By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You may have heard people say they were having a gallbladder attack or perhaps you have suffered one yourself and not known what it is.

Basically, gallstones make themselves known if they block the bile ducts. If a blockage occurs, certain symptoms such as chest pain, pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the right shoulder, nausea, sweating, and vomiting can occur.

The symptoms can go away if the stone moves away from the duct.

A gallbladder attack can mimic other conditions such as appendicitis, ulcers, pancreatitis, reflux disease, and even a heart attack.

If your doctor suspects a gallbladder attack, he or she will likely conduct imaging tests. These tests can provide important information such as the location and size of the stones as well as how they affect organ function.

An important point – call your doctor if you experience symptoms. This is definitely worth an evaluation.

Dr. Brian McDonough