Gallstones are stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones (formed in the gallbladder) can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. There can be just one large stone, hundreds of tiny stones, or any combination. The majority of gallstones do not cause signs or symptoms; however, when they do occur the primary sign is biliary colic. Symptoms of biliary colic are constant pain for 15 minutes to 4-5 hours, and it may vary in intensity; nausea, severe pain that does not worsen with movement; and pain beneath the sternum. Treatment of gallstones depends upon the patient and the clinical situation. Read more: Gallstones (Pain, Symptoms, Causes, Diet, and Treatment) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Fat and Fats Quiz: Fatty Food & Body Fat Percentage
Take this online Fat & Fats Quiz to learn if you really are what you eat!...
Belly Fat Foods Quiz
Is belly fat deadly? What kinds of foods are good and bad for belly fat? Take this quiz to learn about belly fat, how it can be...
Belly (Abdominal) Fat Quiz: Test Your Belly Fat IQ
Did you know there is a medical term for belly fat? Find out what it is and learn why getting rid of belly fat may be the best...
Stomach Pain Quiz: Nausea & Other Causes
Tummy Troubles? Get a better idea of what's causing the nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, pain, and other...
Crohn's Disease Quiz
What causes Crohn's disease? What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? How is Crohn's treated? Take this quiz to get the facts...
Alcohol Quiz: Alcoholism & Health Effects
Take the Alcohol (Alcoholism) Quiz to learn how your alcohol is processed by your body and your brain....
Liver Disease Quiz: Fatty Liver Disease, Cirrhosis & Symptoms
What is liver disease? Take the Liver Disease Quiz and test your knowledge about this organ and its function....
Picture of Cholesterol
Cholesterol carried in particles of low density (LDL cholesterol) is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels...
Picture of Liver
Front View of the Liver. The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. See a picture of the Liver...
Picture of Gallbladder
Front View of the Gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pouch that sits just under the liver. See a picture of the Gallbladder...
Picture of Abdomen
The abdomen (commonly called the belly) is the body space between the thorax (chest) and pelvis. See a picture of the Abdomen and...
Picture of Jaundice
Often, physiologic jaundice -- the type seen in most newborns -- does not require treatment. See a picture of Jaundice and learn...
Lower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
Need to lower your cholesterol levels? Use these smart diet tips to quickly and easily lower your blood cholesterol levels....
Alcohol Abuse: 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking
Read about the health risks of chronic heavy or binge drinking. Anemia, cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease and many more...
How to Get Rid of Nausea and Vomiting
What is nausea? Do you want to know how to get rid of nausea and how to stop vomiting? Learn home remedies for nausea,...
Super Tips to Boost Digestive Health: Bloating, Constipation, and More
Upset stomach? Some foods may be the culprits, and bad habits may be to blame. Treat your body right with these simple nutrition...
What's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?
Get the facts on the most common causes of abdominal pain. Learn the difference between a stomachache and more serious causes of...
Worst Foods for Digestion
Discover which foods to avoid in order to prevent diarrhea and digestive problems. Find out which foods can trigger diarrhea and...
Crohn's Disease Causes, Symptoms, Diet
What is Crohn's disease? Get more information on this digestive disorder and how Crohn's can affect your diet. Learn more about...
Cholesterol: High Triglyceride Foods to Avoid
High triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease. Lower triglyceride levels and reduce cholesterol by eating foods that...
Digestive Health: 10 Probiotic Foods That Help Digestion
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeasts found in probiotic foods and fermented products like kimchi, kombucha, and kefir....
Your Face: A Window Into Your Health
What medical problems appear on your face? Look into the mirror and find out. Jaundice, glaucoma, skin cancer, and cracked lips...
Related Disease Conditions
Liver (Anatomy and Function)
The liver is the largest gland and organ in the body. There are a variety of liver diseases caused by liver inflammation,...
Cholesterol (Lowering Your Cholesterol)
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride...
Cirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral...
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
Pancreatitis (Acute, Chronic) Symptoms, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic....
Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia)
Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell disease), a blood disease which shortens life expectancy, is cause by an inherited abnormal...
Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are...
Jaundice (Hyperbilirubinemia in Adults)
Jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) in adults may be caused by a variety of medical diseases or conditions. Some cases of jaundice can...
