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10 Unpleasant Signs and Symptoms of a Gallbladder Attack

Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits 


The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located on the right side of your body, behind your liver and just below your rib cage. Its job is to store bile until you eat, then secrete it during the digestion process. Untreated gallstones can lead to severe pain, but many people do not recognize the signs and symptoms of a gallbladder attack.

There are more than 2.1 billion overweight people in the world, so it’s not surprising that gallbladder attacks affect a significant amount of the population. Sometimes gallbladder attacks are caused by genetic issues, but they are typically associated with lifestyle habits. If your doctor has recommended weight loss or suggested you make dietary changes, you are at risk for gallbladder issues.

If you are unsure whether your lifestyle puts you at risk for a gallbladder attack, talk to a medical professional. Prior to your visit, keep an eye out for the common signs and symptoms mentioned in this article.

Intense Pain      


Individuals describe the pain of a gallbladder attack differently, but many of them agree that it is excruciating. Some find the pain is a cross between kidney stones and labor, claiming it begins on the right side of the body and radiates into the abdomen.

Pain may also radiate into the back, chest, or shoulders. Some folks have no chest or abdominal pain and only feel tension in the upper body, around the shoulder blades.


You know that uncomfortable feeling you get after you drink way too much soda or eat a giant meal? That’s how you may feel during a gallbladder attack, and it’s typically caused by excess gas being trapped in your body.

Don’t be surprised if you belch loudly and frequently, like an intoxicated frat boy who just chugged 7 brewskies in a row. You may also experience loud flatulence.

Frequent Bathroom Visits  


There’s nothing pretty about a gallbladder attack. During an episode of acute pain, you may find yourself literally running to the bathroom every few minutes to relieve yourself.

Diarrhea may continue for a day or two after the attack, so plan accordingly.



You may feel nauseous before, during, and after a gallbladder attack. The nausea may be accompanied by vomiting, and sometimes it lasts for several days.



Just before an attack, you may notice that you have a dull ache in your forehead or across your eyes. This headache may get worse during the attack and linger for 24 hours or so.

Once you know that your symptoms are related to gallbladder pain, you can train yourself to recognize when an attack is trying to flare up. This gives you a chance to put down the buttered biscuit or whatever else you shouldn’t be eating and start chugging water.



Fatigue or extreme exhaustion can both be linked to gallbladder issues. It is not uncommon to feel extremely lethargic before and after an attack.



When you’re running to the toilet constantly, it makes sense that you may feel pretty thirsty during your gallbladder attack. Soda, juice, and milk can make you feel worse, so stick with water or sports drinks during an attack.

Fullness in the Abdomen


Picture the way you feel on Thanksgiving after stuffing your face with turkey and dressing all day. That’s how you may feel during a gallbladder attack, even if you haven’t eaten for hours.

Symptoms That Worsen at Night  


Attacks typically occur at night, but some people experience them during the day after a big meal. The pain will likely wake you from your sleep and make it difficult to go back to bed.
If you think you are suffering from gallbladder attacks, talk to your doctor or experiment with holistic remedies. Many patients opt to have their gallbladder removed, but sometimes you can keep your organ and control your abdominal pain by following an extremely restricted diet.



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