Gallbladder Pain (Gall Bladder Pain) (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Gallbladder pain definition
- What are the causes of gallbladder pain?
- What is biliary colic?
- What are the symptoms associated with gallbladder pain?
- How is the cause of gallbladder pain diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of gallbladder pain?
- Home remedies
- What are the complications of gallbladder pain?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are the symptoms associated with gallbladder pain?
Gallbladder pain may vary; many people with gallstones never experience pain. However, there are some variations in gallbladder pain that help the doctor to make a diagnosis.
- Biliary colic (intermittent duct blockage): Sudden and rapidly increasing pain (ache or pressure) in the right upper abdomen or epigastric area; some people will have pain radiating to the right shoulder and/or also develop nausea and vomiting. The pain usually subsides in about 1 to 5 hours although a mild ache may persist for about a day.
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of gallbladder tissue secondary to duct blockage): severe steady pain in the right upper abdomen that may radiate to the right shoulder or back, abdominal tenderness when touched or pressed, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and bloating; discomfort lasts longer than with biliary colic.
- Acalculous cholecystitis (no gallstones) has similar symptoms to cholecystitis but occurs as a complication of other problems like trauma or burns; patients have severe symptoms and appear very ill.
- Pancreatitis: Gallstones from the gallbladder can block the pancreatic duct and cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) with upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the back, tender abdomen, more pain after eating, with nausea and vomiting.
- Ascending cholangitis (or simply cholangitis or infection of the biliary system) causes fever, abdominal pain, jaundice and even hypotension (low blood pressure), and confusion; it is a medical emergency.
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