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Can constipation cause right side pain: Is It Appendicitis or Something Else?

Is It Appendicitis or Something Else?

Is It Appendicitis Pain or Something Else?

Most often, the pain you feel when you have appendicitis begins as a dull ache around your belly button that shifts to your lower right abdomen, where your appendix is located.

Additionally, appendicitis pain:

  • Begins suddenly — it often wakes people up at night.
  • Becomes significantly sharper in a matter of a few hours.
  • Starts before other co-occurring symptoms, such as fever, nausea, and vomiting
  • Is associated with loss of interest in eating.
  • Worsens when you move around, breathe deeply, cough, or sneeze.
  • Spikes when you drive over a speed bump or experience other jarring motions. (3)

To diagnose appendicitis, your doctor will perform a physical exam, which will investigate your abdominal symptoms more specifically.

If you have appendicitis, you will likely: (4)

  • Hurt when someone applies and then quickly releases pressure in your lower right abdomen, a symptom called “rebound tenderness.
  • Experience rebound tenderness in your lower right abdomen when someone applies and quickly releases pressure on the lower left side of your abdomen.
  • Unconsciously guard your lower right abdomen when someone tries to touch it.
  • Feel pain when someone applies resistance to your right knee as you try to lift that leg up while lying down on your back.
  • Ache in your abdomen when you move your bent right knee to the left and right while lying down on your back.

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Constipation pain – causes and treatment

Pain in constipation
Pain in constipation – causes and treatment | Phytomucil Norm
What to do with abdominal pain with constipation? What are the causes of pain with constipation in an adult, what prevention and treatment are needed – in the article. Phytomucil Norm – official site
Phytomucil Norm

Pain with constipation is one of the main symptoms, although they are not a criterion for determining the delay in defecation in general. Many patients associate the onset of pain with difficulty defecation.

Can the stomach hurt from constipation

Constipation (colostasis) is characterized by difficulty in defecation, low frequency of stools, insufficient bowel movements. Signs of constipation also include the absence of a bowel movement for two days or more, hard dry stools. Other signs may be observed – symptoms of general intoxication, excessive sweating, general poor health, headaches. Problems with bowel movements are often accompanied by pain in the abdomen, rectum and stomach. All this causes physical discomfort and may indicate the presence of serious diseases.

Why constipation hurts

As a result of impaired mobility, feces accumulate inside the intestines, which gradually provokes intoxication. The accumulated stool presses on the walls of the intestine, causing pain. In addition, with constipation, gas formation increases, the discharge of gases is disturbed. It also causes pain and discomfort. In some cases, pain can be felt not only in the lower abdomen, but also on the right, on the left, as well as in the region of the right hypochondrium and lower back.

Researchers note that the acute pain associated with constipation is more likely to result from spasms. So, Shulpekova draws attention to the fact that stool retention is accompanied by “pains of a spastic nature.” (Shulpekova Yu. O., 2007, p. 1165). Indeed, spasms of smooth muscles that occur in response to a mechanical stimulus in the form of dense feces and accumulated gases are felt by us as cramps, cramping pains. Localization of pain in this case can be completely different. It all depends on the specific section of the intestine that is affected at the moment, as well as when exposed to other factors earlier.

Causes of constipation pain

Defecation disorders occur for various reasons:

  • Improper diet and sedentary lifestyle. Due to the imbalance of the diet and insufficient physical activity, motor skills are disturbed, an imbalance of microflora occurs. As a result, constipation appears.
  • Abnormalities in the development of the colon – long colon and / or sigmoid colon.
  • Diverticular disease of the colon.
  • Diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. As a result of these diseases, physiological obstacles appear that impede the movement of feces.
  • Diseases of the nervous system, endocrine and gynecological pathologies – inhibit metabolic processes in the body.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome – discomfort during bowel movements, accompanied by a change in the consistency and / or frequency of the stool.
  • Taking certain medications.

Constipation is often associated with antidepressants, antibiotics and other medications. Also, problems with bowel movements often occur during pregnancy, after childbirth and in the postoperative period.

Signs of intestinal stasis indicating serious pathology include blood in the stool, severe abdominal distention (tympanitis), weight loss, and vomiting.

Therefore, as we see, the causes of pain in constipation may be hidden in the causes of defecation disorders themselves. In the absence of organic and other pathologies, discomfort may be associated with tissue compression, stretching of the intestinal walls and their resistance to pressure, and irritation of receptors. Sometimes pain is accompanied by false urges to defecate and urges that did not bring the desired result. In most cases, pain can occur in the interval between urges, and in their absence.

