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What Causes Right Side Abdominal Pain?

The point that passes through the centre of your chest to the genitalia via the umbilicus is the right side of the abdomen. The cause behind the right side abdominal pain determines the type of medications you would need. It is of immense importance to find out the right cause for the pain and then take preventive measures. Sometimes, the pain in the right side of the abdomen is an extended discomfort, one is experiencing from the left side of the pain. This is because the organ involved occupies a part of the left and the right side of the abdomen. Also, inflammation or pain in an adjacent organ affects the abdomen leaving behind a bloated abdomen.

Causes of Right Side Abdominal Pain?

Taking a closer look at the different causes of pain on the right side of the abdomen;

1. Appendicitis

An inflammation of the appendix is a condition that causes immense pain in the right side of the abdomen. The pain starts from the right side of the lower abdomen and can extend to various other parts adjacent to the right abdomen. The presence of appendicitis is affirmed by nausea, vomiting, extensive pain in your navel, bloating and fever. In case you witness such symptoms, it is desirable that you seek medical advice as early as possible. If the condition worsens, it might burst your appendix.

2. Constipation

It is not necessary that a pain in the right side of the abdomen, always suggests the presence of a serious disease. The reason could be as simple as constipation. Few instances of pain in the right side of the abdomen complain about irregular bowel movements thereby leading to constipation. Additionally, hard stools add to this problem necessitating the need for medical advice. Symptoms that indicate the presence of constipation are problems associated with bowel movements, pain in the abdomen, hard stool and a sense of blockage in the rectum.

3. Stomach Ulcer

A stomach ulcer is a condition when the lining of the oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine get sore as the lining is disrupted by the presence of stomach acids. Heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting are a few of the indicating factors the confirm the inflammation of the stomach lining.

4. Gallstones

Gallstones is a condition when the gallbladder gets infected by smaller and harder deposits of fluid. These unwanted digestive fluids lead to the formation of gallstones, and this is one of the most common causes of pain in the right side of the abdomen. Cramping, back pain, nausea, and vomiting are a few of the symptoms of gallstones.

5. Biliary Colic

Biliary Colic is intense pain in the right side of the abdomen that occurs a few minutes after the consumption of a heavy meal. The pain is majorly in the upper right side of the abdomen. The pain induced by the biliary colic is sometimes acute and peristaltic. This reflects the fact that the pain suddenly strikes and increases in intensity as time passes. The same is accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

6. Kidney Stones

Another common reason for pain in the right side of the abdomen is renal calculus which are essentially kidney stones. The pain is same as you experience in biliary colic and radiates to regions beyond the right abdomen.  Additionally,  the pain you would witness is extremely intense and would find hard to attain a comfortable position. Depending upon the size of the stones, doctors suggest medication and in a few cases, surgery.

As evident, there are an array of reasons behind the occurrence of pain in the right side of the abdomen. In case the pain lasts for long hours and does not dissolve by home remedies, you should not neglect the situation and seek medical advice as early as possible.

Risk Factors of Right Side Abdominal Pain?

Though the onset of abdominal pain in the right side is not alarming or threatening, but  if accompanied with other symptoms or additional inflammation, this leads to several risks aggravating the condition further. Few of the common risk factors include:

  • Ageing
  • People who are overweight are more prone to pain in the abdomen in the right side.
  • Smoking or excessive alcohol consumption worsens the possibility of colon inflammation leading go abdominal pain.
  • Several medicines taken to relieve pain causes intense abdominal pain.

Symptoms of Right Side Abdominal Pain?

Depending upon the exact cause of the pain in the right of the abdomen,  symptoms vary. However, the most common indication observed frequently include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Soreness
  • Boosting
  • Gas production
  • Loss of hunger or appetite loss
  • Coloured or smelly urine. This is when the pain is due to kidney stones.

Additional uncommon symptoms of the pain in the right side of the abdomen include bloody stools, fever, loss of weight, skin turning yellow and swollen abdomen.


Diagnosis for Right Side Abdominal Pain? 

To treat the pain in the right side of the abdomen, it is imperative to know the major cause of the same. Just by looking at the symptoms and assessing the intensity of the pain does not support a particular treatment. An extensive study needs to be performed to rule out the symptoms and map them with possible disease.
Doctors first go for a physical examination to see where exactly in the abdomen does one experiences pain. Palpations, percussion, and auscultation are a few methods used by them to determine the same. Additionally, a blood test followed by samples of urine affirm the presence of disease such as the kidney stones. Other measures taken by the doctor to diagnose the cause behind acute pain in the right side of the abdomen include:

  • If the doctor doubts the presence of a hernia or kidney stones, he would suggest you undertake a blood test for the number of white blood cells present in your body. An increased WBC count confirms appendicitis.
  • Several X-Rays to look out for Volvulus.
  • If the doctor finds symptoms similar to the ones in Crohn’s Disease, he would suggest a colonoscopy along with few blood test and stool samples.
  • Ultrasound for an enlarged view of the abdomen.
  • If the doctor sees something unusual in the ultrasound, he would further suggest a CT scan of the whole abdomen or even an endoscopy.
  • For ovarian cyst, a doctor would perform a transvaginal ultrasound to get a better picture.
  • Levels of serotonin or histamine checked by performing several blood tests.

Treatment for Right Side Abdominal Pain? 

After analysing the symptoms and performing corresponding blood tests and ultrasound, the doctor affirms the cause of pain in the right abdomen. The treatment to be given to the patient depends upon the cause and the corresponding risk factors. Few of the most common treatment includes:

  • If the pain is due to an appendix, then surgery and removal of the part is the only treatment to ease the pain in the right abdomen.
  • To soften those hard faces, stool softeners or laxatives are given thereby regulating improper bowel movement.
  • Additionally, constipation can be treated by inducing a change in your regular diet. And this dissolves pain on the right side of the abdomen.
  • To get rid of a pain in the right side of the abdomen due to the presence of kidney stones, doctors advise the patient to consume water as much as possible. This helps to break the smaller kidney stones and also aid passage of the stones via urination.
  • To treat bacterial infections, several over the counter medications are given to the patient.
  • For kidney stones of huge size, surgery is the only option for its removal.

Medications for Right Side Abdominal Pain?

Medicines provided to ease the pain in the right side of the abdomen rely on the cause of occurrence of the pain. For temporary relief, the doctor can prescribe pain relievers, though they are not capable of curing the disease. Also, a doctor can prescribe antibiotic and NSAIDs to heal inflammation.  Some of the most common medication includes ibuprofen and aspirin.
If the pain is severe and acute, the doctor then drafts OCPs to regulate ovulation. No matter what the reason of pain in the right side of the abdomen, it is always advised to consult a doctor to stay safe. Few cases seek surgery which call for proper rest. Even after the surgery is done, one should take complete bed rest to avoid infections or inflammation. It is highly recommended to keep a check of the right side abdominal pain while you are pregnant. Miscarriage always leads to right side abdominal pain, and if left untreated, it paves the way for an array of other problems. Never ignore a symptom or sign that you feel is not unusual.

It is clear that pain in the right side of the abdomen is agitated by a list of factors and so is its necessary to ascertain the cause and then opt for corresponding diagnosis and medications. You should never ignore or neglect the same as it might lead to morbidity and mortality.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.