Right Upper Quadrant Pain Under Ribs: Causes and Treatment You Should Be Aware

Right Upper Quadrant Pain Under Ribs: Causes and Treatment You Should Be Aware

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Your abdomen is divided into four sections or quadrants. Imagine that there is a line that runs vertically across the middle of your stomach. The next step is to picture a horizontal line running across the middle of your belly button. Your right upper quadrant refers to the quarter that is located in the most superior part of your right side (RUQ).

The right upper quadrant (RUQ) houses a number of vital organs, including a portion of your liver, your right kidney, your gallbladder, your pancreas, as well as both your big and small intestines.

It is imperative that you pay close attention to any discomfort that you may be experiencing in your RUQ because this pain may be an indication of a variety of diseases or ailments.

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Pain in the RUQ can range in intensity from mild to severe depending on the underlying disease. The discomfort can range from a subtle aching to the feeling of being stabbed repeatedly in the same spot.

Make an appointment to see your primary care physician if you have been experiencing pain in your abdomen that has lasted for more than a few days so that your symptoms can be evaluated.

On the other hand, certain symptoms might point to the need for immediate medical attention. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should get medical attention right away:

a high temperature, persistent nausea and vomiting, blood in your stool, swelling or soreness of your belly, and severe abdominal pain are all symptoms that should be investigated.

a sudden and inexplicable loss of weight and yellowing of the skin (jaundice)

Causes of RUQ pain

Kidney problems

RUQ pain can be caused by a variety of conditions affecting the kidneys, including kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney infections, and even kidney cancer.

The following is a list of symptoms that may accompany RUQ pain that is caused by a problem with the kidney:

Discomfort that spreads to the lower back or groyne frequent or painful urination foul-smelling urine blood in the urine fever nausea or vomiting pain that extends to the groyne or lower back

Make an appointment to see your primary care physician if you are experiencing pain in the RUQ and have any reason to believe it may be related to a kidney condition.

Liver conditions

Pain in the RUQ may also be caused by disorders affecting the liver. Hepatitis, a liver abscess, and liver cancer are some examples of liver diseases.

In addition to pain in the right upper quadrant (RUQ), other symptoms of a liver issue include the following:

yellowish complexion (jaundice)

abdominal tenderness

sickness and/or throwing up

symptoms including blood in the urine fever exhaustion and unexplained weight loss

Visit your primary care physician if you are experiencing RUQ discomfort along with other symptoms that are indicative of liver disease.

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At least 20 weeks into their pregnancies is required for a woman to be considered at risk for developing the illness known as preeclampsia. It is also possible for it to develop earlier in pregnancy, or even, in rare situations, after the baby has been born.

The most distinguishing feature of preeclampsia is an increase in blood pressure, however, RUQ pain is also frequently present.

The following are some examples of additional symptoms:

acute pain in the head

sickness and/or throwing up

a decrease in the amount of urine passed, the presence of protein in the urine, and renal or liver disorders.

vision problems or sensitivity to light difficulty breathing lack of breath

As part of the prenatal care you receive, your doctor should be testing your blood pressure on a regular basis. However, if you have preeclampsia symptoms such as RUQ pain, blurred vision, or shortness of breath, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Preeclampsia is a condition that, if left untreated, can be fatal for both you and your unborn child.

Gallbladder problems

RUQ pain can be brought on by issues related to the gallbladder, such as gallstones or choledocholithiasis. Choledocholithiasis is characterised by the presence of gallstones within the bile ducts of the affected individual.

The RUQ discomfort that gallstones cause can linger for several hours, and it typically strikes in the evening or after a particularly heavy meal. Additional symptoms to keep an eye out for could include the following:

high fever and chills together with nausea and vomiting

urine with a dark tone or faeces with a light colour

yellowish complexion (jaundice)

If you are experiencing symptoms that are typical of gallstones or choledocholithiasis, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. Stones in the bile ducts might cause severe consequences if they are not removed.

Gastrointestinal issues

Pain in the RUQ can be brought on by a range of gastrointestinal conditions, including indigestion, gastritis, and peptic ulcers, amongst others.

The pain that is typically associated with these diseases is one that is excruciating and throbbing in nature. Additional symptoms may include the following:

a sensation of fullness that is uncomfortably overwhelming

abdominal bloating burping or gas nausea or vomiting

In spite of the fact that the majority of cases of indigestion and gastritis are moderate and will go away on their own, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician if you have symptoms for more than a week. Visit your primary care physician if you have any reason to suspect that you may be suffering from a peptic ulcer.

