by Donna Q on June 25, 2012

Do I have gallbladder problems? Or  are the symptoms I am experienced being caused by a heart attack? Difficult questions to answer without getting medical assistance.   A few years ago, someone near and dear to my own heart suffered in bed overnight, alone, thinking she was “just having a gall bladder attack”.  What was actually occurring is that she was suffering from an acute myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack.  Questions arise:  What are Gall Bladder trouble symptoms and how can I tell if what I have is caused by my gall bladder or my heart?  How do I know if these symptoms I am having are caused by my gall bladder or if I am actually having a heart attack?  When should I seek medical help for the symptoms I am experiencing?

It is actually true that many people have gall stones, more now than ever before, mostly due to bad eating habits.  The creation of gall stones is a natural response of the liver and gall bladder to digestive demands on the system.  Most people with gall stones may never get symptoms, as most stones are very small, pebbles or sand, and they will normally be pushed through the digestive system without causing any problems to the person who hosts them.

Symptoms of gall bladder stones occur when the stones are large enough to become lodged in the biliary ducts (or gall bladder channels) or the gall bladder itself.  Stones the size of a marble or larger can cause many problems when they become lodged in a duct and will not allow the bile, or digestive juices to flow.  These gall bladder stones can also get caught in the liver and cause many problems there.  So how do you know if you’ve got these stones?

Gall bladder problem symptoms can be identified by sudden, very intense pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen, or this pain can be an intensifying pain just below your breastbone in the middle of your abdomen.  This pain can also be in your back, between your shoulder blades, or in your right shoulder.  You know the situation is severe when you have very intense abdominal pain where you can’t sit still or get comfortable.  If you find yourself writhing in pain, don’t ask questions; just get help as soon as possible.  Other signs that the gall bladder problems have reached a critical point are if you notice yellowing of your eyes or skin, or if you have chills and a high fever.  Immediate medical treatment is necessary at this point.

Complete gall bladder failure symptoms include many of the symptoms already discussed in this article, but these symptoms are probably extremely severe at this point and, hopefully, you have sought medical attention.  As with any body organ failure, the failure of one affects the rest of the body.  The gall bladder and liver, when failing, will produce toxins that are released into the body and can result in life threatening conditions.  The point of the gall bladder trouble symptoms is to get you to listen to your body and seek medical assistance before the situation gets to critical mass.

Gall bladder trouble symptoms can sometimes mimic a heart attack as people have chest pain or epigastric (upper abdominal) pain with either condition. Also, since a heart attack can cause pain in either shoulder, either arm, jaw, neck, back, or epigastric area, it is extremely difficult for the average person to tell the difference between gall bladder problems and symptoms of a heart attack.  Also, certain heart attacks that affect the right side of the heart do not produce classic symptoms.  Many times, the only symptoms occurring with right side heart attacks are that of nausea and vomiting.  These heart attacks are often misinterpreted as gall bladder problems or the flu.

The major difference between heart and gall bladder symptoms is that usually victims of a gall bladder attack will not experience profuse sweating and this is a classic symptom of a heart attack.  However, this is not always the case with either condition, so the safe course of action is to immediately seek medical help if either condition is suspected.

There is a great website called  If you have questions on this subject, they have a great questionnaire that can help you determine if your symptoms are being caused by your gall bladder.

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