Before seeking treatment for gallstones, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis. Understanding the symptoms is a great way to determine whether or not you are dealing with this common condition.
So, what are the symptoms of gallstones you need to watch out for? Here, we’ll look at both the common and uncommon symptoms to be aware of.
The Common Symptoms of Gallstones
There are some common symptoms of gallstones to watch out for, although they could also point to other conditions. However, being aware of the common symptoms can help you to determine whether or not you need to book an appointment with your doctor.
The common symptoms include:
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Unusual stools/urine
These are the most common symptoms, although it’s important to note that in many cases, there are no symptoms at all.
The most common symptom of all is pain in the upper abdomen. This can either be intermittent and mild, or it may be frequent and severe. You may also notice that the pain starts to spread to other areas of the body, such as your shoulder, chest and back.
Nausea and vomiting can be a common symptom of all kinds of gallbladder issues. Meanwhile, changes in your stools or urine can indicate a bile duct blockage. In particular, you’ll want to watch out for dark urine and light-colored stools.
These are the most common symptoms to watch out for, but what about the less common ones?
Uncommon Symptoms to Be Aware Of
There are also a few unusual symptoms of gallstones you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. These include:
- Digestive problems
- Fever and chills
- Chronic diarrhea
While nausea and vomiting are common, digestive problems tend to point more towards chronic gallbladder disease. This includes acid reflux and gas.
Fever and chills can link to signs of an infection. As the gallbladder becomes inflamed from the gallstones, it can cause an infection to develop. If you have this symptom, it’s crucial to seek treatment quickly. An infection that is left untreated can have severe consequences on health.
Chronic diarrhea can also point towards chronic gallbladder disease. In particular, if you are having four or more bowel movements a day for a minimum three-month period, it is likely to be gallbladder disease.
Finally, jaundice is another less common symptom. If you notice your skin is turning a yellow color, it could be down to a blockage of gallstones in the common bile duct.
If you do find you have these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have gallstones. However, it does point towards an issue with the gallbladder. Keep a note of your symptoms and take them with you to the doctor. They will be able to carry out tests depending upon the symptoms you are showing.
Having gallstones properly diagnosed is important. Most do not need any form of treatment. However, if they are causing you pain or distress, a removal of the gallbladder might need to be carried out.