Gallstones: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Gallstones can definitely be a possibility if you have been experiencing severe pain in the upper abdominal region or in the shoulder blades on a regular basis. If there is no other apparent cause for the pain, it’s best to get yourself checked.

What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are hardened formations of digestive fluid or cholesterol that form in your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small pouch-like organ that is located just below the liver and that stores bile, a greenish-yellow digestive liquid. Gallstones can vary in size ranging from as tiny as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. While some have just one gallstone, others may have multiple stones at once.

A 2D medical illustration of exterior and interior of gallbladder filled with gallstones on a white background


Here are the top causes of the formation of gallstones:

  • Pregnancy: Generally, women are prone to developing gallstones because pregnancy causes an imbalance of hormones, especially estrogen, which is one of the prime causes. Also, many women suffer from other troubles like obesity that leads to the development of gallstones.
  • Cholesterol levels: If an individual regularly consumes an excessive amount of junk food, the cholesterol level of their body goes up, which leads to the formation of gallstones.
  • Aging and fasting: These are other causes of this problem.


These stones may not always cause symptoms, but if they get lodged in a duct and block it, they could lead to the following symptoms:

  • Pain: The pain is generally experienced in specific regions of the body like the upper abdomen, shoulder blades, and the back.
  • Digestive distress: The patient might also suffer from several vomiting bouts and chronic indigestion. Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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