Is There a Link Between Headaches and Gallbladder Problems?

A common health issue most of us face is that of headaches. We related our headache issues to migraine, or maybe change in weather conditions, stress levels, and sometimes serious health ailments. However, headaches may also be linked to health conditions of the gall bladder. Both headaches and gallbladder problems are two common health issues that affect a significant number of people worldwide. Although it may seem unlikely, there is a link between the two conditions that has been researched in various studies. In our subsequent sections, we will explore the relationship between headaches and gallbladder problems and discuss the possible mechanisms that connect them.

The link between headaches and gallbladder problems

Let us first start by understanding what each problem is.


A headache is a very common form of pain that occurs in the head or neck region. A number of factors trigger headaches. The factors can be tension, stress, dehydration, or certain medical conditions. Yes, gallbladder conditions too.

Gallbladder problems

A gallbladder is a small organ located near the liver. Gallbladder problems, on the other hand, involve issues that arise in the gallbladder. The issues can range from gallstones to inflammation and infection of the gallbladder. Common symptoms of gallbladder problems include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

How are headaches linked to gallbladder problems?

Research studies suggest that headaches and gallbladder problems are linked due to the disruption of bile flow in the body.

  • The bile juice, stored in the gallbladder, plays an essential role in the digestion of food. When there is a disturbance in the bile flow, it can lead to the formation of gallstones, which block the bile ducts and cause pain in the abdominal region of the human body causing a lot of stress and discomfort. It is the pain and discomfort that may also trigger headaches.

  • Conditions where the gallbladder is infected and there is inflammation may also cause a systemic inflammatory response that can trigger headaches. Inflammation releases chemicals known as cytokines, which triggers headaches and other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and body aches.

  • Another major reason can be the use of certain medications used to treat gallbladder conditions. The use of opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which health experts often prescribe to treat gallbladder pains may lead to rebound headaches.

The above reasons pretty much make it evident why some people may experience headaches during a gallbladder ailment.

Treatment of headaches caused by gallbladder problems

While we strongly recommend you consult a health expert of your family physician for diagnosis of the underlying cause and treatment, here is some information on how one can treat headaches caused by gallbladder problems –

  • If the headaches are caused by gallstones, your doctor may rely on treatment which includes medication, surgery, or a combination of the two.

  • Oftentimes, people experience relief from their headaches after undergoing gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy).

  • You may also take antibiotics to treat infections, and medications to relieve pain

  • Dietary changes work a great deal in minimizing gallbladder symptoms.

It is important to seek professional medical advice if you are experiencing headaches, particularly if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, or fever. Your healthcare provider knows the best ways to treat you after all.


While the link between headaches and gallbladder problems may not be very obvious, it does exist. The disruption of bile flow, inflammation, and medication side effects may all contribute to the occurrence of headaches in people with gallbladder problems. If you experience frequent headaches and other symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, it is essential to seek medical attention to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Someswar Pal
Someswar Pal

Studying Mtech/ AI- ML

Updated on: 24-Apr-2023

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