The good news for most people with gallstones is that they never knew they had them. More than 80 percent never experience any symptoms. If you do, however, experience gallstone symptoms, they will come in the form of severe pain, especially in the upper part of your abdomen.
If you believe you are having a gallbladder attack , seek immediate emergency care or medical attention. Left untreated, your gallbladder can become infected, irritated, or inflamed, which can then burst. The emergency doctors at Dignity Health St. John's emergency rooms can provide fast, personal care.
Even though most people are unaware of gallstones passing out of their body, gallstone symptoms become much more apparent as these hardened particles pass into the duct leading to your intestine. A gallstone attack typically lasts for more than an hour accompanied by a fever.
Why do gallstones form? The answer to this question still remains unclear. Dignity Health St. John's doctors do know that being a woman, over 40 years old, or having a family history of gallstones places you at risk. Obesity, rapid weight loss, or Native American or Mexican ancestry also increases your odds of developing gallstones.
Talk to your doctor about your risks for gallbladder problems and lifestyle changes you can make to avoid this painful condition.
For those who experience a gallbladder attack, your odds for another one increase by 70 percent. Your doctor will most often recommend gallbladder removal with laparoscopic, minimally invasive surgery.
If you have had a gallbladder attack, talk to a Dignity Health St. John's expert to discuss your condition and treatment options.