Why Do I Have Pain in Lower Right Abdomen?

Right Side Abdominal Pain
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni


Right-sided abdominal pain refers to any discomfort, pain or cramping on the right side of the abdomen, between the lower edge of the ribcage and the pelvic bone. The pain may be sharp, dull, or achy and may be constant or intermittent. Right-sided abdominal pain can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including gastrointestinal issues like constipation, gas, and bloating, as well as more serious conditions like appendicitis, gallbladder disease, and kidney stones. Other possible causes include reproductive issues such as ovarian cysts or ectopic pregnancy and musculoskeletal problems like muscle strain or injury. In some cases, right-sided abdominal pain may be a symptom of a medical emergency and need immediate medical attention.

This blog discusses the possible causes and management of right-sided abdominal pain.

Why Do I Have Lower Right Abdominal Pain?

Pain is often a symptom of an underlying health problem. The lower right abdomen ache is typically not problematic and may improve in a day. But suppose it is severe or persistent, or you suddenly have any symptoms besides severe stomach pain or abdominal discomfort. In that case, you should seek emergency medical attention:

  • A feeling of pressure in your chest
  • Fever
  • pain in your chest, jaw, neck, or arm
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • sweating
  • blood in your vomit or stool
  • persistent nausea or vomiting
  • skin or eye whites that appear yellow (jaundice)
  • severe tenderness when you touch your abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • unusual swelling of your abdomen
  • black or tar-like stool
  • persistent loss of appetite
  • unusual weight loss
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Appendicitis is when the appendix, a small pouch-shaped organ in the lower right side of the abdomen, becomes inflamed and infected. The inflammation can cause pain and tenderness in the lower right abdomen, typically the most common symptom of appendicitis.


The cause is not always known, but it may be due to an obstruction in the appendix, which can lead to an infection. This obstruction can be caused by fecal matter, a foreign body, or enlarged lymphoid tissue. In some cases, an infection may occur without an obstruction. Other possible causes of appendicitis may include genetic factors, bacterial infections, or digestive problems.


The common symptom of appendicitis is pain, which usually starts around the belly button and then goes to the lower right side of the abdomen. Other symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Abdominal swelling or bloating
  • Painful urination


Appendicitis is usually treated with surgery to remove the infected appendix, known as an appendectomy. This procedure is usually done as soon as possible after the diagnosis is made to avoid complications. Antibiotics may sometimes be used to treat the infection before surgery. Pain relievers and intravenous fluids may also be given to relieve symptoms.

If left untreated, appendicitis can lead to severe complications, such as a ruptured appendix, which can cause an infection in the abdominal cavity. 

Acute Hepatitis

Right abdominal pain can be a symptom of acute hepatitis, particularly in cases of hepatitis A, B, and C. The liver is located on the right side of the abdomen, and inflammation of the liver can cause pain in the area.


The causes of acute hepatitis vary depending on the type of virus causing the inflammation. Hepatitis A is typically spread through contaminated food or water intake, while hepatitis B, C, and D are spread through blood and other bodily fluids.

Other factors that can cause acute hepatitis and abdominal pain include

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Exposure to toxins, such as certain medications or chemicals
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Metabolic disorders


The symptoms of acute hepatitis can vary depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Common symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes),
  • Dark urine,
  • Pale stool,
  • Joint pain,
  • Itching


The treatment of acute hepatitis depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Treatment typically focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting liver function until it can heal. Antiviral medications may be prescribed to treat viral hepatitis.

Other treatments for acute hepatitis include

  • Rest. Patients are advised to rest and avoid activities that may further damage the liver.
  • Diet. A balanced diet low in fat and high in protein and carbohydrates is recommended to support liver function.
  • Medications. Medications may be prescribed to manage pain, nausea, and itching.
  • Alcohol avoidance. Patients with acute hepatitis are advised to avoid alcohol and other substances that can damage the liver.
  • Hospitalization. In severe cases of acute hepatitis, hospitalization may be necessary to monitor liver function and provide supportive care.
Pain in the Right Side of the Abdomen can Lead to Complications. Discuss with one of our Doctors Online.