Possible complications of constipation

Frequent constipation may be accompanied by heaviness in the abdomen and pain before, during or after a bowel movement. Such problems can lead to unpleasant consequences. The most frequent complications: +

  • poisoning of the body;
  • exacerbation of hemorrhoids;
  • rectal fissures;
  • cancer risk.

General intoxication due to stagnant feces can cause a deterioration in well-being, a decrease in working capacity. Violation of the intestinal microbial balance in chronic constipation leads to an exacerbation of allergic diseases, skin rashes, and a decrease in the body’s resistance to infections.

People with chronic constipation are known to have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. Delayed bowel movements lead to impaired cholesterol metabolism and the development of atherosclerosis, and consequently, cardiovascular diseases.

Diseases of the anorectal region often accompany constipation. This is due to the fact that dense fecal masses injure the mucous membranes of the rectum, which causes anal fissures. An increase in intra-abdominal pressure can lead to the formation of hemorrhoids.

How pain manifests itself

Pain in constipation occurs due to the accumulation of stool in the large intestine. Dense feces stretch the intestinal walls, resulting in compression and disruption of other internal organs.

The discomfort associated with constipation varies. Pain can occur in the abdomen, sphincter area, lower back, groin. Soreness during the act of defecation often occurs due to the appearance of cracks in the anal area, the development of hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the rectum. Pain often appears during the urge to empty, as well as between them.

Sometimes the pain of constipation in adults comes on suddenly during a bowel movement. This is due to diseases of the digestive tract: pancreatitis, appendicitis, cholecystitis. Only a doctor can determine the true cause of constipation and pain. If bowel problems are permanent, it is best to undergo a complete medical examination.

Character pain

When constipation occurs, pain sensations differ in severity and localization. If the lower abdomen hurts, then most likely constipation is caused by dietary errors, insufficient water intake. As a rule, the pain is dull, stabbing, accompanied by colic and rumbling. In this case, discomfort disappears immediately after defecation.

Acute and aching pain with constipation that does not go away after a bowel movement may indicate pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract. The localization of pain depends on the cause of its occurrence. For example, in acute gastritis, the epigastric region hurts, heartburn and nausea are observed. For intestinal obstruction, the nature of pain in the left side, as well as fever. Chronic pancreatitis is accompanied by girdle or severe pain in the left or right hypochondrium.

Pain syndrome is often accompanied by loss of appetite, headache, heartburn, bad breath. In addition, with constipation, there is often a feeling of fullness, a feeling of a plug in the rectum. Hard stool damages the walls of the rectum and sphincter, hence causing pain that can persist long after a bowel movement.

Adnexal inflammation and other gynecological problems can also cause constipation. Problems with the intestines often occur against the background of kidney disease. In this case, the pain will be localized in the lumbar region, as well as in the lower abdomen.

Cramping pains resulting from spasms of the smooth muscles of the intestines, appear due to the accumulation of gases and intestinal colic. This greatly complicates the defecation process. With intestinal colic, the pain is pronounced and has an increasing character. With colic, tension in the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, bloating and spasms are observed. This condition can last from several hours to several days. Colic is usually followed by persistent constipation or diarrhea.

Symptoms such as flatulence, bloating and constipation are often associated with irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is manifested by pain and bloating, which are accompanied by a change in the consistency of the stool.

The severity of unpleasant symptoms depends on the cause of constipation. This state of affairs cannot be left to chance. The first thing to do when unpleasant symptoms appear is to visit a general practitioner or gastroenterologist. The doctor will conduct the necessary diagnostics, prescribe tests and examinations to identify factors that provoke problems with defecation.

How to deal with constipation pain

Pain can only be completely eliminated after the main cause of constipation has been eliminated. No need to try to drown out the pain with painkillers – analgesics only stop the symptoms. The pain syndrome will pass on its own after cleansing and restoring normal bowel function.

Treatment for pain associated with constipation

In the fight against pain associated with constipation will help:

  • Nutrition aimed at increasing the amount of fiber consumed. Diet is the main treatment for functional constipation caused by decreased intestinal motility.
  • Lifestyle change. It involves increased physical activity, regular physical activity.
  • Withdrawal of constipating drugs.

