Top 10 Symptoms of Gallbladder Attack and Pain

Gallbladder pain is often mistaken as heart pain, and they are scary. The gallbladder is a small digestive organ which stores liver bile and transfers it to the small intestine for digestion. Gallbladder dysfunction is often caused when it is unable to carry out its functions and excretes into the small intestine. As a result, gallstones are formed, and they block the bile duct, leading to the backing up of bile causing painful inflammation. Often it gives rise to cholecystitis.

A gallbladder attack or pain can come suddenly and last for a minute or an hour, leading to hospitalization. That is why it is very important to know the symptoms. Here are the top 10 symptoms of Gallbladder attack and pain.

10.Belly Pain

The gallbladder is a little sac that holds the bile in it, and then later transfers it to the small intestine through an opening called as the bile duct. We don’t normally pay attention to this small organ until our bile slows down or gets completely blocked which can be excruciatingly painful. The gallstone attacks start from the upper right portion of the stomach, just below your ribs, and starts to move towards the center of the belly. Usually, these types of gallstone attacks or pain normally stay for 10-15 minutes, but some have reported that the pain has lingered for an hour or so.


It is very common that Indigestion will be a part of this list because Gallbladder is primarily an organ which helps in digestion. Often people have reported gas, nausea, and abdominal discomfort, but these are very common symptoms that can happen to anybody and in no way related completely to Gallbladder disease.

When these symptoms are followed by a colic pain or a pain that resembles a heartburn. It is experienced in the upper right abdomen nearing the Rib Cage. It can often rage upward towards the heart, and can cause a chinning pain and discomfort. This should never by mistaken as something related to the heart.


Extreme indigestion may cause vomiting after having a meal. Vomiting usually relieves you of the gas and stomach pain. If you are feeling nausea after having a meal, and fee like vomiting, you should, because this releases you of the stomach pain and throws away the extra food material. This after meal nausea may last for several hours.

The Colic pain can happen at any time of the day, even when you are sleeping. But, it is most often spurred after having a heavy meal, since, Gallbladder is directly related to Digestion.

7.Lack of Appetite

Since Gallbladder governs our digestive system, therefore the lack or loss of appetite is very evident. Often, when patients are experiencing discomfort and nausea after meals, they slowly stop to take heavy meals due to the fear of vomiting.

As the situation worsens, the gallstone blocks the bile duct, making the digestion process more complex and painful. The pain occurs when the gallstone is formed and it blocks the duct, which forces the bile product to go up to the liver, and hence increase the bilirubin. The inflammatory pain is mainly caused by the stored bile products.


Jaundice can actually be caused due to gallstones. As we know that the gallbladder passes on the bile products to the small intestine for further activities, the gallstone doesn’t let the gallbladder do that. Instead, the gallstone blocks the duct and let the bile store in the gallbladder which leads to mixing of bile with the blood and the bloodstream, which in turn increases the bilirubin. The increase in bilirubin in the blood causes Jaundice. Jaundice turns the body and the white part of the eye to a yellowish hue. The buildup of bile in the body is the principal cause of Jaundice.


Urine and Excreta are part of our digestive processes, and therefore it is quite evident that problems in Gallbladder will trigger problems in Urine. Gallstones are formed with cholesterol, bile products, and calcium salt. When gallstones are formed in the gallbladder, the color of the urine may change to dark yellow or brown due to excessive bile pigments. The normal color of urine is known to be straw to light yellow color.

The bile products are actually the waste products in the body, and therefore excess bile in the body is disastrous. Too much waste product circulating in the body may toxify the blood.


One of the main symptoms of gallstone attack is Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements. The explosive bowel movement accompanied by pain can occur when you are having a gallstone attack. Bowel movements greater than 4 times a day is considered to be greater than the normal rate. In this case, the pain will not be in a single spot, but will be radiated through the whole belly area. The bowel may turn from chalky to dark brown in color, and the stools will be loose. The inflammatory pain caused by diarrhea is due to the insufficient bile.


When the gallstone eventually gets bigger and blocks the gallbladder preventing it to excrete the bile into the small intestine, the color of the stool gets pale or clayish in color. When the bowel becomes very frequent and loose, this means that it is taking out essential nutrients from your body and weakening you. The water and nutrients in the body are all excreted out in the form of a bowel, and hence causes diarrhea, an extreme state of dehydration.


If a patient is prone to gallbladder attack and has a gallbladder based disease, then fever and chills are a very common thing. In fact, a recent research at the University of Maryland has concluded that one-third of gallstone sufferers have fevers and chills.

The fever and chill will not cause the colic pain, but is a sign of acute cholecystitis. Acute fever and chilling may cause the patient to vomit at times and the patient will also experience nausea. Acute cholecystitis can cause a life-threatening situation, and should be reported to the doctor immediately. Acute cholecystitis can cause gangrene of the gallbladder.

1.Chest Pain

Often a gallbladder attack or pain is mistaken for a heart pain or attack. This is because, like Heart attack, the Gallbladder attack also sometimes causes an excruciating pain in the cardiac area. Because of the blockage of the duct by the gallstone, the bodily acids are trapped in the stomach, which often gets pushed upwards, leading to pain in the chest region. Even though it feels like you are having a heart attack, but actually, you are not.

Sometimes people who are experiencing gallbladder attacks may also experience a burn in the chest, after having a heavy meal. Heartburn is a common symptom of a gallbladder attack. Sometimes the heartburn radiates upward towards the neck and the upper abdominal region.

Gallbladder attacks should always be attended by an experienced doctor. You will not want the pain to go up abruptly in the middle of the night, and therefore it is advisable the moment you think that you are experiencing a gallbladder pain, just pay a visit to the doctor!

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Sayan Banerjee

Hey, this is Sayan Banerjee. I am an engineering undergrad student, and I love to write on the political and social issues of India. I am also into android development, and love to do that, though, I am still in the learning thing. Have a Research Experience. A movie and a TV series buff, an aspiring photographer, i am a jack of all trades, but master of none.