Kidney Infection

Right abdominal pain can also be a symptom of a kidney infection, a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract and infect the kidneys.


The most common cause of a kidney infection is the spread of bacteria from the bladder or urethra into the kidneys. This can occur due to factors such as:

  • Urinary tract obstruction, such as a kidney stone or enlarged prostate
  • Sexual activity, particularly in women
  • Use of a catheter
  • Immune system disorders that weaken the body’s ability to fight infection


In addition to right abdominal pain, a kidney infection can cause a range of symptoms, including


Treatment of kidney infection aims to eliminate the disease and prevent complications. This typically involves antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection.

  • Antibiotics. The prescribed antibiotics depend on the type of bacterial organism causing the infection and the severity of the condition. Antibiotics are typically taken for 7 to 14 days.
  • Pain relievers. Pain relievers available over the counter, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and reduce fever.
  • Hospitalization. In severe cases of kidney infection, hospitalization may be necessary to receive antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
  • Surgery. In rare cases, surgery might be necessary to remove an obstruction in the urinary tract causing the infection.

Lifestyle changes. Drinking fluids, urinating frequently and avoiding irritants such as coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods can help prevent recurrent infections.


Inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis, can produce discomfort in many parts of the abdomen, including the lower right side. Pancreatitis, which often affects the left side of the stomach but can also produce discomfort on the right side, might result in lower right abdominal pain due to pancreatic tail inflammation.

Causes of pancreatitis:

  • Gallstones: Gallstones, which can obstruct the bile duct and result in pancreatic inflammation, are one of the most typical causes of pancreatitis.
  • Alcohol abuse: Heavy alcohol consumption over a long period can lead to pancreatitis.
  • High triglycerides in the blood: High levels of triglycerides can cause inflammation in the pancreas.
  • Trauma: Trauma to the abdomen can cause pancreatitis.
  • Infection: In rare cases, a condition in the pancreas can cause pancreatitis.

Symptoms of pancreatitis:

  • Severe pain in the upper abdomen that may radiate to the back or lower right side
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swollen and tender abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Treatment of pancreatitis: 

Treatment for pancreatitis will depend on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with rest, pain relievers, and intravenous fluids. More severe cases may require hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics, nutrition support, and pain management. In cases where gallstones cause pancreatitis, gallbladder removal may be necessary to prevent future attacks. In cases of chronic pancreatitis, lifestyle changes such as quitting alcohol and maintaining a healthy diet may be required to manage symptoms.

Kidney Stones

Right-sided lower abdominal pain can be a symptom of kidney stones, deposits of minerals and salts that form in the kidneys and can cause discomfort as they pass through the urinary tract.

Causes of kidney stones:

  • Dehydration: Lack of adequate bodily fluids leads to kidney stones forming.
  • Diet: Consuming too much salt, animal protein, and oxalate-rich foods can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Genetics: A family history of kidney stones may increase the risk of developing them.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, urinary tract infections, and inflammatory bowel disease may increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

Symptoms of kidney stones:

  • Severe pain in the back or side, which may radiate to the lower right abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Painful urination
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine

Treatment of kidney stones:

Treatment depends on the size and site of the stones. Small stones may pass on their own with pain medication and hydration. Larger stones may require medical intervention, such as extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL), which uses sound waves to break up the stones, or ureteroscopy, which involves using a small camera to locate and remove the stones. At times, surgery may be necessary to remove the stones. After treatment, measures such as increased fluid intake, dietary changes, and medication may be recommended to prevent the formation of future kidney stones.

Is your Right-sided Pain due to Renal Stones? Get Investigated by one of our Doctors Online.

Gallbladder Stones

Right-sided lower abdominal pain can be a symptom of gallbladder stones, which are hard deposits of cholesterol or bile in the gallbladder.

Causes of gallbladder stones:

  • Obesity: Being obese or overweight increases the risk of developing gallstones.
  • Genetics: A family history of gallstones may increase the risk of developing them.
  • Hormonal changes: Women are more likely than men to develop gallstones, and hormonal changes such as pregnancy or birth control pills can increase the risk.
  • Diet: A diet high in fat and low in fibre can increase the risk of developing gallstones.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and Crohn’s disease may increase the risk of developing gallstones.

