Recognizing a Gallbladder Attack

We’ve all experienced stomach pain, heartburn, and bad back pain after over-indulging in unhealthy, greasy foods.

Most of the time, this pain passes once the food has time to settle. But some people become so concerned about their symptoms that they end up going to the ER. More often than not, the diagnosis is a gallbladder attack.

So what causes a gallbladder attack?

Having an unhealthy gallbladder from poor food choices can restrict the organ’s ability to aid in the digestive process. This can cause gallstones to form and block the bile duct, which leads to a painful inflammation from bile buildup. Because the symptoms can be mistaken for other medical conditions, such as a heart attack, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of a gallbladder attack so you know the proper measures to take.

Recognizing the symptoms of a gallbladder attack

The symptoms of a gallbladder attack are similar to other digestive conditions, but the location and severity of the symptoms are what signal a gallbladder attack:

  1. Belly Pain. Belly pain that begins in the upper right portion of the stomach under the ribs is one of the most common symptoms of a gallbladder attack. The pain can be dull, sharp, or cause cramping.
  2. Indigestion. Most people suffering from a gallbladder attack often complain about nausea, gas, belching, and bloating, but it might be difficult to distinguish those symptoms. Gallbladder attacks can also cause a pain that radiates to the upper back and behind the breastbone, similar to a heart attack.
  3. Loss of appetite. As gallstone pain worsens, most people lose their appetite. Nausea and heartburn following meals might also cause a person to avoid eating altogether.
  4. Jaundice. The bile duct being blocked will cause bile to get trapped in your bloodstream, which can lead to your skin turning a yellowish hue.
  5. Changes in urine color. If bile pigment forms in the gallbladder, it can cause urine to turn a dark brown or bright yellow color.

What happens if I have gallbladder disease?

Gallbladder disease is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the symptoms above, it’s important to consult a physician. They might suggest gallbladder removal if your condition is serious enough.

The physicians at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound will provide you with the proper treatment if you believe you’re suffering from gallbladder disease.

Call (469) 322-7003 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.