When it comes to self-diagnosed pains and aches, it is one of the most commonly searched on the internet. Luckily, not all kinds of rib pains are an indicator of something serious. Sometimes it is not much more than due to the wrong posture while sleeping, but if it happens often and severity is high, it is recommended that you for getting a checkup. The abdomen section of our body is divided into 4 quarters, and the Right upper quarter (RUQ) contains many important organs such as the liver, gallbladder, pain in right side under ribs, pancreas, right kidney, and both the intestines. It is highly crucial for you to pay attention to pain in these areas as it could indicate a number of different diseases and conditions.

Gastrointestinal Issues

One of the most common reasons for this kind of pain is the result of gastrointestinal issues related to problems with indigestions. Another common reason is gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD. Some symptoms of GERD are

  • Pain in chest
  • Nausea
  • Frequent heartburns
  • Vomiting
  • A burning sensation in the throat

Some of the ways to minimize these symptoms are to eat healthily, avoid fast food and antacid medication.

Kidney Infections 

As the kidney is also located in RUQ, kidney-related issues may also be reasons behind frequent pain in right side under ribs. Those conditions may include kidney infections, urinary tract infections, UTI, or even kidney cancer. Some of the symptoms of kidney-related diseases are.

  • Pain while urinating
  • The foul smell of urine
  • Pain that radiates towards the lower back or groin
  • Excessive urination 
  • Fever
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Blood in urine

Kidney Stones

As the right kidney is situated in the right upper quarter of the abdomen. Stones formed in the kidney can also be the reason behind pain in the kidney. Some of the common symptoms of kidney stones include

  • Urine may appear red, brown, or pink due to the blood in it
  • Chilling sensations and fever
  • Painful urination
  • Need for frequent urination or even inability to urinate
  • Low level of urine

The treatment for it may include removing stones from the kidney.


The gallbladder is also present in the right upper quarter under the liver. Gallstones are made by the residue of cholesterol or bilirubin, which forms by the breakdown of red blood cells. Being overweight can also make your body vulnerable to gallstones. Some of the basic side effects of gallstones.

  • Sharp pain in RUQ that may last for hours
  • Brownish Urine
  • Stool that is light in colored
  • Yellowish eyes and skin
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Chills and fever


It is a condition that usually occurs during the 20th week of pregnancy. It may also develop in postpartum or even in earlier weeks of pregnancy. The main side effect of preeclampsia is high blood pressure, but the pain in the upper right section of the abdomen also often occurs. Some of the additional symptoms of preeclampsia are.

  • Problems related to kidney and liver
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea
  • Decreased urination
  • Sensitivity to light and blurry eyesight
  • Shortness of breath


The pancreas can also be a leading cause of pain in right side under ribs or even in the left side of the abdomen. Pancreatitis is also inflammation as a result of the pancreas, and it may also result in gallstones. Learn the most common symptoms of pancreatitis

  • Constant and sharp pain in the upper quarter of the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

If you are facing these symptoms, it is always recommended to consult a doctor as the condition is usually severe.

Liver Abscess

A liver abscess of also known as a hepatic abscess or pyogenic liver abscess, is usually due to the collection of pus in the liver. The pus may also result from fungi, parasites, and bacteria. Along with the pain, a liver abscess may also result in tenderness of the RUQ.

  • Chilling sensation 
  • Fever
  • Unintentional loss of weight
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Skin turning pale yellowish
  • Grey stool

The treatment of liver abscess usually includes a procedure that helps to drain pus. If the infection is due to some sort of bacteria, antibacterial medication can also help.

Liver Related Diseases

Other than liver abscess, pain may also be due to other liver-related diseases ranging from liver cancer to fatty liver and even cirrhosis. Some of the common symptoms include

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Yellowish skin and yellow eyes
  • Itching
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling highly full after eating
  • A feeling of fullness under the right upper quarter of the abdomen
  • Pain in right side under ribs and shoulder 
  • Blood vessels being prominent on the abdomen


In some cases, you also get pain before the rash appears during shingle infection. The pain in such a condition is usually quite sharp and burning. Learn the most common symptoms of shingles

  • Burning, numbness, or tingling
  • Body aches
  • Sensitivity while touching
  • Red rashes after few days of pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters 
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Fatigues
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light 

Other Underlying Problems

Other than these reasons, the pain in the right upper quarter of the abdomen may also be due to

  • Hernia
  • Bruising of the ribs
  • Muscular pain
  • Costochondritis 
  • Inflamed cartilage of the rib

In short, pain in right side under ribs may be caused due to several factors ranging from the wrong posture while sleeping to liver cancer. If you feel the pain often, it is always recommended to get a medical checkup by a professional as early as you can.

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