Diarrhea (Causes, Medicine, Remedies, Treatment)
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal...
Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas,...
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as...
The Digestion Process (Organs and Functions)
Digestion is the complex process of turning the food you eat into the energy you need to survive. The digestive process also...
Nausea and Vomiting (Causes, Natural Remedies, Diet, Medication)
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms...
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough,...
Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from...
Gallbladder cancer is a rare form of cancer with symptoms that include jaundice, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting,...
Choledochal cysts are cysts of the bile ducts. There are several different types of choledochal cysts. These cysts are...
Sepsis (blood poisoning) is a potentially deadly infection with signs and symptoms that include elevated heart rate, low or high...
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions
Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease,...
Gangrene may result when blood flow to a tissue is lost or not adequate to keep the tissue alive. There are two types of...
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases such as: gallstones, high...
Fast-food consumption and lack of exercise are just a couple of causes of childhood obesity. Health effects of childhood obesity...
Gallbladder Pain (Gall Bladder Pain)
Gallbladder pain (often misspelled "gall bladder") is generally produced by of five problems, biliary colic, cholecystitis,...
How to Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is naturally produced by the body, and is a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein...
Is Sepsis Contagious?
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening infection that may be caused by: bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. Sepsis...
How to Lower Triglycerides Naturally
Trigylcerides are fatty molecules that travel in the bloodstream. Excess sugar and fat can increase triglyceride levels....
Bilirubin (Bilirubin Test)
Bilirubin is a waste product of the normal breakdown of red blood cells in the liver. Normal bilirubin levels vary from lab to...
Spherocytosis (Hereditary, HS)
Hereditary spherocytosis is a blood disorder that is inherited. In hereditary spherocytosis the red blood cells are sphere shaped...
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Differences, Normal Ranges, Meanings)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad"...
Crohn's Disease vs. Ulcerative Colitis (UC): Differences and Similarities
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that cause inflammation of part of or the entire digestive tract (GI)....
Local ResourcesFind a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography)
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)
- Questions To Ask Before Surgery
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
- Liver Blood Tests (Normal, Low, and High Ranges & Results)
- Endoscopic Ultrasound
- Triglycerides (Tests and Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels)
- Cholescintigraphy, HIDA Scan
- Hormone Therapy
- Intravenous Cholangiogram
- Duodenal Biliary Drainage
- Oral Cholecystogram
- Liver-Related Procedures and Tests
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Alcohol FAQs
- Fat and Fats FAQs
- Tummy Trouble FAQs
- Liver Disease FAQs
- Belly Abdominal Fat FAQs
- Crohn's Disease FAQs
- Belly Fat Foods FAQs
- Abdominal Pain Causes
- Ashcroft Surgery for Gallstone Pancreatitis
- Gallstones' Bark Is Bigger Than Its Bite
- What Is a Hospitalist?
- Doctors Answer Digestion Questions
- What Is Biliary Sludge?
- Can you pass gallstones?
- Abdominal Adhesions
- Ask the Experts - Gastroentrology (Digestion)
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Patients OK With Fewer Opioids After Gallbladder Surgery
- Is Surgery Always Necessary for Gallstones?
- Weight-Loss Surgery Offers Long-Term Benefit to Very Obese Teens
- Health Tip: Health Risks of Childhood Obesity
- Gallstones Linked to Higher Heart Disease Risk
- Health Tip: Going Low-Calorie?
- FDA Approves Redesign of Endoscope Tied to Infections
- Patients Have Many Options When Faced With Gallbladder Disease
- 2 Deaths, Scores of Potential 'Superbug' Infections at UCLA Med Center
- Less May Be More When It Comes to Gallbladder Surgery
- Health Tip: Losing Weight? Reduce Your Risk of Gallstones
- Stent to Treat Pancreatic Cysts Approved
- Complications More Likely With Emergency Gallbladder Surgery: Study
- Hormone Pills in Menopause May Carry Gallstone Side Effects
- Gattex Approved for Short Bowel Syndrome
- Gallstones in Kids, Teens Linked to Obesity
- Health Tip: Am I at Risk for Gallstones?
- Eating Vegetables May Protect Pancreas, Study Suggests
- Drug May Prevent Pancreatitis After Digestive Procedure
- Coffee May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter