Gall bladder pain can be very sudden and sharp. Usually, gallstones obstructing bile ducts are the source of gallbladder discomfort.

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can build inside your gallbladder and are the most frequent cause of the pain. Further potential causes could be gallbladder infection or inflammation.

The excellent news is that gallbladder pain can be successfully treated.

Discover the sensation of gallbladder pain and how to get relief by reading this blog.

How does one feel when they have gallbladder pain?

Nestled in the right upper belly, immediately beneath the liver, lies a little sac called the gallbladder Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver that is stored in your gallbladder.

Composed of several chemicals, bile aids in the breakdown of lipids during digestion and includes water, salts and fatty acids. Bile is produced continuously by your liver up until you eat. A hormone released by your stomach during mealtimes triggers the bile-releasing muscles surrounding your gall bladder. Pain associated with gall bladder suggests a problem in either the gall bladder due to inflammation or in the bile ducts due to obstruction with gall bladder stones or both. A gallstone attack is so named because it blocks one of the ducts that transports bile and can result in abrupt, worsening pain.

Where the Pain Occurs?

Typically felt in your upper right abdomen, the discomfort can sometimes radiate to your shoulder blade or upper back but can also strike some people in the middle of their abdomen, directly beneath their breastbone. This pain may last anything from a few minutes to many hours. Studies indicate that almost half of gallstone sufferers have no symptoms.

Pain from gallbladder inflammation

When gallstones obstruct the tube that exits your gallbladder,may result in the inflammation of the gallbladder or cholecystitis. Bile builds up as a result and cannot exit the gall bladder, which can result in inflammation.

Inflammation of your gallbladder might also be brought on by the following:

  • Tumour Like Growths
  • Serious medical conditions
  • Disorders of the bile duct
  • Infections

List of cholecystitis symptoms:

  • Severe back ache above your belly or severe pain in your upper right abdomen or middle of your abdomen that radiates to your right shoulder
  • Fever with nausea or vomiting
  • Painful symptoms appear usually after eating, particularly a big or fatty meal.

Untreated, cholecystitis can have major, even fatal consequences including:

  • A gallbladder rupture in which the wall of your gallbladder leaks or bursts.
  • Gangrene

Pain associated with gallbladder infection

Cholecystitis might arise from a gallstone-caused blockage. A rupture or abscess may result from an infection of the accumulated bile.

An infection of the gallbladder may manifest as:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Dyspnea
  • Confusion

Gallbladder pain may be accompanied by what additional symptoms?

Additional symptoms of a gallstone attack may include:

  • Nauseousness or vomiting
  • Pain around your gallbladder
  • Low grade fever
  • Light-brownish colored stool-colored
  • Dark or brownish discoloration of urine
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

Conditions that may resemble the symptoms of Gall Bladder pain:

Symptoms resembling gallbladder discomfort may be caused by different disorders. These consist of:

Cancer of the gallbladder:

A fever, bloating, itching, and abdominal pain can all be symptoms of gallbladder cancer. Your doctor may be able to tell via imaging testing if you have gallstones or cancer.


While gallbladder discomfort usually radiates from the higher to the mid-right region, towards your back, appendicitis usually produces pain in the lower right side of your belly.


Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that occasionally people misdiagnose gallbladder pain for heart attack symptoms. Other signs of a heart attack include weakness, jaw, neck, or back discomfort, and shortness of breath.


Inflammation of your pancreas is called pancreatitis. Pain from this disorder could resemble that of a gallbladder attack but it is sharp, acute and unbearable. You may also have additional symptoms with pancreatitis, such weight loss, a rapid heart rate, and oily or bad-smelling feces.

Gastrointestinal Ulcers:

Burning stomach pain, bloating, a fullness sensation, burping, heartburn, and other symptoms can also be brought on by ulcers.

Also Read :- Gallbladder Stone Treatment: Pros and Cons

Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract:

While some bowel disorders can resemble symptoms of gallbladder pain, they also result in weight loss, diarrhea, and bloody stool.

Food poisoning:

Known by another name, the “stomach flu,” gallbladder problems might be confused with gastroenteritis. The stomach flu usually manifests as cramps, watery diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Renal or kidney stones (Renal Lithiasis):

Sharp aches in your back, side, and abdomen might be brought on by kidney stones. Additional possible symptoms include hazy, odorous, pink, red, or brown urine, and an ongoing urge to urinate.

On experiencing such symptoms, one needs to visit the emergency room or give a doctor a call?

Should any of your gallbladder pain symptoms worry you, give your doctor a call.

Some gallstone attack complications might be quite dangerous or even fatal, hence, you should get medical help right away.

How can gallbladder discomfort be best relieved?

To ease the pain, you could choose to apply a hot compress to the area. Once the gallstone passes, the pain shall subside subsequently.

Gallbladder pain attacks can be treated traditionally with medications to help dissolve gallstones or surgically with cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal).

Further steps you can take to reduce your risk of gallbladder discomfort include:

Cutting down on fatty, fried, oily foods and leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk to developing gall bladder problems. Avoiding alcohol and other habits such as overeating, smoking, lethargic lifestyle and erratic diet regimes can significantly lower the risk to gall bladder problems..

Regular meals in proportions and a balanced diet are key to a good gut health including gall bladder health.

Fibre rich foods such as certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are recommended for overall holistic approach towards gut and  gall bladder health.

Weight management is also key as obesity increases the risk to gall bladder related health issues. Systematic subsequent gradual weight loss is advised in case of obesity to reduce risks of aggravating current gall bladder conditions if any. Researches indicate that regular exercise can reduce the risk of gallstones and is the best solution to weight management along with dietary recommendations

Look over your prescriptions. Gallbladder disease risk may be increased by certain medications and you should consult with your doctor for the same if any existing gall bladder conditions are of concern.

Including magnesium rich foods or supplementing magnesium in ur daily routine also helps reduce risk of gall bladder ailments as per studies.


Gall bladder ailments can be acute or chronic and depending on the intensity and severity of the condition, the therapeutic approach can be advised and  hence track the course of the ailment likewise. Diagnostic and laboratory findings play an important role in due action for treatment and is solely at the doctor’s disposal to decide the further course pertaining to relieve form the condition.

Radical treatment for such persisting condition is Cholecystectomy or Gall bladder removal surgery.

A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and constant watch over gut health is key to any approach towards reducing risks towards gall bladder ailments and overall.

Dr Atul Shah

Dr Atul Shah

Dr. Atul Shah is a senior Laparoscopic & GI Surgeon practicing at Ahmedabad for more than 25 years. At present he is the MEDICAL DIRECTOR, at Kaizen institute of Gastroenterology and practicing laparoscopic Bariatric and Hernia surgeon.

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