Symptoms of gallbladder stones:

  • Pain in the upper right abdomen, which may radiate to the lower right abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Bloating and indigestion

Treatment of gallbladder stones: 

Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. If the stones are not causing symptoms, no treatment may be necessary. However, if symptoms are present, gallbladder removal surgery (cholecystectomy) may be essential to prevent complications such as infection or gallbladder inflammation. Sometimes, medication may be used to dissolve the stones or manage symptoms. After surgery, dietary changes and medication are recommended to prevent the formation of new stones.

Menstrual Pain

Right-sided lower abdominal pain can be a common symptom of menstruation, which is the shedding of the uterine lining that occurs approximately once a month in women of reproductive age.

Causes of menstrual pain:

  • Contractions: The uterus contracts to help expel the lining, and these contractions can cause pain.
  • Prostaglandins: The body produces chemicals called prostaglandins, which can cause pain and inflammation.
  • Endometriosis: In some cases, menstrual pain may be caused by endometriosis, where the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of it and can cause pain and inflammation.

Symptoms of menstrual pain:

  • Cramping or pain in the lower abdomen, which may radiate to the more down right side
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Treatment of menstrual pain:

Mild cases may be treated with OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In some cases, hormonal birth control may be prescribed to regulate and reduce pain in the menstrual cycle. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management techniques may also be helpful. In cases where endometriosis is causing pain, medication or surgery may be necessary.

Abdominal Muscle Strain

Right-sided lower abdominal pain can be a symptom of an abdominal muscle strain, which occurs when the abdominal wall muscles are stretched or torn due to excessive force or overuse.

Causes of abdominal muscle strain:

  • Overuse: Repeated or excessive strain on the abdominal muscles, such as with specific sports or weightlifting, can cause tension.
  • Sudden movements: Twisting or bending suddenly can cause the muscles to strain or tear.
  • Weak muscles: Weak abdominal muscles may be more prone to strain.

Symptoms of abdominal muscle strain:

  • Pain or tenderness in the lower right abdomen
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Difficulty moving or standing up straight
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness in the affected area

Treatment of abdominal muscle strain: 

Treatment for an abdominal muscle strain will depend on the severity of the injury. Mild cases may be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to reduce pain and swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be helpful. In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended to help improve muscle strength and flexibility. In complicated cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the muscle. Resting and avoiding activities that may worsen the strain until it fully recovers is essential.

Consult one of our Doctors for Right-sided Muscular Pain in the Abdomen


Right-sided lower abdominal pain can be a symptom of constipation, a condition in which bowel movements are not frequent or difficult to pass.

Causes of constipation:

  • Poor diet: A diet low in fiber or high in processed foods can contribute to constipation.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can make stools hard and difficult to pass.
  • Lack of exercise: Exercise helps stimulate the bowel muscles and promote regular bowel movements.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as painkillers or antidepressants, can cause constipation.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions, such as IBD or thyroid disorders, may contribute to constipation.

Symptoms of constipation:

  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Hard, dry stools
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Feeling bloated or full
  • Abdominal pain, which may be felt in the lower right side
  • Nausea or vomiting

Treatment of constipation: 

Simple lifestyle changes may be effective in many cases, such as increasing fiber intake, drinking more water, and exercising regularly. Over-the-counter laxatives or stool softeners may also be helpful. If constipation is caused by an underlying medical condition or medication, treatment of the underlying cause may be necessary. In severe cases, manual disimpaction or enemas may be required to remove impacted stools. If constipation is severe or accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or vomiting, it is advised to visit an ER. 


It can also be a hernia symptom, which occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue.

Causes of hernias:

  • Congenital weakness: Some people may be born with a weak abdominal wall that increases their risk of hernias.
  • Straining: During bowel movements, heavy lifting, or coughing, pull the abdominal muscles and increase the risk of hernias.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese can strain the abdominal muscles and increase the risk of hernias.

