Gallstones form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. They can be smaller than a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Most gallstones do not cause problems. However, if they block a duct, they usually need treatment.
Most people who have gallstones do not have symptoms.
Symptoms of gallstones are often called a gallstone “attack” because they occur suddenly. A typical attack can cause:
Steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen that increases rapidly and last from 30 minutes to several hours.
Pain in the back between the shoulder blades.
Nausea or vomiting.
Gallstone attacks often follow fatty meals, and they may occur during the night. Other gallstone symptoms include: