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Pain in the right side of the belly in most cases is not severe, and in many cases it is 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 more serious symptom, such as appendicitis or gall bladder, for example.

Thus, whenever any type of pain arises, it is recommended to observe its characteristics, which may include: understand if any other symptom, when it exists, if it exists radiates to another region or if it gets worse or improves with some type of movement, for example. This information can be very important in helping the doctor to arrive at a correct diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment.

Excess gases

Abdominal pain on the right side may simply be distention of the intestine by gas, a common situation that can affect people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. Usually this pain is severe, in the form of stitches 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 changes in the intestinal rhythm.

Other symptoms: Strong pain in the form of a twinge, feeling of swollen belly, loss of appetite, feeling of heaviness in the stomach, in addition to increased production of belching or gas, abdominal swelling 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 regulate intestinal functioning and facilitate digestion by consuming foods rich in fiber and drinking plenty of water, however, in some cases, it may be necessary to consume laxative medications, such as lactulone, magnesium hydroxide, or bisacodyl, for example, recommended by the doctor.

Irritable bowel

People with irritable bowel syndrome may experience discomfort or localized pain 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, abdominal bloating and gas may be present. The exact cause of this disease 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, excluding other causes, and start treatment. The doctor may ask for more details on how the pain manifests itself, its intensity and how the stool is. In addition to the use of remedies such as hyoscine, to combat colic, dietary adjustments are recommended, such as eating in small quantities, slowly and avoiding foods such as beans, cabbage and rich in fermentable carbohydrates. Learn more about the treatment of this syndrome.


The pain on the right side of the belly can also be a gallbladder stone, which usually manifests as a colic that usually is located on the direct and upper side of the abdomen or in the stomach area, which lasts for 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, the gallbladder stone can also cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. When the stones cause an inflammation of the gallbladder, there may be fever, chills and yellowish skin and eyes.

What to do: After the vesicle stone is confirmed by ultrasound, removal of the vesicle through laparoscopic surgery may be indicated. It should be remembered that only the presence of stones in the gallbladder 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.


Appendicitis causes pain in the right side of the abdomen that begins with a slight colic around the navel or in the stomach area. After approximately 6 hours the inflammation worsens and the pain becomes stronger and more evident in the lower region, close to the groin.

Other symptoms: There is also a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, the bowel may become very loose or stuck, fever around 38ºC, hypersensitivity in the lower right part in the abdomen and abdominal stiffness.

What to do: In case of suspicion, you should go to the emergency room because most of the time it is necessary to have surgery to remove the appendix.

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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, medication use, autoimmunity or degenerative diseases.

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

What to do: It is necessary to rest, drink plenty of water and avoid foods that are difficult to digest, and medications can be indicated by the doctor, such as interferon in the case of hepatitis C or immunosuppressants in the case of autoimmunity.


In pancreatitis, abdominal pain is usually located in the upper 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, yellowed skin,

What to do: In case of suspicion, you should 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.

Pain during ovulation

Some women experience pain on the side of the ovary on which 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, making it easy to see why one month 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 like 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 sting, prick, cramp or colic, about 14 days before menstruation, in a 28-day cycle.

What to do: As ovulation pain lasts only 1 day, just take an analgesic or anti-inflammatory, such as paracetamol or naproxen to relieve this discomfort. In case of doubts, you can talk to the gynecologist to confirm this hypothesis. Learn all about ovulation pain.

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

Renal colic

The presence of stones in the kidneys or bladder can obstruct the flow of urine, which can cause moderate to severe pain, usually from the affected side and which can radiate to the back or genitals.

The pain can start suddenly and is more common in people between 30 and 60 years of age, with the same frequency in men and women.

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

What to do: In addition to going to the emergency room for clinical assessments and tests, the doctor may indicate, to relieve symptoms, remedies such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-spasmodic drugs.

Warning signs to go to the hospital

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

Pain that appears suddenly and is very strong, localized or that gets worse little by little;
If there is a fever, or difficulty in breathing

If there is high blood pressure, tachycardia, cold sweat or malaise

Vomiting and diarrhea that don’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 tomography.


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