The gallbladder is a small organ that sits under the organ and has the primary function of storing bile. Bile is the digestive fluid in the body that is used to help break down fats. It has been found that anywhere from 20 to 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from some type of problem with their gallbladder. One of the most common problems that occurs with the gallbladder is the development of gallstones.
Gallstones are dissolved cholesterol and crystallized blocks of bile that can form in the gallbladder or on the bile duct. The bile duct is what carries the bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine. A gallstone can be as small as a grain of salt or as big as a golf ball. Many people have no symptoms at all when they have gallstones. However, there are several symptoms of gallstones that may occur. Here are seven signs that you may have a gallstone problem.
1. Abdominal Pain
Pain in the abdominal area is a common symptom of many different health issues. However, if you experience a dull pain near your liver, it is a common sign that there are gallstones present. The pain will typically come after you eat and may last for a couple of hours or more before being resolved. Typically, this abdominal pain will be in the upper right part of the abdomen, close to the rib cage.
However, the pain may also go through the shoulder and down into the upper back. Pain after eating a meal can occur just every once in a while or it may happen after every meal. It is more likely to occur after eating a meal that is extra large and contains a lot of fat.
The pain will come and go repeatedly. Ongoing, chronic pain that lasts more than a couple of hours may occur as well and this is suggestive of a more severe issue with the gallbladder.