Pancreatic conditions

If your pancreas is inflamed, a condition is known as pancreatitis, you may experience discomfort in the RUQ region. The discomfort that you feel as a result of pancreatitis will gradually get worse over time, and further symptoms may include the following:

symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, and an increased heart rate

Treatment for pancreatitis typically involves the patient staying in the hospital.

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Additional triggers for right upper quadrant pain

In addition to the illnesses that we’ve already covered, pain in your RUQ can be caused by a variety of other underlying disorders as well.

These include a cut, bruise, or another form of trauma, pneumonia, and shingles.


Your doctor will inquire about your medical history and conduct a physical exam in addition to this in order to correctly diagnose the source of the discomfort in your RUQ.

In addition, in order to arrive at a diagnosis, they could decide to request some tests, including the following:

a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel (BMP or CMP) to test your liver function, blood cell counts, and electrolyte levels urinalysis to evaluate your kidney function or to screen for a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones an electrocardiogram to evaluate your heart rate and rhythm

imaging tests, such as ultrasound, X-ray, or CT scan, to help see the inside of your abdomen or to check for the presence of stones imaging tests, such as stool culture to see if there are any pathogens present in your stool endoscopy to check for the presence of ulcers imaging tests, such as stool culture to see if there are any pathogens present in your stool endoscopy to check for the presence of ulcers imaging tests, such as stool


The treatment for RUQ pain is determined by the underlying cause of the discomfort. Examples include:

Antibiotics to kill bacteria that are causing an infection surgical procedures, such as those to remove stones or excise a tumour cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy Shop for antacids. pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen to relieve discomfort antacids to help neutralise stomach acid medications such as proton pump inhibitors or acid blockers to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach or

Medical procedures and recovery

In most cases, your physician will make every effort to avoid having to do surgery if at all possible. In certain cases, it may be essential in order to forestall the development of complications or the acceleration of the disease.

Choledocholithiasis is an example of a condition that might result in life-threatening complications if gallstones that are causing the blockage of a bile duct are not removed. It’s possible that your doctor will recommend removing your gallbladder in its entirety in certain situations.

If the kidney stones you have are too large to pass normally, your doctor may recommend that you undergo a procedure in which sound waves are used to break the stones up into tiny pieces that are easier to pass. They might also employ the usage of scope in order to eliminate the stones.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer of the kidneys or liver, you may require surgery to have a tumour removed. The type of surgery required will depend on the stage and extent of cancer.


Because the RUQ contains a number of vital organs, it is essential to keep a close eye on any pain in that region as well as any additional symptoms in order to ensure that you receive treatment in a timely manner and stay clear of consequences.

The following are some examples of probable complications:

kidney infection caused by an untreated UTI high blood pressure, kidney failure, or scarring of the kidneys caused by an untreated kidney infection renal infection caused by an untreated UTI

Preeclampsia, if left untreated, can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, organ damage, or even death.

If gallstones are not treated, they can cause inflammation or infection in the pancreas and the gallbladder.

a higher chance of developing ulcers or stomach cancer as a result of untreated gastritis the growth of malignancies that are not detected in their early stages

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You can help to prevent some cases of RUQ pain by doing the following:

eating a diet high in fibre, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes; eating foods with good fats, such as olive oil and fish oil; and avoiding bad fats, such as fried food.

staying hydrated because drinking lots of liquids can help flush bacteria from your urinary tract avoiding foods that contain refined carbohydrates, sugars, and salt staying hydrated because drinking lots of liquids can help flush bacteria from your urinary tract by using calcium supplements with caution to avoid kidney stones

preventing indigestion by ensuring that food has been well cooked and avoiding eating or drinking anything that is very acidic, oily, or spicy as well as anything that contains a significant amount of caffeine or acid.

Stopping smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink while keeping a healthy weight are also important steps.


There is a wide variety of potential reasons for discomfort in the RUQ. Indigestion is one of the most frequent of these complaints, and it typically clears up on its own without medical intervention. Other conditions, such as preeclampsia or pancreatitis, require emergency medical attention immediately away.

It is essential to keep an eye on any pain in the RUQ because this region of your body houses a number of vital organs.

If you’ve been experiencing RUQ pain for a week or longer, you should schedule a visit with your primary care physician as soon as possible.

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