It is important to understand that it is not worth canceling the medicines prescribed by the doctor on your own. For example, if you are taking iron supplements that cause you to have a bowel movement, changing your dosage or stopping it on your own could make your iron deficiency anemia worse. Consult your physician for advice on alternative medications or dosage adjustments. Particular care should be taken when taking hormonal drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, narcotic analgesics.

The main condition for getting rid of pain in the abdomen with constipation is the normalization of the stool. Symptomatic treatment in the form of taking painkillers and antispasmodics will not give a long-term result. In addition, it is worth remembering that in some cases constipation is associated with a weakening of intestinal motility – a change in the tone of its muscles. In this case, anti-spasm agents may exacerbate the underlying problem.

Foods high in fiber will help normalize stools. These include bran, white cabbage (fresh and sauerkraut), celery and other vegetables. Whole grains, such as bulgur and buckwheat, as well as nuts are rich in dietary fiber.

At the same time, it is better to avoid products that have a fixing effect. These include foods high in tannin: chocolate, black tea, red wine, white rice, etc. You should avoid pastries, sweets, bread and confectionery with cream – they increase gas formation and also provoke fermentation in the intestines.

Eat small meals, but often. Fractional nutrition 5-6 times a day will ensure a uniform supply of nutrients to the body, help to avoid stretching the walls of the stomach and intestines.

Medication should not be aimed at eliminating pain, but at its cause. Pain usually goes away with a bowel movement, so it is important to find the right way to quickly get rid of the problem. Laxatives can help with this. They are of several types:

  • Osmotic, or saline, increase the volume of fluid in the intestines.
  • Stimulants – act irritatingly on intestinal receptors, stimulating peristalsis.
  • Volumetric – increase the volume of feces and change their consistency.
  • Auxiliary – mechanically help the promotion of feces in the intestines (for example, oils).

There are also local preparations that irritate the mucous membranes of the rectum and soften the passage of feces. The use of cleansing enemas may also be appropriate, but often it is not recommended to resort to them due to possible violations of the local microflora.

Prevention of constipation pain

For the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, you need to drink enough water – at least 1.5-2 liters per day. If constipation is associated with a reduced tone of the intestinal muscles and is accompanied by spasms, it is recommended to drink cold mineral water. One glass of water on an empty stomach and before each meal will improve the consistency of feces and facilitate their passage through the intestines.

Also, water is involved in the process of diffusion of gases – part of the gases is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, so the optimal drinking regimen is effective as a way to prevent flatulence, including those associated with constipation.

It is important to avoid overeating and sudden dietary changes. It is necessary to minimize stress, observe sleep patterns. The researchers argue that following a daily routine will help prevent constipation: you should get up and go to bed at about the same time, allocate enough time to go to the toilet in the morning, after breakfast. In no case is it recommended to restrain the urge to defecate, as this can lead to both constipation and a decrease in the sensitivity of the gut receptors to stretch.

Recommendations regarding the diet for existing constipation also apply to prevention: try to eat enough foods rich in fiber, make your diet from lean meats and fish, cereals, dairy products, fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, berries.

Regular preventive visits to the doctor will help to exclude diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or detect them at an early stage. This is especially important if you are at risk for the development of disorders – you have an endocrine disease, pathologies of the digestive system, are limited in physical activity, etc.

You can prevent severe pain from constipation by observing your body: determine the optimal frequency of bowel movements, ideally, bowel movements should be every morning. If you hold a stool for at least one day, try to take immediate action if possible: increase the amount of fluid you drink, choose foods with a laxative effect.

Other methods of dealing with constipation

In most cases, pain disappears after the intestines are cleared of accumulated feces. But this is not always the case. If the pain persists and causes severe discomfort, you should visit a doctor. Only a specialist can determine what provokes pain.

Proper balanced nutrition is an excellent prevention of constipation. But this is not always enough to combat defecation disorders. To cope with constipation will help special means with a laxative effect. Among the safest preparations in terms of composition, Fitomucil Norm can be distinguished. It contains the pulp of the fruit of the house plum and the shell of the seeds of the psyllium. The drug provides regular and painless bowel movements, restores the normal frequency of stools. The remedy acts gently, does not cause bloating, sudden urge to defecate, does not provoke spasms and pain in the intestines. “Fitomucil Norm” helps to restore the microflora after constipation and is not addictive.

To improve the condition with severe constipation, you can use ready-made microclysters or glycerin suppositories. In some cases, it is advisable to use osmotic laxatives, drugs that soften the stool, as well as drugs to stimulate peristalsis. Any medications should be taken only in consultation with the doctor. The dosage is selected individually, taking into account the age and health of the patient.

