Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Right Upper Quadrant Pain

The right upper quadrant pain under the ribs can be attributed to several factors since the basic organs are situated around this location.

Here’s what it looks like:

Your abdomen can be divided into four quadrants or quarters.

In order to get a perfect picture, imagine a vertical line running along your stomach and dividing into two equal parts.

There’s another line running across your stomach from the center of your abdomen, and now you have four quadrants.

Right Upper Quadrant Pain

The upper right section is known as the right upper quadrant (RUQ) and it consists of important organs such a the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, right kidney, large and small intestine.

Also Read: How to Stunt Your Growth?

That being the case, a lot of attention has to be given to this region especially if you’re feeling a dull ache or a stabbing sensation.

Symptoms of RUQ Pain

The right upper quadrant pain may vary depending on what causes it.

That is why it could be a dull ache or an extremely sharp pain that gives you a stabbing sensation.

Consequently, if you’re experiencing abdominal pains that have been persisting for some days, you need to seek medical.

It is an emergency if any of these symptoms are experienced:

  • Fever
  • Yellowish skin
  • Blood in the stool
  • Severe abdominal pains
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling or tenderness of the abdomen

What Causes Upper Abdominal Pain and Bloating

There are several causes of upper abdominal pain and bloating.

First, it is worthy to note that the upper abdominal region houses the:

  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Kidneys
  • Stomach
  • Pancreas
  • Gall bladder
  • A part of one’s colon, etc.

The pain can be caused as a result of the area being strained from prolonged exercises or as a result of problems in one or more of these organs.

Nonetheless, if your pain continues after a while, it is best to seek medical attention.

1. Kidney Problems

Kidney problems that can lead to right upper pain are:

  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney infection
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Kidney cancer can lead to RUQ pain

You can ascertain that there may be a kidney problem from the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Blood in your urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that moves to the lower back or groin

2. Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia occurs in women whose pregnancy is at least 20 weeks.

It could lead to a rise in blood pressure and other symptoms are:

  • Protein in urine
  • Severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased urination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Blurred vision or sensitivity to light

3. Liver Conditions

Liver conditions that can lead to right upper pain are:

  • Hepatitis
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver abscess

Some symptoms of a liver condition include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • Yellowish skin
  • Darkened urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then you need to seek medical attention since it could potentially pose dangers to you and your unborn child if it goes untreated.

4. Gallbladder problems:

Problems such as choledocholithiasis also known as gallstones can also cause right quadrant pain.

Some symptoms that there may be issues with your gall bladder are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Yellowish skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Darkened urine or light-colored stools

Either of these could lead to complications and that is why urgent medical care has to be sought.

5. Gastrointestinal issues:

There’s also gastrointestinal issues to contend with and these include ulcers, gastritis, indigestion, amongst many others.

The symptoms of gastrointestinal issues include:

  • Burping or gas
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea or vomiting

Also Read: How to Remove Tonsil Stones You Can’t See

These symptoms may sound mild but they still call for medical attention in order to eliminate them.

Therefore, see a doctor immediately if you’re experiencing them.

6. Pancreatic conditions

Pancreatic conditions are also problematic and could worsen over time.

The symptoms that are usually accompanied with it include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increase in heart rate

7. GERD:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that can cause heartburn which could spread from the stomach to the chest.

It also results in the pain you are feeling in your upper abdomen.

GERD can be said to be as a result of acid reflux which tends to irritate the esophageal lining.

Some symptoms of GERD are:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Lump in the throat feeling
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Backflow of sour liquid or food

8. Gastritis:

When the stomach lining is inflamed as a result of bacterial infection, it is known as Gastritis.

Gastritis can be caused by heavy drinking or relying too much on pain killers.

A pain or burn may be felt in the upper abdomen which can either ease or worsen as you eat.

Symptoms of gastritis include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fullness after eating

9. Hiatal hernia:

A part of the stomach protruding through the large muscle that separates the diaphragm and abdomen is known as hiatal hernia,

This condition is also accompanied by pain on the left side of the abdomen where most of the stomach is positioned.

Some symptoms of hiatal hernia are:

  • Acid reflux
  • Black Stools
  • Throwing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing

10. Pneumonia:

An infection of the lungs that inflames the air sacs thereby causing them to be filled with fluid is known as Pneumonia.

This infection can be mild or serious and can lead to pains in the chest, difficulty in breathing, and pain in the upper left region of the stomach.

Other symptoms of pneumonia are:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Running out of breath
  • Coughing with phlegm
  • Abnormal body temperature
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills

11.Enlarged spleen:

The spleen can become enlarged as a result of liver infection and disease.

This condition may not show signs in certain cases but when it does, it is usually accompanied with pain in the upper abdomen which can also be felt in the left shoulder.

Other symptoms of the enlarged spleen are:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Easy bleeding
  • Frequent infections

When to Get Immediate Medical Care

It may have crossed your mind how you will be able to determine whether it’s time to get emergency medical help but consider the following:

  • Fever
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal sweating
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Severe pain or pressure
  • Frequent nausea or vomiting
  • Severe tenderness when the abdomen is touched


A right upper quadrant pain differential diagnosis can be carried out to determine the pain that is radiating to your back and a possible solution for it.

Whichever is the case, you can restore proper health by curbing the triggers of these issues.

It begins with seeking professional help instead of relying on hearsay amongst other options.



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