Patient Comments: Gallstones - Symptoms

For gallstones, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Comment from: LC8923, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

When I first experienced gallbladder symptoms I was 3 or 4 months pregnant. I was 19 at the time. It was by far the worst pain I've ever experienced! At that time the pain was located in my ribs and back. I couldn't eat or drink anything without having an attack. I was losing weight instead of gaining and it caused me to have a high risk pregnancy; I got sick all the time so nothing stayed in my body so I was hospitalized until I got healthy enough. And they told me I had gallstones but surgery wasn't an option because my pregnancy has been high risk. Finally when I hit 9 months it stopped! It made me scared to have kids again. But now, 5 years later, I am having attacks again! At first I thought I was having a heart attack! It's been every day and for a few months. Now I have pain through my back, my ribs and up to my chest. I don't get sick like before but I feel sick to my stomach, get cold chills, and get really bad headaches where I can't move or be in light without it hurting 20 times worse. My doctor before made it seem like its nothing serious, but after doing my research I am very worried that after 5 years maybe it is a lot worse. I am going to see a doctor when my insurance goes through and hopefully I can get my gallbladder taken out with no serious problems. These attacks are no joke!

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Comment from: Fariha, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: January 10

One year back I got a severe back and stomach pain. I went to the doctor and got scanned. Then I found that I have 3mm gallstone. Five months back I again got pain in my back total spine and lower back, I am wondering if these symptoms reflect gallstone side effects.

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Comment from: gatita, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I started having gallstones symptoms one year ago that landed me in the emergency room. I was never really diagnosed with gallstones until one year later. The pain I experience is directly under my left breast and covers a radius the size of a golf ball. It's concentrated pressure that requires me to lay down immediately. I take 3 Tums antacid tablets ASAP and it usually subsides within one hour. A few months ago, my episode lasted 4 hours which scared me. That's when I went to the doctor and he started running tests. After an X-ray on my stomach area, he found gallstones so I have an appointment in 3 months with a gastroenterologist.

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Comment from: pedsrn, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

My gallstone symptoms started about a month ago. I woke up in the middle of the night with severe bilateral back pain that radiated under my rib cage. Because I have a history of back problems (including two spinal fusions), I didn't think anything of the back pain. After three nights of waking up with pain, I finally went to see my doctor. Based on my symptoms and my medical history, she sent me for an X-ray of my back. Her thoughts were that some of my hardware had broken or shifted. The X-ray was clear. I went five weeks without another episode. Within the last seven days, I have woken up four nights with right-side back pain that radiates under my rib cage, pain in my mid-upper abdomen, abdominal tenderness, nausea, vomiting, and some chest discomfort. I went for an ultrasound, which revealed multiple gallstones. I have an appointment for this week with a surgeon to discuss my options.

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Comment from: Mary, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

My gallstone symptoms seem to be different than most. I experienced a "recurring flu" five times between March and September 2008. These “flus” gave me incapacitating nausea, vomiting, chills, with diarrhea during the first day of an episode. I called my doctor and requested Zofran (which went generic the past year). Thank God for Zofran, I would have died without it. Each “flu” lasted for a minimum of five days, and I instructed family members to stay away. An ultrasound yesterday revealed one 2 cm and several smaller gallstones. I see the surgeon on Monday to schedule surgery. I'm relieved to know it isn't my pancreas (my doctor suspected pancreatitis), and we know now what the "recurrent flu" was caused by. I'm glad I haven't had a painful attack, as I've heard about and read about here. Hopefully, I'll make it another week or two without that. I live alone and don't know what I'd do without someone to drive me to hospital.

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Comment from: cpl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I had just lost 124 pounds over the last year. A week ago, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with severe pain above my stomach and could hardly breathe because the pain was so bad. Within minutes, I was almost passing out on the bathroom floor, sweating profusely. My husband managed to get me dressed and rushed me to the ER. After two injections of Demerol, the pain began to subside. The blood work showed that my liver and gallbladder enzymes were elevated, and following an ultrasound and bioscan, it was determined that I had gallstones and would require surgery as soon as they could book it. I was sent home. That night I developed a fever, and by 2:30 the next afternoon, I was admitted to the hospital and put on the list for emergency surgery to remove the gallbladder. Two days later I was taken to the operating room. It affected my liver and eventually lead to pancreatitis. Finally, today, my enzyme levels were close to normal, so they sent me home. If I have any more pain or show signs of jaundice, I'll have to go back and have an ERCP. Thank you for the info on here...wish I had the time before going through everything I did to do the research!

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Patient Comments

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Gallstones - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your gallstones?
Gallstones - Causes Question: If known, describe the causes of your gallstones. Have any relatives had problems with gallstones?
Gallstones - Complications Question: Have you ever had any complications of gallstones? If so, what were they?
Gallstones - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with gallstones.

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