Usually you will feel a deep pain in the right upper abdomen or directly above your navel. Sometimes pain is also felt in or under the right shoulder blade. The pain can be constant or can come in waves. You could also have nausea or bloating in the abdomen (a feeling of being filled with gas).
Gallstones cause symptoms when the gallbladder contracts and the wall of the gallbladder squeezes against the stone. The gallbladder begins squeezing about 30 minutes to two hours after you begin eating. So the pain follows meals, but has a delay.
Foods most likely to give you symptoms are those high in fat, because these trigger the most activity in your gallbladder.
Serious complications can cause other symptoms. If a gallstone blocks your draining ducts, you may develop:
- yellow skin (jaundice)
- fever from infection in the duct and gallbladder
- pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
If you develop pain in your upper abdomen and also have a fever, yellow skin or uncontrollable nausea and vomiting, this is an emergency. You should go to a doctor for immediate care.