What That Pain In Your Shoulder Could Say About Your Gut

When you have pain in your abdomen, it’s hard to pinpoint its origin. It could be appendicitis, indigestion, a kidney stone, or an intense stomach ache. Because our bodies are so intricate, detailing your symptoms helps our team zero in on the problem area and get to work on a treatment that’s going to alleviate your pain.

One of the biggest culprits of abdominal pain is gallbladder disease. Gallstones are the #1 gastrointestinal disorder that causes hospitalization.

Our dedicated team of doctors here at Desert West Surgery are here to answer a few questions about the gallbladder, gallstones, and why a problem with your gallbladder can affect your shoulders. 

What is the gallbladder?

Shaped like a tiny pear, your gallbladder resides on your right side, just below your liver. It stores bile, which is a vital fluid your liver manufactures that plays an essential role in digestion. Every time you eat, your gallbladder releases bile that travels through ducts into your small intestine. 

What are gallstones?

Occasionally, bile can accumulate and form a mass, called a gallstone, in your gallbladder. Gallstones can range in size from microscopic to the size of a ping pong ball. Signs that you may have gallstones include:

Let’s take a closer look at one of these symptoms: shoulder pain.

How does an inflamed gallbladder affect my shoulders?

When your gallbladder is inflamed and swollen, it irritates your phrenic nerve. Your phrenic nerve stretches from the abdomen, through the chest, and into your neck. Each time you eat a fatty meal, it aggravates the nerve and causes referred pain in your right shoulder blade.

Recurring right shoulder pain is a crucial indicator for our team to investigate your gallbladder to see if there is an infection or a blockage.

Who is at risk for gallstones?

You’re at an elevated risk for gallstones if you’re:

If you have recurring shoulder pain in conjunction with abdominal pain, you should schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations in Las Vegas as quickly as possible. If left untreated, gallstones can lead to sudden gallbladder attacks or other serious problems. To learn more, call the location closest to you.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding the Different Types of Thyroid Surgery

Some types of thyroid disease respond well to medication. Other thyroid issues require a surgical solution. Here’s when thyroid surgery is typically recommended, along with a quick overview of the primary types of thyroid surgery.

Foods to Avoid if You Have Gallbladder Issues

Millions of Americans have gallbladder disease, and for many, that means pain and other symptoms right after eating. While gallbladder surgery is necessary for some people, cutting these nine foods can reduce symptoms in others.

Warning Signs You Have a Hernia

More than a million people suffer from hernias every year. Thankfully, hernias can be treated. The key is getting treatment as early as possible. Here’s what signs and symptoms you should be looking for.

Adjusting Your Diet When You Have Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis can cause a lot of painful symptoms. While medical interventions can certainly be helpful, many patients find relief with just a few simple changes in their eating habits. Here’s what to do if you’ve been diagnosed with diverticulitis.

What to Expect From Your First Colonoscopy

If a colonoscopy is in your future, don’t worry: It’s a lot simpler than you probably think. Here’s what to expect before, during, and after your first colonoscopy at Desert West Surgery.