6 Red Flags That Could Mean a Serious Gallbladder Problem

6 Red Flags That Could Mean a Serious Gallbladder Problem

Gallbladder and Gallstones Overview

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the body, on the underside of the liver. The gallbladder acts as a storage facility for bile, releasing it into the intestines on a regular basis to help the body digest fats. However, the gallbladder itself is not an essential organ and can be removed without causing any observable health problems.

The bile your gallbladder stores (and later transports to your intestines) is made up of fatty substances, such as cholesterol. When excessive amounts of fat are present, crystals form. Over time, these crystals can clump together and morph into stones (known as gallstones) that vary in size—anywhere from a single grain of sand to the size of a golf ball. This condition is called Cholecystitis, and is a common reason for gallbladder treatment

General Cholecystitis symptoms include swelling, pain, nausea, or inflammation.

6 Symptoms that Mean its Time to See a Specialist

  1. Abdominal Pain that comes and goes (especially after fatty meals). Typically, the pain is described as an intense, dull discomfort located in the right upper quadrant of the belly, and can radiate to the back and right shoulder. Frequent episodes of abdominal pain, severe pain or pain in addition to other symptoms would indicate the need to see a specialist.
  2. Nausea and Vomiting are likely to occur if a gallstone gets stuck in one of the ducts that keep your digestive enzymes flowing, causing inflammation, swelling and worsening pain.
  3. Heartburn. Gallstone symptoms can mimic those common to indigestion (including heartburn, acid reflux and cramping). If your symptoms occur frequently after meals (and movement, rest or visiting the bathroom don’t relieve the discomfort), it could be a sign that a gallstone is blocking the flow of your gallbladder.
  4. Jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. If a gallstone blocks the bile duct, which is the pathway the gallbladder uses to send bile to the small intestines, the entire system backs up. This buildup increases the concentration of bilirubin in the gallbladder—a yellowish substance that’s normally processed by the liver and turned into bile.
  5. Dark Urine, Light Stool. The breakdown of bilirubin during digestion is what makes urine yellow and stool brown. The increased concentration of bilirubin in the gallbladder due to a blockage can cause dark urine and light-colored stools.
  6. Fever, Chill and Rapid Heartbeat, especially combined with persistent abdominal pain could be an indication that the gallbladder outflow is completely blocked and has caused an infection. Infections can become life-threatening if ignored, so it’s imperative to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your gallbladder’s the culprit.

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, call Avalon Hernia today to schedule a consultation with a Gallbladder specialist.


  • https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19995362/gallstone-symptoms/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153981.php
  • https://www.emedicinehealth.com/gallstones/article_em.htm#gallstones_causes

Award Winning

pasadena hernia specialist doctor magdi alexander md

Get Scheduled

Surgeons You Can Trust!

(818) 659-7444

** New Patients Welcome!


  • Glendale

  • Los Angeles

  • Pasadena

  • Tarzana

Insurances We Accept

We Accept All PPO, Medicare, Worker’s Comp, and Personal Injury.