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Gallstones

Your gallbladder lies under your liver and stores bile which is needed for the digestion of food. As you digest food your gallbladder releases bile through a tube (bile duct) that connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.

Gallstones form when substances in bile harden. Gallstones are common in women, older adults, Native Americans and Mexican Americans.  If you are overweight you have a higher chance of forming gallstones.  

Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and back pain are common symptoms of a blocked bile duct. If you have experienced these symptoms after you eat, you may have gallstones.  

Your provider will do an assessment and may order an imaging study that will diagnose your condition. The most common treatment for gallstones is removal of the gallbladder.  Your body has other ways of allowing bile to reach your small intestine so you can live without one.