Gallstones - When To Call a Doctor
Abdominal pain can be a sign of
a serious or even life-threatening condition, especially if you have a heart
condition or are older than 60. If you are having sudden or severe pain and are
not sure what is causing it, you may need immediate medical treatment. You
should be especially concerned if you are having trouble breathing or you faint
or lose consciousness. For more information, see the topic
Abdominal Pain, Age 12 and Older. For more information
on abdominal pain in children, see the topic
Abdominal Pain, Age 11 and Younger.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- Pain that may be caused by
gallstones (continuous moderate to severe pain in the
upper right abdomen ) along with a fever of
100.4°F (38°C) or higher and
chills that are clearly not caused by stomach flu or any other
- Pain in the upper midsection or upper right abdomen, along
with a yellow tint to your skin and the white part of your eyes, dark
yellow-brown urine, or light-colored stools.
- Diabetes or an
impaired immune system and you have symptoms that may
be caused by gallstones.
If you have symptoms of gallstones but no fever, chills, or
yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes, you may still require
evaluation and treatment. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during
which you and your doctor watch your symptoms or condition to see
whether you need treatment. Watchful waiting is often the first approach to a
first attack of gallstone pain.
Who to see
Symptoms caused by gallstones can be
evaluated by any of the following health professionals:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.