Gallbladder Pain: Causes & Treatment (2024)

What is gallbladder pain?

Gallbladder pain is any pain you feel in your upper right abdomen that may be related to your gallbladder.

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What is the gallbladder?

Your gallbladder is a small pouch that’s connected to other parts of your digestive system. It stores and releases bile, the fluid your liver produces to help break down fats. Your gallbladder is located just below your liver in the upper right portion of your abdomen. Your gallbladder releases bile through a series of bile ducts called the biliary tract. This pipe-like system carries bile from your liver and empties it into your small intestine.

Where is gallbladder pain felt?

The location of gallbladder pain can vary. Your gallbladder is located in your upper right abdomen, so you will most often feel pain in this area. You may also feel upper mid-abdominal pain or chest pain.

You may feel gallbladder referred pain. Referred pain means the pain you feel in one part of your body is caused by pain in another part of your body. Gallbladder pain may spread to your back and right shoulder.


What does gallbladder pain feel like?

Gallbladder pain feels different than any other kind of pain you’ve ever felt in your abdomen. You may feel a sudden, sharp pain in your upper right abdomen. It may feel like someone is cutting you with a knife. The pain is constant and severe.

The pain doesn’t go away or get better when you move. Passing gas or pooping doesn’t help either. Deep breathing can make the pain feel worse. The pain may hurt so bad you can’t sit still, and you may think you’re having a heart attack.

Eating often makes the pain worse since it causes gallbladder contractions.

What are other gallbladder pain symptoms?

In addition to severe pain in your upper right abdominal area, you may experience the following symptoms:


Can gallbladder pain last for weeks?

No. Gallbladder pain may last for a few minutes to a few hours. If it doesn’t go away within a few hours, you may have a serious health condition. You should see your healthcare provider for pain lasting longer than two to three hours, especially if you have other symptoms. Gallbladder pain can be so severe that people normally go to the emergency room.

Gallbladder Pain: Causes & Treatment (2024)
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