Most cases of gallstones don't cause any symptoms. But ifa gallstoneblocks one of the bile ducts, it can cause sudden, severe abdominal pain, known as biliary colic.
Other symptoms may developif the blockage is more severe ordevelops in another part of the digestive system.
Gallstonescan causesudden, severe abdominal pain that usually lasts one to five hours(although it can sometimes last just a few minutes).
The pain can be felt:
The pain is constant and isn't relieved when you go to the toilet, pass wind or are sick.It's sometimes triggered by eating fatty foods, butmay occur at any time of dayand it may wake you up during the night.
Biliary colic doesn't happen often. After an episode of pain, it may be several weeks or months before you experience another episode.
Some people also have periods where they sweat excessively and feel sick or vomit.
Whengallstones cause episodes of biliary colic, it is known as 'uncomplicated gallstone disease'.
In a small number of people, gallstones can cause more serious problems if they obstruct the flow of bile for longer periods or move into other organs (such as the pancreas or small bowel).
If this happens,youmay develop:
Doctors refer to this more severe condition as 'complicated gallstone disease'.
Gallstones are small stones, usually made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder. In most cases they do not cause any symptoms and do not need to be treated.
The most common symptom of gallstones is sudden, severe abdominal pain, known as biliary colic.
Gallstones are thought to be caused by an imbalance in the chemical make-up of bile inside the gallbladder. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver to aid digestion
Gallstones are often discovered during tests for a different condition, as they often don't cause any symptoms.
The treatment plan for gallbladder conditions will depend on how the symptoms are affecting your daily life.
In a small number of people with gallstones, serious problems can develop if the gallstones cause a severe blockage or move into another part of the digestive system.