Systematic exercise helps improve bowel function. For example, daily walking, swimming, cycling or gymnastics. There are exercises that improve intestinal motility, increase the tone of the abdominal muscles. In this case, the duration of training should be at least half an hour.

If you feel the urge to defecate, do not delay going to the toilet. Otherwise, compaction and stagnation of feces will occur, which will negatively affect the condition. If colostasis is accompanied by pain, general malaise, nausea and vomiting, rectal bleeding, or fever, you should immediately consult a doctor.

It is important to consult your doctor about constipation pain. There may be certain limitations, and only a specialist will tell you how to deal with the problem.

The article is for informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for the quality of services provided by third parties and for possible complications.


  1. Norton J. Greenberger, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Last full review/revision May 2018 by Norton J. Greenberger, MD.
  2. Pimanov S. I., Silivonchik N. N. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: Rome IV Consensus: A Manual for Physicians. – Vitebsk: VSMU, 2016.
  3. Andreev D. N., Dicheva D. T. Optimization of the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: focus on improving compliance // Medical Council. – 2019. – No. 3. — pp. 118–124.
  4. Makarenko EV Irritable bowel syndrome: dietary recommendations and principles of treatment // Bulletin of VSMU. – 2017. – T. 16, No. 6.
  5. Shulpekova Yu.O. Algorithm for the treatment of constipation of various origins // Regular issues of BC. – 2007. – No. 15. – page 1165.

Norton J. Greenberger, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Last full review/revision May 2018 by Norton J. Greenberger, MD.
Pimanov S. I., Silivonchik N. N. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: Rome IV Consensus: A Manual for Physicians. — Vitebsk: VSMU, 2016.
Andreev D. N., Dicheva D. T. Optimization of treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: focus on improving compliance // Medical Council. – 2019. – No. 3. — pp. 118–124.
Makarenko EV Irritable bowel syndrome: dietary recommendations and principles of treatment // Bulletin of VSMU. – 2017. – T. 16, No. 6.
Shulpekova Yu.O. Algorithm for the treatment of constipation of various origins // Regular issues of BC. – 2007. – No. 15. – page 1165.

Why my right side hurts and what to do about it



May 24

Lifehacker figured out how dangerous it is and when to call an ambulance.

Any pain in the right side is a reason to visit a doctor: too many serious diseases can be associated with it. During an attack, you can guess the source of pain by the location of the organs. But you won’t find out the exact reason yourself: sometimes it hurts in one place, but gives it away in another.

Vera Serezina

Senior physician, medical expert of the personalized medicine laboratory “LabQuest”

Only a doctor can determine what caused the pain in the right side. There are the gallbladder, pancreas, ascending colon, liver. So you need to check in any case, even if you think that you don’t have anything serious.

When to call an ambulance

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience sudden and severe pain. Do not wait for the appearance of other dangerous symptoms, in some cases it can end in death.

Also call an ambulance if the pain is not severe, but there are these signs:

  • fever;
  • there is blood in the stool;
  • pain worse;
  • you feel sick or vomit.

Why my right side hurts

1. Appendicitis

This is the name of inflammation of the appendix, a small process of the large intestine. The first sign of appendicitis is a dull pain near the navel or in the upper part of the abdomen, which descends along its right side surface and becomes acute.

Pain may be accompanied by loss of appetite and fever up to 37–39 °C, nausea and vomiting, bloating.

What to do

There is a medical emergency and an operation. Therefore, immediately go to the hospital to see a surgeon or call an ambulance.

Your appendix will most likely be cut out laparoscopically through small incisions in the abdominal wall.

Anna Yurkevich

Gastroenterologist. Author of a blog about proper nutrition and digestive health

Scientists do not have convincing evidence of the negative impact of appendectomy (removal of the appendix) on human health. It is much worse not to have the operation, because the appendix may burst. Then peritonitis will begin – inflammation of the tissue that covers most of the abdominal organs.

2. Gallstones

When there are stones in the gallbladder, we may feel sudden and rapidly increasing pain in the upper right abdomen, under the breasts, in the back between the shoulder blades and even in the right shoulder. You may also experience nausea or vomiting.

Pain duration varies from a couple of minutes to several hours.

What to do

If these symptoms appear, you should either immediately go to the doctor or call an ambulance. Stones can cause inflammation of the gallbladder – cholecystitis, blockage of the pancreatic duct and, as a result, pancreatitis.

