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What are the Common Causes of Right Abdominal Pain?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2016
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Common causes of right abdominal pain include appendicitis, ovulation, and colitis. In addition, right abdominal pain can also indicate constipation and urinary tract infection. When appendicitis is suspected, prompt action must be taken to avoid a ruptured appendix. Typically, when the source of right abdominal pain is related to the appendix, other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and fever are present, as is an elevated white blood count.

Frequently, in women, the cause of right abdominal pain is related to ovulation. The ovaries are located on either side of the lower abdomen, and when ovulation occurs, mild pain can be experienced. Sometimes this discomfort is coupled with spotting or light bleeding. Normally, ovulation pain does not require pain management, however, women can take an over-the-counter pain reliever if pain becomes intense.

Sometimes a urinary tract infections or bladder infections cause right abdominal pain or pressure. This condition is usually associated with urinary hesitancy, burning, and bladder pressure. In addition, a bladder infection can also cause fever, chills, blood in the urine, and back pain. Treatment includes antibiotics and fluids. Once antibiotic treatment has begun, symptoms generally improve greatly.

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Occasionally, constipation can cause right abdominal pain. Treating constipation includes increasing dietary fiber, drinking more fluids, and sometimes taking a stool softener. Other gastrointestinal conditions contributing to abdominal pain include colitis or inflammation of the colon, food allergy, and a pulled muscle. When treating a pulled muscle, a heating pad and non-prescription pain medications are generally sufficient to ease symptoms, however, when pain persists or worsens, prescription analgesics might be warranted.

Most of the time, right abdominal pain does not signify a serious condition, however, when pain is prolonged or intense, further evaluation might be needed. Typical diagnostic tests for abdominal pain include ultrasound, pelvic examination, and blood tests. In addition, a colonoscopy or urine test might be indicated to rule out gastrointestinal and urinary conditions.

Home remedies are often appropriate when trying to alleviate right abdominal pain. Drinking herbal preparations such as chamomile tea can often relieve bladder spasms that are caused by urinary tract infection. Similarly, herbal tea can help the pain associated with constipation, by facilitating bowel movements and relaxing the colon. Other home remedies for abdominal pain include warm baths and abdominal massage. If, however, gentle pressure to the abdominal area elicits significant pain, or if the abdomen feels rigid, individuals need to call the doctor right away.

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