Can Gallstones Make You Tired and Dizzy? 

Posted By Author on March 20, 2024

Gallstones are very common, affecting nearly one million people each year. Because they often don’t experience any symptoms at first, many patients are unaware of their gallstones until the painful onset of a gallbladder attack. 

At Charleston GI, we strive to inform and educate the patients we serve, providing accurate information about a wide variety of GI tract concerns. Gallbladder attacks can cause serious complications if left untreated, so we’ve provided this quick guide to address some common questions.

Read on to find out how Charleston GI can help with sudden pains when gallstones occur.

What’s the Gall About Gallstones?

Despite the fact that gallstones impact about 10% to 15% of the population, many patients are left with unanswered questions about the condition. Here’s what you need to know:

What is the Gallbladder? 

The gallbladder is a small organ in the abdomen, nestled under the liver. Tasked with storing and releasing bile (the fluid your liver produces to help digest fats), the gallbladder plays a vital role in digestion.  

What are Gallstones? 

Gallstones are hard, pebble-like pieces of bile that form in the gallbladder, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Gallstones can go nearly undetected, causing little to no symptoms, until they become lodged in the bile duct and cause a blockage. 

Types of Gallstones 

Gallstones can develop into two types: cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are made of hardened cholesterol, a substance commonly found in bile. Usually yellow-green in color, they make up about 75% of gallstones. 

Pigment stones, however, are darker in color and consist of bilirubin, a substance found in bile that passes through the liver and exits the body. It is possible to have a mix of the two.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Gallstones

Sudden pain in the upper right abdomen or center of the stomach may indicate a gallbladder attack. Pain generally lasts anywhere from several minutes to a few hours and can be incredibly severe. 

When left untreated, gallstone symptoms can include: 

  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Back pain between your shoulder blades 
  • Fever or chills 
  • Jaundice (yellowish color of skin or whites of eyes) 
  • Tea-colored urine and light-colored stools 
  • Nausea and vomiting 

Because the symptoms above may point to a serious infection or inflammation of the gallbladder, it’s best to contact a GI doctor near you immediately. 

Can Gallstones Make You Tired and Dizzy? 

Our GI specialists are often asked, “Can gallstones make you tired and dizzy?” While gallstones do not directly cause them, common symptoms can lead to fatigue and dizziness.

Bile has multiple roles, from absorbing fat-soluble vitamins to balancing blood glucose. When the gallbladder doesn’t function as it should, fatigue may result. 

Disruption of vital body operations may result in the following: 

  • Impaired digestion of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Pain and nausea
  • Poor or disrupted sleep 
  • Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals

Got Gallstones? Contact Charleston GI Today!

If gallstones are left untreated, unpleasant symptoms can make daily life feel like a chore. But you don’t have to suffer in silence! Don’t wait for symptoms to intensify before contacting one of our Charleston gastroenterology specialists. Our team at Charleston GI is here to help, whether you need trusted information or symptom relief.

We have four convenient Charleston area locations to choose from, in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, and Carnes Crossroads. There’s no referral needed, so schedule your appointment today!