Patient Comments: Gallstones - Symptoms

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

Published: June 11

I had never experienced symptoms that would lead to a diagnosis of gallbladder disorder until the unfortunate weekend I was on a trip in another state and began to have extreme pain in the middle of my upper abdomen. I thought at first that I might be experiencing gas pains although I had never had them before. The pains got so painful that I couldn't bear to have my abdomen touched at all and I was finally taken to an emergency room over 100 miles from my home. By then I was running a high fever, had a high white blood cell count, low blood pressure, and an elevated alkaline phosphatase level. Transabdominal ultrasonography showed no gallstones, but the wall of the gallbladder apparently was very thickened. A MCRP later revealed that the bile duct was kinked and infection had set in. The blood supply to the gallbladder had been shut off and a confined perforation had occurred before I was taken to surgery. There they removed the gallbladder and nearby infected ligaments and tissues.

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Published: June 09

It started out with a pain dead center of my abdomen that went straight through me. I thought I just had a stomach bug. After a couple of days and the pain becoming severe, I finally went to the ER where they did an ultra sound and told me that I had gallstones. They sent me home with medication and in less than twelve hours I was back at the ER with pain so severe it felt like I was having a heart attack. It was hard to breath it hurt so bad. They did another ultra sound and told me that I had passed a stone and that my gall bladder was full of stones and surgery was a good option. I had the surgery and was home with in twenty four hours. It was so much relief. I did was I was told which I think made it much easier. I did not eat or drink once I knew I was having surgery. I only did clear liquids afterwards and low fat foods. So far so good. The Doctor told my husband that it was a good thing I had the surgery because I would have had problems for years if I had not had it because it was so full of stones.

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Published: May 27

I woke up in the night with pressure in my back and abdomen. It was painful and kept me awake most of the night. I had several of these episodes spread over a year and then I began to have discomfort in my back and right side daily. This is when I was sent for an ultrasound and diagnosed with gallstones.

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Published: May 27

It started in my stomach area and felt a lot like really bad reflux at first. Then it radiated to my upper back, just under my ribs, and was more on the right side of my body. It felt like pressure under my ribs and in my back. It made me feel nauseous and lightheaded, and it was hard to breathe. It was without a doubt, the worst pain I'd ever felt. Within 2 hours of the onset of pain, I couldn't stand up straight because the pain was so severe.

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Comment from: Phoebe72, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I just discovered I have gallstones after two trips to the ER/ED in the last two and a half months. My pain began as a severe clenching pain under my xiphisternum (directly under my ribs in the centre). It was cyclic and lasted 45 minutes or so each time and having just had a baby, I likened it to contractions, but under my ribs rather than in my abdomen. I have also had episodes of back pain centered at the level of my shoulder blades, which I now wonder were related to the gall stones as they were often after eating. I had an ultrasound this morning which revealed a lovely collection (30 or so) small gallstones. At least I now know what it is.

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Published: October 15

I had my gallbladder removed about 1year ago and have been great up until about 1 month ago and have been feeling the same symptoms, the gassy felling in my tummy and the feeling that I am starving, but only need a bite of something to relieve this. Can the gallbladder return?

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Published: October 15

Don't delay in seeking treatment. A friend of mine died when the passing of gallstones caused something to burst, this lead to infection and then his organs shutting down. Then death. All in a period of two weeks.

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Comment from: KP, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

While walking toward my vehicle at a gas station, I had a severe onset of pain, centered above my belly button. It ran across my abdomen, like a belt. Then there was the sensation of not being able to inhale, like a large air bubble was blocking my breathing. Dizziness and fainting sensation overcame me and eventually my knees buckled. I dropped to the ground. I sat upright on the ground, my breathing recovered, but I felt queazy and dizzy. I got inside my car and sat for 15-20 minutes before driving myself to the ER.

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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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