Pain on the Right Side of the Abdomen-Things You Need to Know

Sometimes you feel a terrible pain in the right side of your body, screeching through your ribs down to the lower part of your abdomen. Such pain makes it nearly impossible to take the next step. Sometimes, it feels like a knot holds your abdomen tightly away from the upper side of your body, and any thought to move or sigh may break you down fully. This most often than not, is the abdominal pain.

This article is to help understand more about Pain in the Right Side of the Abdomen. It is important to know at least a little about abdominal pain at large – especially the fact that it is not always due to life threatening conditions. This will save you those depressing thoughts that run in your head whenever the stomach pain begins again. You don’t need to feel like you’re left alone to die, once you know the causes and possible reasons for the pain, then we could get more specific dealing with Pain on the Right side of the abdomen.

Organs in right Side of the Body

Briefly on Abdominal Pains

Know that sometimes, you have abdominal pains due to reasons that are mild. This will only bring mild issues too. Three common examples of causes of mild abdominal pain include:

  • Constipation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food allergies e.g lactose intolerance

These are complications that could be averted by simply watching what you take in. Lactose intolerance may be a little different among these all as it is simply caused by inability of the body to produce enough of the enzyme – lactase, which is needed to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance cramps easily can be avoided and even controlled by totally avoiding dairy (or cow milk) products.

At times, abdominal pain is caused by a little more serious reason, thus causing serious pang too. It may be more painful if it were appendicitis, abdominal aortic aneurysm (a bowel blockage cancer) or even gastro-esophageal reflux (a situation where food that is already mixed with acid in the stomach makes its way back into the esophagus).

Sometimes, these pains may be referred pain from a site other than the abdomen like the heart or the pelvis due to heart burn, heart attack, menstrual pains, or even pneumonia. Abdominal pain can thus be complicated and cause more fear and harm when not understood or well managed, as it may not be specific. This article takes a specific consideration on the pain felt on the right side of the abdomen.

Organs on right Side of the Body:

Why do you have pain on the right side? You should first know which important organs are on the right side of the body.

Medically, the abdomen is divided into four quadrants: Right Upper Quadrant, Left Upper Quadrant, Right Lower Quadrant, and Left Lower Quadrant. This helps doctors identify the causes and potential problems of abdominal pain.

1.Right quadrant:

The right quadrant of the body includes several organs such as the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. Pain in the upper quadrant of the right side may be owing to the formation of an ulcer or could be an indication of hepatitis.

2.Right Lower Quadrant

Next comes the quadrant at the lower side of the right portion. This contains several organs including the appendix as well as colon and ovary. In women, this portion also includes the fallopian tube. Thus, it is recommended to see a doctor as soon as one starts feeling a sense of discomfort in the region of the body.


Another major portion of the human organ, located at both the right and left side of the body, is the lungs. With the duty of transferring oxygen in and pushing the carbon dioxide out, this is one of the most important organs of the human body. Where some portion of it is located on the right side of the body, the rest is on the left.

4.Right Kidney:

Just like the lungs, kidneys are also those organs that are located both on the left as well as the right side of the human body. The major function of this organ is to push out all the toxins of the human body through the urine.


On the right side of the human body, there is a large meaty organ called the liver, which has the main function of filtering all the blood that comes from the digestive tract. Before this blood moves to the rest of the body, it is purified in the liver.


On the right side of the abdomen of a human body, the pancreas is located. The function of the pancreas is to convert all the food, eaten by the human, into the fuel that would charge the human body. Thus, it aids in the digestion of the food as well as provides the required level of sugar to the body.

7.Large intestine:

Another very important organ on the right side of the body is the large intestine. Also known as the large bowel, it absorbs water and makes the waste material stored in the form of feces. Thus, it provides the body with the ability to move poisonous material out of the body.

8.Other Important Organs in the Right Side:

  • Gall bladder
  • Duodenum
  • Head of a pancreas
  • Appendix
  • Ascending Colon
  • Right ovary and Fallopian tube
  • Right ureter

Organs on the Right Side of the Abdomen that could cause pain

1. The Liver

Sometimes you need biopsies, blood test, or ultrasound to discover the causes of the pains that come from the liver. Often, it may be acute, malignant and sore. Other times, it just comes as a vague and dull pain that you feel most in the upper side right area of your abdomen, just below your ribs.