Symptoms of hernias:

  • A bulge or swelling in the lower right abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower right abdomen, especially when bending or lifting
  • Aching or burning sensation in the abdomen
  • The feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement

Treatment of hernias:

Treatment for a hernia will depend on the severity and location of the hernia. Sometimes, a hernia may be pushed back into place and held in with a supportive device, such as a truss. Surgery may be necessary to repair the hernia and prevent it from recurring. In some cases, surgery may be required immediately if the hernia becomes trapped and cannot be pushed back into place. You must seek medical attention if you suspect a hernia, as untreated hernias can lead to complications such as bowel obstruction or strangulation.

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Food Poisoning

Consuming contaminated food or water can result in food poisoning, which can produce various symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. 

A sign of food poisoning may be right-sided lower abdomen pain, especially if the sickness is brought on by bacteria or viruses that disrupt the digestive system.


Various bacteria, viruses, and parasites can cause food poisoning. Some of the most common causes of food poisoning include:

  • Salmonella: Found in raw or undercooked poultry, eggs, and meat, as well as in some vegetables and fruits.
  • E. coli: Found in undercooked beef, raw vegetables, and unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Listeria: Found in deli meats, soft cheeses, and raw vegetables.
  • Campylobacter: Found in raw or undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, and contaminated water.
  • Norovirus: Spread by contaminated food or water or close contact with an infected person.


These may vary depending on the infection, but common symptoms include the following:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping, particularly on the lower right side of the abdomen.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea may be bloody in some cases.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Dehydration can lead to dizziness, weakness, and dry mouth.


Most cases of food poisoning can be treated at home with rest and plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and anti-diarrheal drugs may also be used to manage symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist or are severe, it is essential to seek medical attention. Occasionally, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections. Staying well-hydrated and avoiding solid food until the symptoms subside is necessary. Washing hands frequently and avoiding contact with others if you are sick are also essential.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a digestive disorder that can cause various symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.IBS is thought to be brought on by several variables, including aberrant gastrointestinal tract motility, visceral hypersensitivity, gut-brain axis dysfunction, and psychosocial stressors. At the same time, the specific etiology of the condition remains unknown. Right-sided lower abdominal pain is a common symptom of IBS.


  • Several factors can cause it, including
  • Colon inflammation,
  • Bowel enlargement, and
  • Abnormal contraction of the intestinal muscles 


Symptoms other than right abdominal pain include

  • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation, 
  • Bloating, 
  • Gas
  • Nausea.


This typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and medications. Some lifestyle changes that may help reduce IBS symptoms include stress management techniques, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Dietary modifications may involve avoiding certain foods that trigger symptoms, such as high-fat foods, dairy products, and caffeine. Antispasmodics to lessen intestinal muscular spasms, laxatives to relieve constipation, and antidepressants to help control discomfort and elevate mood are some medications that may be used to treat IBS.

The treatment of IBS is highly individualized and may require a trial-and-error approach to find what works best for each individual. Additionally, it is crucial to speak with a healthcare provider to rule out other potential causes of abdominal pain and to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


Right-sided abdominal pain in diverticulitis can be caused by infection of the diverticula, which are small pouches that form along the walls of the colon.


Other symptoms can accompany the right-sided pain, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Bloating and gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenderness or sensitivity in the affected area

Treatment of Diverticulitis

Treatment usually involves a combination of antibiotics to fight the infection and pain relievers to manage the discomfort. At times, hospitalization may be necessary to receive intravenous antibiotics and fluids. Doctors may also recommend a liquid or low-fiber diet to give the colon time to heal. Surgery may be needed in severe cases or if complications arise, such as a ruptured diverticulum or abscess. A healthy diet and lifestyle habits are vital to prevent diverticulitis and other digestive problems.


Right-sided abdominal pain in gastroenteritis can be caused by inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines due to infection with a virus, bacteria, or parasite. 

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis 

Other symptoms can accompany the right-sided pain, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating and gas
  • Dehydration
  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle aches


Treatment for gastroenteritis usually involves managing symptoms and preventing dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. In some cases, over-the-counter medications such as antidiarrheals or pain relievers may be used to manage symptoms. Antibiotics are not usually prescribed for gastroenteritis unless there is a bacterial infection. Practicing good hygiene and washing your hands frequently is essential to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis. If symptoms are severe or persist for more than a few days, it’s essential to seek medical attention.

