Conditions such as gallstones, pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver disease, a liver abscess or liver cancer can cause pain in the upper right rib cage, according to HealthGrades. Irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis are also common sources of upper abdominal pain.
Sources of pain in the upper right rib cage, such as gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome, are usually accompanied by other symptoms, including nausea or abdominal bloating, indigestion or a burning sensation after eating, loss of appetite, and black, tarry stools, explains WebMD. Gallbladder complications, such as gallstones and gallbladder disease, cause pain in the upper right abdomen along with pain in the upper back, nausea or vomiting, chronic diarrhea, fever, and chills, according to The New York Times. People who experience pain caused by serious liver complications, including chronic hepatitis, fatty liver disease, abscess or liver cancer, often experience abdominal swelling, diarrhea, pale stools, jaundice, fatigue, weight loss and discolored urine, states HealthGrades.
There are many abdominal organs and disorders that can cause upper right abdominal pain. Because of this, it is difficult to pinpoint which organ or condition is the source of the pain. Many of the conditions that cause pain in the upper right abdomen are serious, and it is important to see a health care provider to diagnose the cause accurately, advises HealthGrades.