What Are the Warning Signs That the Gallbladder Is Not Working Properly?

Pain in the abdomen or upper right side of the abdomen under the ribs, sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting and fever, can be a sign of gallstones, cholecystitis or biliary colic. To determine which of these illnesses is the issue, professional medical advice should be sought.

The pain associated with gallstones can lead to vomiting, which can actually help to relieve pressure in the abdomen, according to WebMD. If a gallstone is blocking the bile duct, the patient may experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), dark urine, light-colored stools or fever accompanied by chills.

If the pain and vomiting symptoms are being experienced with fever, it could also be a sign that the patient is suffering form cholecystitis, or an inflamed gallbladder. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of cholecystitis are especially noticeable after consuming a large amount of fatty food.

These symptoms, with added pain in the back under the shoulder blade, can also be a sign of biliary colic. According to Allina Health experts, biliary colic is more common in patients who are overweight, are pregnant, are older in age, have a family history of biliary colic or have other health issues like liver cirrhosis or hemolytic disease.

Avoiding alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet can help to prevent issues with the gallbladder.