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Symptoms

A person with biliary colic usually complains of an ache or a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen. This pain can be in the center of the upper abdomen just below the breastbone, or in the upper right part of the abdomen near the gallbladder and liver. In some people, the abdominal pain spreads back toward the right shoulder blade. Many people also have nausea and vomiting.

Because symptoms of biliary colic usually are triggered by the digestive system's demand for bile, they are especially common after fatty meals. The symptoms also can occur when a person who has been fasting suddenly breaks the fast and eats a very large meal.

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