Signs and Risk Factors of Gallstones

If you’re having unexplained abdominal pain, it could be traced to a number of culprits, including gallstones, which are crystalline masses in the bile ducts composed of cholesterol, salts and other substances. Even if you don’t think you’re a candidate for gallstones because you’re still young, it’s not something you should write off your list of suspects.

There are a number of telltale symptoms that can help your doctor separate gallstone pain from other sources of upper abdominal pain, so here are 12 signs to keep track of to share with your physician…

Pain in the Abdomen

First and foremost, the telltale signs of gallstones are a pain in the abdomen that comes and goes, especially after fatty meals, notes Women’s Health magazine.

“Gallstone pain is described as an intense, dull discomfort located in the right upper quadrant of the belly,” notes the source. Additionally, “The pain may also radiate to the back and right shoulder in some cases.” This is because your gallbladder is trying to push a stone “the size of a golf ball” through an opening “the size of a straw,” says the source. On the flipside, some people may have gallstones and not even know it.

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Dr. Gerald Morris

Dr. Gerald Morris

Gerald Morris, MD is a family medicine/internal medicine physician with over 20 years expertise in the medical arena. Dr. Morris has spent time as a clinician, clinical research coordinator/manager, medical writer, and instructor. He is a proponent of patient education as a tool in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic medical conditions.

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