Abdominal Pain: Can Signal Gallstones
Abdominal or stomach pain can be a sign of gallstones, a condition that affects 1 in 4 women in the United States. The most common symptom of gallstone pain occurs in the upper right side of the belly above the rib cage. This pain can be sharp and can spread to the back or below the shoulder blade. It usually does not go away when you’re moving around.
Gallstones do not often cause symptoms unless they’re blocking a cystic duct or a common bile duct. Serious complications such as a ruptured gallbladder or pancreatitis can occur.
When to Worry Scale
Green Zone: Lowest Risk
If abdominal pain is relieved with antacids or after you urinate or have a bowel movement, it is most likely just stomach upset.
Yellow Zone: Medium Risk
If moving around or changing your position doesn’t help relieve the pain, it could indicate a blockage.
Red Zone: Highest Risk
Abdominal pain that occurs within 20-30 minutes every time you eat fatty food could signal gallstones. Keep a log and seek help from a doctor if your pain is severe.