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Lower Right Side Abdominal Pain

A Closer Look at Lower Right Side Abdominal Pain: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Experiencing lower right side abdominal pain can be distressing and requires a comprehensive understanding of its underlying causes, symptoms, and the available treatment options.

In this blog post by Manhattan Medical Arts, we will embark on a thorough exploration of the wide array of factors that can contribute to lower right side abdominal pain.

By delving into the intricacies of this common issue, you will gain invaluable insights that will empower you to discern potential causes, assess the severity of symptoms, and take appropriate action by seeking prompt medical care when necessary.

This comprehensive understanding will enable you to navigate the complexities of lower right side abdominal pain with confidence and make informed decisions about your well-being.

Causes of Lower Right Side Abdominal Pain

  • Appendicitis:
    Appendicitis, one of the most common causes of lower right side abdominal pain, and it occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed or infected. This condition typically presents with severe, localized lower right side abdominal pain. It often requires prompt medical intervention, as a ruptured appendix can lead to serious complications.
  • Ovarian Cysts:
    Fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries, known as ovarian cysts, can occasionally cause discomfort and lower right side abdominal pain. These cysts can vary in size and may result from hormonal imbalances or issues with ovulation. While many ovarian cysts resolve on their own, larger or persistent cysts may require further evaluation and treatment.
  • Kidney Stones:
    The formation of solid deposits in the kidneys, known as kidney stones, can lead to sharp lower right side abdominal pain as the stones travel through the urinary tract. When a stone obstructs the flow of urine, it can cause intense pain on the affected side. Additional symptoms may include blood in the urine, urinary urgency, and frequent urination.
  • Hernia:
    Both inguinal and femoral hernias can cause localized lower right side abdominal pain. These occur when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak area in the abdominal wall. Hernias often require surgical repair to alleviate symptoms and prevent you from potential complications.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues:
    Various gastrointestinal conditions can contribute to lower right side abdominal pain. These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is characterized by recurring abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, and bloating. Diverticulitis, an inflammation or infection of pouches that form in the colon wall, can also cause lower right side abdominal pain. Additionally, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, may involve the lower right side and present with abdominal pain and other digestive symptoms.
  • Gallstones:
    Gallstones are hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder. If a gallstone obstructs the bile ducts, it can cause lower right side abdominal pain. This pain, often referred to as biliary colic, typically occurs after meals and can be accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and bloating.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy:
    In women, an ectopic pregnancy refers to the implantation of a fertilized egg outside the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube. This can cause severe lower right side abdominal pain and requires immediate medical attention due to the risk of a ruptured fallopian tube. Other symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, dizziness, and shoulder pain.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):
    A urinary tract infection, particularly involving the lower urinary tract (bladder), can cause abdominal pain, including the lower right side. Additional symptoms may include frequent urination, a burning sensation during urination, and cloudy or bloody urine.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there can be several other potential causes of lower right side abdominal pain. If you are experiencing persistent or severe abdominal pain, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Symptoms Associated with Lower Right Side Abdominal Pain

  • Sharp or cramp-like pain on the lower right side
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or elevated body temperature
  • Changes in bowel movements, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria) in cases of kidney stones
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women experiencing ectopic pregnancy

Treatment Options for Lower Right Side Abdominal Pain

  • Appendicitis:
    In cases of appendicitis, surgical removal of the inflamed appendix, known as an appendectomy, is typically necessary. This procedure is often performed urgently to prevent the appendix from rupturing, which can lead to a potentially life-threatening infection. Laparoscopic or open surgery may be employed depending on the severity and individual circumstances.
  • Ovarian Cysts:
    Most ovarian cysts resolve on their own without medical intervention. However, larger or persistent cysts may require further evaluation and treatment. The approach may involve a watchful waiting strategy with regular monitoring, hormonal medications to regulate ovulation and shrink the cyst, or, in rare cases, surgical removal of the cyst or the affected ovary.
  • Kidney Stones:
    Treatment options for kidney stones depend on factors such as the size, location, and composition of the stones. Smaller stones may pass naturally with increased fluid intake and pain management. Medical interventions, such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) or ureteroscopy, may be employed to break up or remove larger stones. In some cases, surgical procedures, such as percutaneous nephrolithotomy or open surgery, may be necessary.
  • Hernia:
    Surgical repair is often recommended for hernias causing persistent pain or discomfort in the lower right side. The procedure involves reinforcing the weakened area of the abdominal wall with sutures or a mesh patch to prevent the hernia from protruding further and alleviate symptoms. Different surgical techniques, including open or laparoscopic approaches, may be utilized based on the type and size of the hernia.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues:
    The treatment of gastrointestinal issues causing lower right side abdominal pain depends on the specific condition. It may involve a combination of dietary changes, medication, and lifestyle modifications. For instance, in the case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), dietary adjustments, stress management techniques, and medications targeting specific symptoms may be prescribed. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may require a more comprehensive treatment approach involving anti-inflammatory medications, immunosuppressants, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Gallstones:
    The treatment approach for gallstones depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms. Dietary adjustments, such as reducing fat intake, may be recommended to manage symptoms and prevent further gallstone formation. In cases where symptoms are severe or complications arise, such as inflammation of the gallbladder or blockage of the bile ducts, surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) may be necessary. This can be done using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques or, in certain situations, through open surgery.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy:
    Immediate medical intervention is crucial to address an ectopic pregnancy, as it poses significant risks to the patient’s health. The treatment approach depends on the individual’s condition and may involve medication (methotrexate) to dissolve the pregnancy tissue or surgery (laparoscopic or open) to remove the ectopic pregnancy. The goal is to prevent complications like rupture of the fallopian tube and preserve the patient’s reproductive health.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):
    For lower right abdominal pain caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI), treatment involves antibiotics to clear the infection. The specific antibiotic and duration of treatment will depend on the type and severity of the UTI. Increasing fluid intake and practicing good hygiene habits are also recommended to support recovery and prevent future UTIs.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Lower right side abdominal pain should not be ignored, especially if it is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Conclusion

Lower right side abdominal pain can have various causes, ranging from benign to more serious conditions. Understanding the underlying causes, recognizing associated symptoms, and seeking timely medical attention are crucial for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

If you experience lower right side abdominal pain, consult with our healthcare experts at Manhattan Medical Arts to determine the best course of action and ensure your well-being.

– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 07/17/2023

Learn more about our editorial process.

  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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