TMJ Center of Los Angeles

The Distinction Between Indigestion or Gallstones Symptoms


Gallstones and indigestion are two entirely different gastrointestinal conditions. However, both often cause abdominal discomfort after eating. This is especially true when it comes to certain foods.

It is very easy to get both of these conditions confused with one another. This is due to the many similarities they share. While indigestion often responds rather well to over-the-counter treatments, problems involving the gallbladder, such as gallstones, will require medical intervention. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main differences between indigestion and gallstones. 

What You Need to Know About Indigestion

Also often referred to as dyspepsia, indigestion can often cause intense discomfort in the upper part of your abdomen. This is especially true after you have overeaten foods that are greasy or fatty. Indigestion can often be triggered by psychological causes because of the fact that anxiety and stress can result in an upset stomach.

It can affect people of all ages. Often, eating slowly and choosing healthier foods can help you avoid indigestion.

What You Need to Know About Gallstones

A very common problem when it comes to the gallbladder is the development of gallstones. The gallbladders’ purpose is to store bile that is produced in the liver. It is then transferred into the small intestine in order to digest food.

Gallstones occur when the body fails to break down bile efficiently. Gallstones are unpleasant as they can cause mass blockages and even lead to painful infections. This condition can often pass on its own.

However, there are risks of complications. This means that having gallstones is very much considered a serious medical condition. Gallstones are often associated with chills, fever, and pain that can radiate to the shoulder and back.

How They Are Similar

While they may seem super different inside, they can be quite similar. In fact, it is super easy to confuse the two. The physical discomfort and pain they create are very much similar. 

Pain from both gallstones and indigestion can occur when you have eaten a greasy or heavy meal. However, with this condition, there will often be a slight delay of around an hour before symptoms actually develop. Taking any over-the-counter medications will not work to relieve gallstone pain. 

People who are obese are most often at risk for developing gallstones. 

If you are regularly experiencing abdominal discomfort, come visit us here at the Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health.

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