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Can gallstones cause pain in left side as well?

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The main reason gallstones may cause pain in the left side is because the bile duct joins the pancreatic duct. If a stone obstructs that area, you may have pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), due to pancreatic juice being unable to get out and attacking the pancreas itself. Because the pancreas is on the left side, you may feel pain on the left side.

Many doctors don't think of this and are likely to diagnose gastritis because the patient is reporting pain on the "wrong" side, or on both sides. There's also a misperception that pancreatitis can only be a severe problem, when in fact, the same as the usual gallbladder attacks on the right side, depending on the size of the stone, how long it's been causing an obstruction, and whether the obstruction is total or partial, the inflammation can be anything from very mild to very severe and life-threatening.

If you have the usual symptoms of gallstones, especially pale stools and gas, but your pain is on the left side or on both sides, you'd do well to remind your doctor that it can still be gallstones, and to check for this possibility.
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