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What are potential causes of abdominal pain on the right side of the body?

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Quick Answer

Potential causes of right-side abdominal pain include mesenteric lymphadenopathy, appendicitis and gall bladder disease, according to Mayo Clinic and WebMD. Mesenteric lymphadenopathy occurs when the lymph nodes in the membrane that attaches the intestines to the wall of the abdomen are inflamed.

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What are potential causes of abdominal pain on the right side of the body?
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Several conditions are associated with mesenteric lymphadenopathy, according to WebMD. These include some types of cancer, pathogens and stomach flu. Patients who have HIV are also at risk for contracting mesenteric lymphadenopathy, as are people with appendicitis, inflammatory bowel diseases, pancreatitis and autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix, a wormlike tube that hangs down from the large intestine on the right side of the body, says WebMD. Medical experts do not know what the function of the appendix is, but if it is inflamed, it must be removed. If it ruptures, the inflamed appendix spills pathogens into the abdominal cavity that can cause potentially fatal peritonitis. Besides pain in the lower-right area of the abdomen, the patient loses her appetite, has nausea or vomiting when the pain begins, and a fever. She cannot pass gas, and her abdomen swells.

An inflamed gallbladder causes severe pain in the upper-right part of the patient's abdomen. This pain is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and fever, says Mayo Clinic. The pain radiates to the back or the right shoulder, and the area over the gallbladder is tender.

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