Gallbladder Symptoms in Women

Gallbladder Symptoms in Women

Problems with the gallbladder in women can occur due to various reasons. It is essential always to seek medical advice if you notice any problems with your gallbladder. The article below will discuss common causes and gallbladder symptoms in women.

What are the Causes of Gallbladder Disorders in Women?

Cholesterol Stones

The most common type of gallstone is made of cholesterol. They form when too much cholesterol is in your bile or when your gallbladder doesn’t empty properly. Cholesterol stones are usually yellow-green and are made up of mainly cholesterol.

Pigment Stones

Pigment stones are made up of bilirubin, which is produced when your liver breaks down old red blood cells. Pigment stones are small and dark, and they’re the most common type of gallstone in people with certain medical conditions, such as cirrhosis or sickle cell anemia.


A tumor in the gallbladder is an infrequent cause of gallbladder problems. Tumors can be either cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).

Gallbladder Blockage

The gallbladder can become blocked by anything preventing bile from flowing through it, including gallstones, tumors, or scar tissue from surgery. This can cause pain and other problems.


An infection in the gallbladder is a rare cause of gallbladder problems. The most common type of infection is cholecystitis, an inflammation of the gallbladder that a bacterial infection can cause.

Gallstones Symptoms in Female

The most common symptom of gallstones is pain in the upper right side of your abdomen. The pain may:

  • Be felt in your back or between your shoulder blades
  • Get worse after eating a fatty meal
  • Come and go for several hours or days
  • Be severe and last for more than 5 hours

Other symptoms of gallstones include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Fever


Gallbladder Pain Location in Females Image
Image courtesy of

Gallbladder Pain Location in Females

The gallbladder is located under the liver on the right side of the abdomen, just below the rib cage. The pain of gallstones is usually felt in the upper right abdomen, just under the ribs.

The pain from gallstones can sometimes be felt in other places, such as the neck, chest, or below the right shoulder. If the gallbladder becomes infected (cholecystitis), the pain may spread to the entire right side of your body.

If you have gallbladder stones, a distinct pain in your stomach that radiates to your back is experienced. If this pain persists for more than a day, consult your doctor immediately.

Gallbladder Infection VS Stones VS Cancer

Gallbladder Infection VS Stones VS Cancer

While all of these conditions are possible causes of gallbladder issues in women, the most common problems are caused by stones and infections. However, cancer is a possibility and should not be ruled out without proper testing. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it is essential to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Differences between Gallbladder infection, stones, and cancer :

Cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Supplements for Gallstones For Women

When it comes to supplements for gallstones, there are a few different options that may be helpful for women. One such supplement is milk thistle, which is thought to help protect the liver and prevent gallstones from forming. Other potential supplements include dandelion root and artichoke leaf extract, which can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of gallstones. Finally, beetroot juice has also been shown to be effective in reducing the size of gallstones.

When is Gallbladder Surgery Indicated in Females?

If you are experiencing pain in the upper right side of your abdomen, it is essential to see your doctor for evaluation. If gallstones are causing the pain, surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder. Surgery may also be necessary if you have an infection or cancer in the gallbladder. Your doctor can help you determine if surgery is the best option.

Gallbladder surgery involves the removal of the gallbladder through a small incision in the abdomen. This procedure is typically performed laparoscopically, which means that several small incisions are made, and special instruments are inserted to remove the gallbladder. In some cases, open surgery may be necessary.

After surgery, you will need to follow a low-fat diet and take pain medication. Most people recover from surgery without any problems. However, you may have a higher risk of developing gallstones in the future if you have had your gallbladder removed.

NOTE: If you like a faster recovery after your gallbladder surgery, best to opt in for a laparoscopic procedure as this does not create an open wound that will leave a scar, unlike an open-wound surgery. 

How to Prevent Gallbladder Problems in Women?

Eat a Healthy Diet

One of the best ways to prevent gallbladder problems is to eat a healthy diet. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods high in fat. It is also essential to drink plenty of water.

Exercise Regularly

Another way to prevent gallbladder problems is to exercise regularly. Exercise helps promote a healthy weight and can help reduce the risk of developing gallstones.

Avoid crash diets and extreme weight loss

Crash diets and extreme weight loss can also increase your risk of developing gallstones. If you are trying to lose weight, it is essential to do so slowly and effectively. Speak with your doctor about the best way to lose weight safely and effectively.

Get Regular Check-ups

It is essential to get regular check-ups with your doctor, especially if you are at risk for gallstones or other gallbladder problems. This will help to ensure that any problems are detected early and can be treated effectively.

How is the Gallbladder Disease Diagnosed in Females?

Your doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) or liver function tests (LFTs). An ultrasound is the best test to diagnose gallstones. This test uses sound waves to create images of the gallbladder and can often show stones that are not visible on a CT scan. A biopsy may be necessary to rule out cancer.

Complications of Gallbladder Disease in Women

Form a Fistula

In some cases, the infection or inflammation in the gallbladder can spread to the bile ducts. This can cause a fistula (abnormal connection) to form between the gallbladder and the bile ducts. A fistula can cause fluid and bacteria to leak from the gallbladder into the abdomen. This can lead to a severe infection.

Develop Cholecystitis

Cholecystitis is a severe gallbladder inflammation that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. If left untreated, cholecystitis can lead to gangrene (death of tissue) and perforation (bursting) of the gallbladder.

Develop Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is a rare but severe complication of gallbladder disease. Gallbladder cancer is usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.


Gallbladder symptoms in women can signify a serious problem, such as gallstones or cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to see your doctor for evaluation. Surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder. With early detection and treatment, the prognosis for gallbladder disease is generally reasonable.