What are the symptoms of cholelithiasis?

Cholelithiasis may cause irritation and inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) that can result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of cholelithiasis

You may experience cholelithiasis symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these common symptoms can be severe:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
  • Abdominal symptoms that occur within minutes after a meal
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Fever and chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Pain that radiates from the abdomen to the right shoulder or back
  • Sweating
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, cholelithiasis can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
INTRODUCTION

What is cholelithiasis?

Cholelithiasis is the medical name for hard deposits (gallstones) that may form in the gallbladder. Cholelithiasis is very common in the United States, especially in women over age 40.... Read more about cholelithiasisintroduction

CAUSES

What causes cholelithiasis?

In most cases, cholelithiasis is caused by excessive amounts of cholesterol in the bile that is stored in the gallbladder. The cholesterol hardens to form stone-like substances. Increased body weight and older age are associated with increased levels of cholesterol in the bile. Thus, gallstones are more likely to occur in women, in people who are obese, and in older individuals.... Read more about cholelithiasiscauses

TREATMENTS

How is cholelithiasis treated?

Treatment of cholelithiasis begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have cholelithiasis, your health care provider may ask you to provide blood samples and undergo diagnostic tests.... Read more about cholelithiasistreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System


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