Consult one of our Doctors Online if the Right-sided Pain Worsens on Lying Down.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Right-sided abdominal pain in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be caused by inflammation and damage to the lining of the colon or ileum, the end of the small intestine that connects to the colon.

Symptoms of IBD

Other symptoms can accompany this pain, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Joint pain

Two types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which can cause right-sided abdominal pain. In Crohn’s disease, inflammation can be in any part of the digestive tract, but it often affects the ileum and the colon, causing pain on the right side of the abdomen. In ulcerative colitis, the inflammation is limited to the colon and rectum.


IBD often involves medications such as corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologics to control inflammation and symptoms. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove damaged portions of the colon or rectum. Working with a healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s specific needs is essential. Lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, managing stress, and getting regular exercise, can also help improve the quality of life for people with IBD.


Right-sided abdominal pain in indigestion can be caused by various factors, such as overeating, eating too quickly, or consuming certain foods or beverages that are difficult to digest. 


This right-sided pain can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Belching
  • Feeling full or uncomfortable after eating
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue


Treatment for indigestion usually involves:

  • Making lifestyle changes to avoid triggers, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Avoid fatty or spicy foods.
  • Reducing stress.

Over-the-counter medications, such as antacids, can help relieve heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. Sometimes, prescription medications may be necessary to manage more severe symptoms. It’s essential to consult with a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen or if there is blood in the stool, as it could indicate a more severe condition.


Air and other gases throughout your digestive system make up intestinal gas. Food fully digested once it reaches your intestines is frequently the culprit. Your body will produce more gas the more undigested food there is. 

If gas accumulates, it can result in bloating, stomach pain, and a “knotted” sensation. Farting and burping frequently relieve discomfort. In actuality, a person may evacuate gas up to 30 times daily. 


Also, you may occasionally have intestinal gas if you swallow more air than normal, such as overeating, chewing gum, or smoking.

Bloated with the Right Side of the Stomach Pain? Consult one of our Doctors Online to Get Treated.

Right-side Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy

Right-sided abdominal pain due to the expanding baby and uterus pressing under the ribs in later pregnancy is common. Pain immediately beneath the ribs is typical. 

But, if this discomfort is severe or long-lasting, especially on the right side, it may indicate pre-eclampsia. This condition affects some pregnant women and causes high blood pressure.


The causes of right-sided abdominal pain may vary in pregnancy

  • Muscle strain,
  • Round ligament pain,
  • Braxton Hicks compressions,
  • Cramping,
  • Digestive issues,
  • and Pre-eclampsia
  • Gallstones


Other symptoms associated with this pain in pregnancy include Nausea and vomiting. Bloating, constipation, high blood pressure or indigestion, depending upon the cause.


A muscle or ligament strain on the right side may typically be treated at home to relieve pain. If you watch what you eat, gastric pain can lessen.

Ease muscle pain, sore ligaments, and cramps by changing position, lying down, walking or moving using a hot water bottle or heat pads, taking a warm bath massage, or taking over-the-counter pain medication.

FAQs About Right-side Abdominal Pain Answered by Your Doctors Online Team

How to identify what causes the right side abdominal pain?

A thorough analysis of the symptoms and a physical examination are necessary to determine the source of right-side belly discomfort. This includes location, character, duration, type, worsening and relieving pain factors. 
Further diagnostic tests may be required in some circumstances.

What can cause intense stomach pain that comes and goes?

Abdominal pain that comes and goes is known as colic. Colic is intermittent abdominal pain caused by the contraction of a hollow organ such as the intestine, gallbladder, or urinary system. Constant pain can come from different organs, such as stomach ulcers, pancreatitis, or pain from an abscess.

How can I prevent abdominal pain?

You can try the following to prevent abdominal pain. 
Bowel rest: Eat nothing or only simple things like crackers or bananas that are easy to digest.
Hydration: Take in a lot of water or a hydration drink.
Heat treatment: Consider using a warm water bottle or taking a bath.
Domestic remedies: Licorice can aid with gas, ginger can help with indigestion, and peppermint can help your digestive muscles relax.

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