How Can You Tell If You Have Stomach Or Gallbladder Pain?
A gallbladder attack often comes as an unpleasant surprise and many sufferers don’t understand what is happening when they first experience the aching, miserable gallbladder pain. The sensation of sudden, intense cramping is usually felt in the upper, right abdomen and often shortly after a meal. However, pain related to gallstones blocking a bile duct, (biliary colic) can be severe, last for hours and radiate to other areas of the body. For some people, pain in the chest or back causes alarm due to similarities with heart attack symptoms. As well, Nausea and vomiting which may accompany the deep pain of a gallbladder attack draws attention to the stomach right away. Though the guess that it’s, “something you ate” is in a sense, true, the pan in the stomach region in this case is not coming from the stomach at all.
In most cases, we don’t think about our gallbladder and it functions quietly in the background of our digestive system, carefully storing and regulating the bile produced by our liver. When consuming fat in our diet, the gallbladder is stimulated to release the right amount of bile to assist with emulsifying the fats so that we can digest them. Fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E,D,A and K are assisted in absorption by the bile released into the small intestine. A lack of adequate bile flow for any reason makes digesting fat difficult and symptoms arise.
Gallbladder disfunction due to biliary sludge or a blockage often causes symptoms of indigestion along with gallbladder pain. This can be experienced as gas and bloating or diarrhea.
Common gallbladder stones symptoms that may be mistaken for digestive disorder symptoms may include:
- Intense pain in the upper right abdomen, under the ribs
- Pain in the center of the abdomen, which may feel like heartburn or a heart attack
- Pain in the mid/upper back
- Pain which radiates into the right shoulder
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain late at night
- Indigestion such as gas and bloating after eating
Without treatment, chronic gallbladder disease or bile duct blockage can lead to:
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
- Darkened urine and light stools
- Severe abdominal pain that lasts several hours
- Gallbladder cancer
If your pain is severe and you experience fever and chills it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In rare cases, and infected gallbladder can rupture, and serious complications arise.
Because it is one of the risk factors for gallstone formation, a high cholesterol diet should be changed to a diet that is lower in saturated fats or fried foods and higher in lean protein, fruits and vegetables. People who consume very little fiber also increase their chances of developing stones so whole grains and natural fiber are great additions to the diet.
Though gallbladder pain often occurs after eating, it doesn’t originate in the stomach. However, your stomach can certainly play a key role in helping you get back on track.