Cholelithiasis signs and symptoms

Stones in the gallbladder may not show any symptoms at all for many years. It is estimated that about two-thirds of patients with cholelithiasis have no symptoms and in many cases, gallstones are being discovered by accident, during the unrelated abdominal ultrasound. Once gallbladder stone symptoms occur, they vary from barely noticeable to very severe and troublesome.

Gallbladder stones mild symptoms

Not infected cholelithiasis. If gallstones just “sit” quietly in the gallbladder, the patient will feel no symptoms at all or mild symptoms will occur. Patients with a mild form of gallstone disease may suffer from:

  • General discomfort in the abdomen,
  • Indigestion,
  • Heartburn,
  • Belching,
  • Abdominal bloating,
  • Nausea,
  • Feeling of fullness,
  • Stifle sensation around ​the right hypochondriac region

Such ailments often follow some dietary error – eating fatty and hard to digest food or simply overeating. They occur whenever gallstones irritate the mucous membrane of the gallbladder, disrupting its work. A mild form of gallstone disease can be successfully managed with proper diet and supplementation, yet it is important to get the doctor’s opinion and diagnosis first, to rule out any other possible causes.

Gallstone severe symptoms

Biliary Colic (Gallstone attack/gallbladder attack) is very common in gallstone disease and often seen as the main clinical symptom that guides the physician to the diagnosis. Symptoms of biliary colic include pain that can be described as:

  • Sudden,
  • Paroxysmal,
  • Acute,
  • Unusually strong,
  • Located in the epigastric region,
  • Radiating to the right shoulder or intercostal area

Symptoms associated with biliary colic can usually be relieved with painkillers, for example, metamizole, paracetamol or diastolic agents such as papaverine, hyoscine, and drotaverine, but every colic episode should be consulted with the physician. Get more information on biliary colic symptoms and treatment here.

Cholecystitis symptoms. This serious condition is one of the complications of chronic cholelithiasis. It is accompanied by a dull ache in the right hypochondrium, abdominal distension, and various dyspeptic ailments. Symptoms of acute cholecystitis and biliary colic are very similar, but cholecystitis is a very serious, life-threatening condition that in most cases must be resolved with surgery. If initial pain cannot be relieved with painkillers within an hour or so- seek medical help immediately. See more info on gallstone disease complications here.