Anna Yurkevich

Frequent attacks of colic are an indication for removal of the gallbladder. This operation is called a cholecystectomy. It is usually done through small incisions in the abdominal wall.

At an early stage, when the stones are still small, you may be given medication to dissolve them.

3. Kidney stones

They cause sudden excruciating pain in the lower and side of the abdomen, but more often in the back. It either intensifies or weakens, it can radiate to the groin and be accompanied by painful urination.

What to do

A urologist will help you deal with the problem, so go to him right away. He will prescribe medicines for small stones.

Severe pain and large kidney stones may require hospitalization and surgery.

4. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or bloating

Gathering gases in the intestine stretch its walls and cause pain in different parts of the abdomen, including the right side.

Usually there is nothing serious about it. The only difference is that you can try to correct bloating with a diet, but IBS is a chronic disease, which means that it will either disappear or reappear.

What to do

To relieve symptoms, the gastroenterologist can prescribe different groups of drugs – he will select them individually. Sometimes a Low-FODMAP diet is recommended.

5. Inflammatory bowel disease

The most common are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

If the intestines become inflamed, you will feel pain, cramps and swelling in the abdomen. Other symptoms are bloody diarrhea, weight loss, and weakness.

The causes of inflammation are not exactly known, but experts suggest that it is genetics and problems with the immune system.

What to do

Visit a gastroenterologist. For diagnosis, he will refer you for a stool test or a colonoscopy. And as a treatment, he will prescribe something from this list: aminosalicylates or mesalazines, antibiotics, immunosuppressants, biologics.

6. Constipation

If you can’t go to the toilet, you feel discomfort and heaviness in your stomach, this is constipation.

What to do

A laxative will help here. For persistent constipation, consult a general practitioner or gastroenterologist.

7. Duodenal ulcer

An ulcer is a deep defect in the mucous membrane. In most cases, it occurs when the bacterium Helicobacter pylori enters the duodenum. In addition to pain in the right side, bloating, a feeling of heaviness, heartburn, belching, and nausea may appear.

What to do

Diagnose an ulcer first. As soon as possible, contact a gastroenterologist to conduct an esophagogastroduodenoscopy – examination of the intestinal walls. In the people it is called “swallowing the probe.”

Most often, treatment involves only drugs, surgery is rarely required.

8. Menstruation

Drawing pain can be felt in the right side from below before and during menstruation. This is usually not dangerous, but very annoying.

What to do

Be patient or drink a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. If the pain is very strong, you need to be examined by a gynecologist. He will prescribe you hormonal oral contraceptives or strong painkillers.

9. Ovarian cyst

Twisting or rupture of the cyst causes pelvic pain ranging from dull and moderate to severe and sudden. Specific symptoms are pain during sex, irregular and heavy periods, frequent urination.

What to do

A cyst can be malignant or benign. In the first case, you will have to perform an operation and remove the formation. In the second – to be observed by a gynecologist. If the cyst resolves on its own, the doctor will not prescribe treatment.

10. Urinary tract infection

Bacterial inflammation can cause burning during urination, cramps and pain in the lower abdomen.

What to do

Do not try to let the disease take its course. If left untreated, the infection can lead to permanent damage to the bladder and kidneys. As soon as you feel the symptoms described above, go to a nephrologist, urologist or therapist. You will be prescribed antibiotics to reduce the inflammation.

11. Ectopic pregnancy

This is the name of a pathology in which fertilization does not occur in the uterus, but in the fallopian tube, cervix, ovary or other place in the abdominal cavity.

The fetus grows, it becomes crowded, it presses on the walls of the organ to which it is attached, and can break it. This causes sharp or stabbing pain and internal bleeding.

What to do

You could die if you don’t seek medical help right away. There are no options here – call an ambulance.

12. Liver diseases

There are no pain receptors in the liver itself. Therefore, pain can appear only in advanced cases, when the organ greatly increases in size, and its capsule is stretched.

Liver disease can be either hereditary or acquired. The latter are caused by the influence of harmful factors on the body. For example, viruses, alcohol, obesity.

What to do

Anna Yurkevich says that an enlarged liver can be detected by palpation (when the doctor feels the patient’s abdomen) or during ultrasound of the abdominal organs. So the first thing to do is to see a therapist. And in order to make an accurate diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe you a biochemical blood test.

To get rid of discomfort, you need to treat the underlying disease, which the doctor diagnoses after examination and testing.

13. Lung diseases

If you feel pain in your side when you breathe or cough, you need to rule out a lung pathology.