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What causes sharp stabbing pain in upper right side of abdomen?

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question: Hi, I have noticed a very short, sharp stabbing pain in the upper right side of my abdomen. It is up the the edge of my rib cage. It only lasts for about one second and then goes away and it happens every 10 minutes or so. It started about 12 hours ago, it did not interrupt my sleep last night and it is continuing this morning. (it probably a 5-6 on a scale of 10 for pain). I don't have a fever that I know of and I'm not taking any medications of any kind. I'm male, 5'9", 270 lbs and 52 years old. Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (43 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
may be nerve related

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Pain may be related to (1)muscle and any other soft tissue (2) nerve related (3) underlying organs- on the upper right side this would be liver, gallbladder

The fact that the pain is lasting only a few seconds and happening intermittently, this may mean that it is nerve related.

Nerve related pain is called neuralgia. It may be sharp though it may also be burning, tingling, sticking in nature.

There are different possible causes such as: (1) infection such as shingles
(2)vitamin b12, folate deficiency
(3)diabetes
(4)trauma
(5)exposure to toxins
(6)neurological disease such as stroke, ms
(7)some hormonal conditions such as thyroid disease
(8)cause not known-idiopathic
(9)side effect of medication

Your doctor, by examination of your abdomen can make sure , it is not related to any of the underlying organs or likely muscular.

If these are normal, then it may be nerve related. There are medications that can be used for nerve related pain.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16810 Questions

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What causes sharp stabbing pain in upper right side of abdomen?

Brief Answer: may be nerve related Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Pain may be related to (1)muscle and any other soft tissue (2) nerve related (3) underlying organs- on the upper right side this would be liver, gallbladder The fact that the pain is lasting only a few seconds and happening intermittently, this may mean that it is nerve related. Nerve related pain is called neuralgia. It may be sharp though it may also be burning, tingling, sticking in nature. There are different possible causes such as: (1) infection such as shingles (2)vitamin b12, folate deficiency (3)diabetes (4)trauma (5)exposure to toxins (6)neurological disease such as stroke, ms (7)some hormonal conditions such as thyroid disease (8)cause not known-idiopathic (9)side effect of medication Your doctor, by examination of your abdomen can make sure , it is not related to any of the underlying organs or likely muscular. If these are normal, then it may be nerve related. There are medications that can be used for nerve related pain. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions