General Practice 2022

Pain on the right side of the belly: 8 common causes (and what to do)

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Pain on the right side of the belly: 8 common causes (and what to do)
Pain on the right side of the belly: 8 common causes (and what to do)

Pain on the right side of the belly in most cases is not serious, being, in many cases, just a sign of excess gas in the intestine.

However, this symptom can also be more worrying, especially when the pain is very intense or lasts for a long time, as it can be a symptom of more serious problems, such as appendicitis or gallstones, for example.

Thus, whenever some type of pain appears, it is recommended to observe its characteristics, which may include: understanding if there is any other symptom, when it appeared, does it radiate to another region or if it worsens or improves with some type of movement, for example. This information can be very important to help the doctor arrive at a correct diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment.

The most common causes of right tummy pain include:

1. Excessive gases

Abdominal pain on the right side can simply be the distention of the intestines from gas, a common condition that can affect people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. Usually this pain is strong, in the form of stabbings and comes after a meal. This symptom is very common during pregnancy, especially at the end of pregnancy, and also in people with constipation or other intestinal rhythm disorders.

Other symptoms: Severe stabbing pain, feeling of a swollen belly, loss of appetite, feeling of heaviness in the stomach, in addition to increased production of burping or gas, bloating stomach and feeling of satiety. The pain can be persistent, it can get worse at times, but it never goes away completely.

What to do: It is recommended to regularize intestinal functioning and facilitate digestion with the consumption of foods rich in fiber and drinking plenty of water, however, in some cases, it can be the consumption of laxative drugs, such as lactulone, magnesium hydroxide, or bisacodyl, for example, recommended by the doctor is necessary.Learn some tips on how you can fight gas in this video:

2. Irritable bowel

People with irritable bowel syndrome may experience discomfort or pain located in the abdomen, which may be constant or come and go, such as cramping. Pain is usually relieved by defecation.

Other symptoms: In addition to abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas may be present. The exact cause of this illness is not known, which is more common in people with anxiety, depression or psychological disorders.

What to do: You should go to the doctor to investigate what is causing the pain, ruling out other causes, and start treatment. The doctor may ask for more details on how the pain manifests itself, its intensity and what the stool looks like. In addition to the use of medicines such as Hyoscine, to combat cramps, dietary adjustments are recommended, such as eating in small amounts, slowly and avoiding foods such as beans, cabbage and those rich in fermentable carbohydrates.Learn more about treating this syndrome.

3. Gallbladder stone

Pain on the right side of the belly can also be a gallstone, which usually manifests as a colic that is usually located on the right and upper side of the abdomen or in the stomach region, which lasts minutes to hours. It can often radiate to the left side or back, or manifest only with discomfort or poor digestion.

Other symptoms: In certain cases, gallstones can also cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. When stones cause gallbladder inflammation, there may be fever, chills, and yellow skin and eyes.

What to do: After the gallbladder stone is confirmed by ultrasound, removal of the gallbladder by laparoscopy may be indicated. It should be remembered that only the presence of gallstones that do not cause symptoms does not make surgery mandatory, except in specific cases, such as diabetics, people with compromised immunity, with gallbladder calcification or with very large stones, for example.Find out how the surgery is performed and how the recovery is.

4. Appendicitis

Appendicitis causes pain on the right side of the abdomen that begins with a mild cramping around the belly button or in the stomach area. After approximately 6 hours the inflammation worsens and the pain becomes stronger and more evident in the lower region, near the groin.

Other symptoms: There is also loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, bowel may become very loose or stuck, fever of 30ÂșC, hypersensitivity in the lower right part of the abdomen and stiffness abdominal.

What to do: In case of suspicion, go to the emergency room because in most cases it is necessary to have surgery to remove the appendix. Learn all about appendicitis surgery.

5. Acute Hepatitis

Abdominal pain on the right side of the body, in the upper part of the abdomen, can be one of the symptoms of hepatitis.This disease is an inflammation of the liver that has several causes, from viral and bacterial infections, alcoholism, drug use, autoimmunity or degenerative diseases.

Other symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, dark urine, yellow skin and eyes, or pale stools may also be present.

What to do: Rest, drink plenty of water and avoid foods that are difficult to digest, and medications may be prescribed by the doctor, such as interferon in the case of hepatitis C or immunosuppressants in case of autoimmunity. See the main causes and how to treat hepatitis.

6. Pancreatitis

In pancreatitis, abdominal pain is usually located in the upper part of the abdomen and radiates to the back and left shoulder, and may appear shortly after consuming alcoholic beverages or a meal.

Other symptoms: In addition, there may be nausea, vomiting, fever, low blood pressure, a palpable mass in the painful area, yellow skin,

What to do: In case of suspicion, go to the emergency room to perform tests such as ultrasound or tomography. Treatment may include taking painkillers and antibiotics, but sometimes surgery is the best option. Learn all the details of treating pancreatitis.

7. Pain during ovulation

Some women experience pain on the side of the ovary where they are ovulating, also known as mid-cycle pain. The pain is not very severe, but it can be present during the days of ovulation, being easy to see why one month it is on the right side of the body, and the next month it is on the opposite side. This pain can be caused by situations such as endometriosis, ovarian cyst or ectopic pregnancy, for example.

This pain is considered normal and although it can be very intense, it is not a cause for concern.

Other symptoms: The main symptom is abdominal pain on one side of the body in the form of a twinge, twinge, cramp or colic, about 14 days before menstruation, in a 28-day cycle.

What to do: Since ovulation pain only lasts 1 day, just take a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory such as acetaminophen or naproxen to relieve this discomfort. In case of doubt, you can talk to the gynecologist to confirm this hypothesis. Learn all about ovulation pain.

In addition, it is possible to resort to non-pharmacological options, such as application of heat in the region, as a compress, for example, or an infusion with calming plants.

8. Renal colic

The presence of a kidney or bladder stone can obstruct the flow of urine, which can cause moderate to severe pain, usually on the affected side and which may radiate to the back or genitals.

Pain can have a sudden onset and is more common in people between 30 and 60 years of age, with equal frequency in men and women.

Other symptoms: Some symptoms that may accompany the pain are nausea, vomiting, chills, painful urination, bleeding in the urine and, in case of infection, fever.

What to do: In addition to going to the emergency room for clinical evaluations and examinations, the doctor may indicate, to relieve symptoms, medications such as anti-inflammatories, analgesics and antispasmodics. Learn more about what to do to relieve renal colic.

Warning signs to go to the hospital

The warning signs that indicate the need to go to the hospital are:

  • Pain that comes on suddenly and is very strong, localized or gradually getting worse;
  • If there is fever, or difficulty breathing;
  • If you have high blood pressure, tachycardia, cold sweats or malaise;
  • Vomiting and diarrhea that won't go away.

In these cases, in addition to evaluating the signs and symptoms, the doctor may also order diagnostic tests, such as ultrasound or computed tomography.

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