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How Can You Tell If You Have Gallstones?

Most people who have gallstones have no signs. These gallstones are called “silent gallstones” and do not need to be treated.

In some people, a gallstone may become stuck in the narrow canal, or duct, that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine. The blockage may cause the gallbladder, ducts, or more rarely, the liver or pancreas to become inflamed.

Signs of gallstones or a gallstone attack include these:

  • severe pain in the upper-right side of theabdomen that starts suddenly and lasts from 30 minutes to many hours
  • pain under the right shoulder or in the right shoulder blade
  • indigestion after eating foods high in fat or protein, including desserts and fried foods

Gallstone attacks often take place during the night.

Symptoms of a serious gallbladder attack

You may want to seek help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • abdominal pain that lasts more than 5 hours
  • clay-colored stools
  • fever or chills
  • nausea and vomiting
  • yellowish colour of the skin or of the whites of the eyes