Gallbladder attack symptoms in women are often overlooked. This is because gallbladder symptoms tend to be asymptomatic, otherwise known as “silent”. For those who do have symptoms, they tend to be similar to symptoms of other gastrointestinal diseases, normal stomach pain, and indigestion. This results in people either ignoring or misdiagnosing their symptoms.
Gallstones are the major cause of gallbladder attack symptoms.
Gallstones are small pebble-like structures that are made in your gallbladder. Gallstones can range from the size of tiny grains of sand to the size of golf balls! The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located under your liver. The main functions of the gallbladder are to store bile and help digest dietary fats. After fatty meals, the gallbladder releases small amounts of bile into the small intestines.
When gallstones get stuck in the duct between your small intestines and your liver, you may experience a gallbladder attack.
The gallstone might slow down or even stop the flow of bile, causing your body to not be able to digest foods properly. The most common place you will feel pain is your upper abdominal area, which is where your gallbladder is located. The pain will either feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain. Often the pain from your abdominal area will spread to your chest. In some cases, pain will radiate to your back or in between your shoulder blades. You might find it difficult to walk or even sit up straight without feeling a lot of pain.
Some other symptoms that you may experience are weight gain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, dizziness, burping, belching, and constipation.
You may find relief by lying down on top of a pillow on the left side of your body to decrease the pain. This will decrease the pressure put on your gallbladder.
A serious condition that may accompany your symptoms is known as jaundice.
Jaundice occurs when gallstones block the flow of bile completely. This causes bile to be backed up into the liver, and then forced into the bloodstream. The bile will cause the whites of your eyes and your skin to yellow.
If you notice this symptom or the chills and a fever, see your doctor right away. Your doctor will be able to fully examine your symptoms. He may also look at your gallbladder via ultrasound to look at the sizes of the gallstones. In very serious cases, the gallbladder may have to be removed surgically.