You may be confused at times by this pain, much that you think comes from the right shoulder side or get it mixed for a general abdominal pain, back pain or even kidney pain.

This is according to New Health Guide in a health provisional note titled “Liver Pain Symptoms”. Liver pains can be caused by many factors such as: ascites – fluid in your abdomen, cirrhosis, hepatitis, enlarged liver and more…

2. The Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile from the liver. It is always situated under the liver. Its job is to release bile through ducts, passing it into your small intestine, where the breakdown of food intakes occurs.

The gallbladder is gentle until something hinders the flow of the bile from the gallbladder. This will often mean that gallstones are there in your bile, including cholesterol and bilirubin.

Then you begin to notice pains in the upper abdominal area, severe pain in the upper right center of your abdomen, the right upper quadrant of your abdomen likewise begins to get tender, and abdominal pains begin to last several hours.

Such pains can as well extend beneath the right shoulder blade and to the back. When you see these things, know that something may be wrong with bile release from your gallbladder.

It is not time to panic and get hysteric, it’s only a time to call your doctor for necessary medications. Usually, with strict compliance with your prescribed medication, the gallstones get dissolved and bile is once again synthesized and transported as it should be.

3. The Appendix

The organ sitting tangentially at the junction of your small intestine and large intestine is the appendix. It is a thin tube in the lower right side of your abdomen, and it is often four inch long. It is speculated that the appendix stores good bacteria and helps restores the digestive system after some diarrheal illnesses.

Note that the specific work of the appendix is not so clear, but it’s clear when pain erupts from there. Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. This inflammation is usually due to infection of the appendix and a disturbance to its bacterial flora.

Appendicitis causes pain from the appendix in the right side of your abdomen, and you begin to feel sharp pains in the lower right side of your abdomen. You quickly loose appetite and get vomiting before abdominal pain escalates.

The abdomen begins to swell and there may be a need for surgery. Once the appendix is surgically excised in a simple procedure called appendicostomy, instant relief is felt from the sharp pain of appendicitis. The body begins the healing process and it lives as though the appendix never existed.

4. Right Fallopian Tube

The Fallopian tubes are muscular tubes that make up an important part of the female reproductive system. The fallopian tubes link the two ovaries to the uterus forming a passageway for eggs to pass through in anticipation of fertilization.

The fallopian tubes are lined with delicate hair-like structures which help the egg travel from ovaries down the womb or uterus, also helping the sperm to travel up from thee womb. Problems arise when the fallopian tube gets blocked, and pains begin in the pelvis and then belly, through the right side of the abdomen.

Pain may be caused by inflammation, infections or diseases in any of these organs, but it is not in all situations. Not all pain cases are caused by serious factors. You may just simply have to watch whatever could cause you heartburn, excess gas or muscle strain. So be careful not to take drastic actions on minor issues or take light actions on serious issues.

Symptoms of Pathologies in the Right Side of the Abdomen

It is not uncommon to find that a person cannot localize the pain they feel in their abdomen. This is because sharp pain felt in the belly or pelvis could in fact be referred pain from other organs of the right side of the abdomen.

For example, the pain you feel in the posterior part of the abdomen can be caused by kidney stones or gallbladder stones (or gallstones). Remember that your gallbladder is by the right side of your abdomen, protected under the right side of your rib cage, where you also have your liver, right lung and right Kidney.

Gallstones and kidney stones are  formed in the body as a result of pathologies or hormonal imbalance. They can stay in your body without causing you any pain or damage until they become big enough to block regular flow of fluid in their tracts.

Gallstones and kidney stones can cause digestive tract infection and urinary tract infection respectively with both causing pain in the posterior abdomen.

This pain can be confusing as it is difficult to localize where exactly it is coming from. But there is an easy way to differentiate them. Whereas, gallstones or gallbladder infections cause snapping right-sided pain immediately below your ribs, pain from kidney stones is felt in the back.

