Right Side Abdominal Pain | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatments

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Right side abdominal pain arises for various reasons which may include appendicitis. Slight pain is experienced around the navel or the upper or lower abdomen that increases as it moves to the lower right abdomen. Usually, this is the first sign, but in many cases, other signs like loss of appetite or abdominal swelling appear first.

Cause of concern

The lower right part of the abdomen comprises of different organs like a colon (in case of men) and right ovary (in case of women). Many reasons can cause mild to serve pain in this area. In most cases, the pain which arises in the right lower abdomen is not a major concern as it may fade away on its own in a day or two. However, if the pain remains constant for few days, then it is recommended to go through a detailed check-up

Causes of Right Side Abdominal Pain

Appendicitis

The appendix is a thin and small tube located at the intersection of the small and large intestine. An inflamed appendix is defined as appendicitis and is supposed to be the most common cause.

Symptoms of appendicitis

Appendicitis is a serious condition wherein the doctors often recommend removal of the appendix through surgery. If left untreated, the appendix may rupture over time and cause other complications.

Other Common Causes

There are several other causes of pain on either side of the lower abdomen. It may also happen that the discomfort is experienced on the right side, but the cause of pain is on the left side. Some of the other causes have been listed below:

  • Gas: The entire digestive tract is filled with intestinal gas formed by the food particles which are broken down completely until the time it reaches the colon. More the particles of undigested food left inside more are the gas produced. The stomach thus gives bloated or knotted feel in the stomach as more gas gets formed. The temporary relief of gas is burping and farting. But excessive gas is a sign of digestive disorder such as lactose intolerance and diabetes.
  • Indigestion: Indigestion occurs after eating or drinking and may be a reason for the pain in the upper abdomen, but it may be felt in the lower abdomen. Although, slight indigestion fades away pretty quickly if the symptoms remain it can be concerning.
  • Hernia: When an internal organ pushes out through a tissue or muscle which holds it in place, it is known as a hernia. Different types of a hernia may happen in the abdominal region.
  • Kidney infection: Bacteria inside the bladder, uterus or urethra cause kidney infection that may affect both the kidneys causing the infection. The pain may be felt in the lower abdomen due to discomfort from the kidney infection. If this infection is not treated on time, it may cause permanent damage to the kidneys.
  • Kidney stones: Salts and minerals build up to form a hard substance known as a kidney It eventually causes pain when it starts to move around or pass into the tube connecting the kidney and the bladder. The pain severely hits in the back and sides below the ribs and all over the lower abdomen and groin. The intensity of the pain depends on the movement of the kidney stone as it shifts and moves through the urinary tract.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) mostly affects the large intestines and is a chronic disorder. Although no conclusive evidence is found, doctors believe that the factors causing the syndrome are contractions that are stronger than the normal ones and abnormalities in the digestive, nervous system.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of digestive disorders which causes certain changes in the bowel tissue is regarded as inflammatory bowel disease. It may also increase the risk of colorectal cancer and two of its main causes are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both lead to inflammation in the digestive tract which in turn causes pain in the abdomen.

Causes Specific to Women

There are a few reasons that are specific to women and cause pain on the right side of the abdomen. These factors are usually more serious and require medical attention. Even though the pain may be felt on the lower right side of the abdomen, the pain may be arising from the left side. Some of the common causes include:

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovarian torsion

Causes Specific to Men

Similar to women, few causes are specific to men only. These conditions require immediate medical attention and two major reasons include:

When to visit the doctor?

The following symptoms are a cause for concern and require urgent medical attention:

  • Chest pain or pressure in the chest
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool
  • Constant vomiting & nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Severe tenderness when you touch the abdomen

It is important to consult a doctor when the pain in the lower right abdomen lasts for more than a few days.

Abdominal Pain Illustration Image

right side abdominal pain

right side abdominal pain

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