Understanding Gallstones -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on January 16, 2022

What Are the Symptoms of Gallstones?

Most people with gallstones do not have symptoms. Gallstones most frequently make their presence known when they become inflamed and lodged in one of the ducts that carry bile, a digestive juice, from the liver to the small intestine.

When such an obstruction occurs, you might experience the following:

 Biliary colic is a separate condition caused when a gallstone is temporarily blocking the bile duct. The gallbladder contracts, causing pain. Often, the condition happens after eating a fatty meal.  

Call Your Doctor About Gallstones if:

Call your doctor about gallstones if:

  • You have any of the above symptoms of acute gallbladder obstruction or infection.
  • You notice jaundice; gallstones may be obstructing the bile duct, causing bile to back up into the liver and seep into your bloodstream.

Show Sources


The Mayo Clinic. 

National Digestive Disease Informational Clearinghouse. 

Colorado Center for Digestive Disorders. 

American Liver Foundation.


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