Other accompanying symptoms of pain in the right side of the abdomen include:

  • Discomfort and Aches on the Right Side of the Abdomen

This can often be caused by some digestive system problems

  • Nausea and Vomiting

Usually, this is the sign of infection in one of the vital organs resident in the right side like the liver, kidney or appendix. This infection causes sharp pains in the lower side of the abdomen, thus leading to nausea and involuntary vomiting.

  • Pain from below the Belly Button.

It is often the symptom of appendicitis. Appendicitis is a chronic condition (happening over a long period of time) and as such, appendicitis pain is usually insidious –gradually worsens until it becomes unbearable. Sometimes, it can also come as a sharp, acute pain at a time, only to go again for a while.

Sharp Pain Under Right Breast

Pain on the Right Side of the Chest

Pain in any part of the thorax is called chest pain. The thorax is the upper part of the trunk that is situated between the neck and the abdomen.  Chest pains can be due to numerous reasons; some are serious and require medical attention while others can resolve on their own or with simple modifications.

Serious causes of chest pain are:

  1. Heart attack: the heart is located on the left side of the body and so it is expected that pain from the heart is felt on the left side of the chest but it has been found that it can also be felt in the right side. Scientists claim that heart pain- presenting as sudden, intense painful sensations- can be felt in any part of the chest and should be taken seriously. If you feel such pains, please consult your doctor immediately.
  2. Breast cancer: malignant growth in the breast usually presents with pain. When you feel pain accompanied wih the other cardinal signs of breast cancer, please consult your doctor.
  3. Pneumonia: infection to the respiratory tract known as pneumonia can cause chest pain.
  4. Pulmonary embolism: embolisms of any kind can be life threatening and so should be taken very seriously. When pain is felt in the right part of the chest, it could be due to an obstruction of a blood vessel. The right side is especially vulnerable since large veins returning deoxygenated blood enter the heart through there right side.

Other less serious causes of chest pain include:

  1. Heartburn: heartburn or acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach make its way up the esophagus. The lining of the esophagus is not modified to accommodate this acid and so it causes irritation and pain. Usually, this pain can be left to resolve within hours but you can drink a mixture of baking soda and water to provide instant relief.
  2. Muscle strain: the ribs are all joined by muscles called the intercostal muscles. When intercostal muscles on the right side are strained due to overstretching, pain is felt. This pain is considered a minor issue as relief can usually be gotten by applies a cold or hot pack on the affected area.
  3. Panic attacks: when experiencing a panic attack, the muscles of the body go into painful spasm. This includes the muscles of the right part of the chest.

Right Side Abdominal Pains Peculiar to Women

The peculiarity of the female anatomy makes for the fact that there are some pains that are unique to the ladies. There are some right sided abdominal pains that are  peculiar to women. This however, does not mean that ladies are the only victims of abdominal pains, it only means that there are some complications that often occur in the female reproductive system, which can cause pelvic pains, cramps and serious discomforts.

On the right side of the female abdomen, there can be a number of pains causes and complications, stemming from Mittelschmerz, Ectopic Pregnancy to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Let’s consider two major factors.

  • The ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg implants itself outside the womb. This kind of pregnancy therefore causes lower belly pain on the right side of the body after gradual development, and it comes with symptoms of heavy virginal bleeding and signs of shock and dizziness.

Doctors from WebMd have discovered that pelvic pains occur sharply on the side of the abdomen, then spreads through the pelvic area. The pain may also radiate to the right side of the body – the shoulder blade especially.

This is because there will be bleeding in the abdomen already, and the right side of the body quickly gets affected by whatever happens to the abdomen. Women with this type of pelvic pain may need to check for ectopic pregnancies.

  • Ovarian Cyst

Small cysts are normal to appear during the menstrual cycle. This cyst appears and disappears in the ovary, where egg is produced. If this cyst continues to appear however, and also continues to fill with fluid, it starts to cause pain in the lower abdomen on the right side. Sometimes on the left. However, the ovarian cyst can as well be caused by hormonal problems, pelvic infections or endometriosis.


In conclusion, it is good to know various possible reasons for pain on the right side of the abdomen. You get to know when to take precautions or rightful medication and when to visit your doctor.

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