Signs & Symptoms Gastroenterology

Gallstones
Signs and Symptoms

Many people do not experience any symptoms and are said to have "silent gallstones." Often the gallstones are found when a test is performed to evaluate some other problem. Treatment is only recommended if a person actually experiences symptoms of the condition.

A severe and steady pain in the upper abdomen or right side is the most common symptom of gallstones. The pain, which also may affect the shoulder blades or right shoulder, lasts anywhere from several minutes to hours. In addition, you may experience sweating or vomiting.

In its more advanced and severe stages, gallstones can cause prolonged pain and infection of the gallbladder. Stones that have passed into the bile duct usually result in pain, fever and jaundice, which is yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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