Ask any patient that has undergone surgery for gallstone removal and they will tell you that having gallstones is probably one of the most painful things in life. However, we have good news for you. You can still prevent the development of these nasty little things by watching out for the symptoms of gallstones. This way, you will be able to take yourself to the doctor as early as possible and have yourself treated. In some instance, surgery is not even needed. But before we jump into the symptoms of gallstones, let us first look into the basics of gallstones and what causes its formation.

Gallstones can be found in your gallbladder and are usually made up of cholesterol and pigment. Cholesterol gallstones are the most common type of gallstones that are usually found among patients. It is made up of cholesterol that cannot be dissolved by bile because there could have been too much cholesterol in your diet, or your body is not secreting enough bile. These undissolved cholesterol globules will start to stick together and form gallstones.

Pigment gallstones are made from the waste material that came from hemoglobin. Once these materials are destroyed, they are synthesized and changed into bilirubin. The liver is the organ responsible for synthesizing bilirubin. But if too much bilirubin is stored in the liver, the excess bilirubin that was not synthesized will again clump together and form stones. There are two types of pigment stones: black pigment and brown pigment gallstones. Black pigment gallstones are harder than brown pigment gallstones.

There is a lot of talk that surrounds the symptoms of gallstones. A lot of people say that the pain is triggered by eating fatty food, drinking alcohol and the like. This is not true. The pain that is felt by a person diagnosed with gall stones is called biliary colic. This happens when one of your stones moves down from the gallbladder and gets stuck somewhere in the hepatobiliary tree. This would cause a blockage in the flow of bile, thus your body will try to remove it by making the muscles of the gallbladder contract in an effort to move the obstruction out of the way. Another reason for the pain would be cholecystitis, or the inflammation of the gallbladder, which is caused by the accumulation of bile.

Biliary colic would usually last anywhere between 15 minutes to 5 hours. If the pain stays on for longer than 5 hours, then you may have developed cholecystitis. Biliary colic is also accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, bloated abdomen, flatulence, clay stools, jaundice, indigestion, and fever.

Biliary colic is easy to identify. The pain is usually felt at the upper right abdomen, where your liver is located. Some people may also mistake biliary colic with angina or heart attack because there are instances where the pain is felt at the middle of the chest, just below the sternum.

When you feel abdominal pain or chest pain, it is best not to take any medication that has not been prescribed by your doctor. Pain medication may mask the symptoms and might lead your doctor to form the wrong diagnosis. If the pain you feel is unlike any other pain that you have felt before, go and consult your doctor.

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For more information on Different Types of Diseases, Symptoms and Diagnoses, Please visit: Gall Bladder Symptoms, Gallbladder Pain and Cervical Cancer Symptoms.