Gallbladder Disease

The majority of American’s see a doctor, yearly, for a general health check-up.  We are diligent when it comes to making sure our major organs remain healthy, but what about the organs that go relatively unnoticed, like the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is the small sac in our body that stores bile from the liver and is located just below your liver.  The gallbladder releases bile, through the cystic duct, into the small intestine to help break down the foods you eat, in particular, fatty foods.

Usually, the gallbladder will not cause too many problems; however, if something slows or blocks the flow of bile from the gallbladder, a number of problems can arise and lead to gallbladder disease.

Specific symptoms may vary based on what type of gallbladder condition you have, although many symptoms are common among the different types of gallbladder problems. But most gallbladder symptoms start with pain in the upper abdominal area, either in the upper right or middle.

Some common symptoms of gallbladder conditions are:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Pain that may extend beneath the right shoulder blade or to the back
  • Pain that worsens after eating a meal, particularly fatty or greasy foods
  • Pain that feels dull, sharp, or cramp-like
  • Pain that increases when you breathe in deeply
  • Chest pain
  • Heartburn, indigestion, and excessive gas
  • A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Vomiting, nausea, fever
  • Shaking with chills
  • Tenderness in the abdomen, particularly the right upper quadrant
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Stools of an unusual color (often lighter, like clay)

The gallbladder seems insignificant until it is causing you severe pain. If you are exhibiting the symptoms of gallbladder disease, and would like to schedule an appointment with the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Department for a consultation, call 718-206-7005 for an appointment.


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.