallstones block the small duct that drains the gallbladder. When this happens, the gall bladder fails to empty properly, resulting in a painful sensation that radiates from the upper right abdomen to the lower part of your back.

In most cases, gallbladder stones will not cause any signs and symptoms until the bile duct is blocked. Depending on the extent of the blockage, the pain can last from minutes to hours. Since back pain can be a result of various other conditions, including kidney infection, spinal cord tumor, herniated disc, and infections of the spine, it is important to seek medical help when the pain persists. This will allow you to know the exact cause of the pain. Your doctor will use ultrasound to check if there are any gallstones that have blocked the bile duct.