Symptoms A-Z

Pain on One Side Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand pain on one side symptoms, including 8 causes & common questions.

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  1. 8 Possible Pain On One Side Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

8 Possible Pain On One Side Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced pain on one side. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Kidney stone

A kidney stone is a stone made up of various possible materials that forms in the kidneys. Factors that increase the risk of forming kidney stones include high levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, low levels of citrate in the urine, abnormal urine pH, low urine volume, certain urinary tract infections, and certain genetic conditions.

Pain is usually experienced in the abdomen or flank, depending on the location of the stone. A diagnosis is made by imaging and urine studies.

Treatment options include hydration and medications to facilitate spontaneous stone passage and various procedures to remove the stone.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal or flank pain, nausea, abdominal pain that comes and goes, diarrhea, pelvis pain

Symptoms that always occur with kidney stone: abdominal or flank pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)

A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is actually a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that begins in the urethra or bladder and spreads to the kidneys.

The infection is caused by bacteria that either travel into the urethra or spread from an infection elsewhere in the body.

Women, especially pregnant women, are most susceptible. Anyone who has had a urinary tract blockage, or uses a catheter, or has a weakened immune system is also at risk for a kidney infection.

Symptoms include fever; chills; back and abdominal pain; and frequent, painful urination. If there is also nausea and vomiting and discolored, foul-smelling urine, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Left untreated, pyelonephritis can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection elsewhere in the body.

Diagnosis is made through urine test, blood test, and sometimes imaging such as ultrasound, CT scan, or x-ray.

Treatment includes antibiotics and sometimes hospitalization.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, pelvis pain, back pain, vomiting

Symptoms that never occur with kidney infection (pyelonephritis): mid back pain from an injury

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are usually caused by infections by fecal bacteria.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain with urination (dysuria), cloudy urine (pyuria), feeling the urge to urinate, needing to urinate more frequently, blood in the urine (hematuria), inability to control the bladder or pain in the lower abdomen. Infections of the upper urinary tract may cause fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and flank pain.

Treatment includes antibiotic medications, pain medications, and intravenous fluids.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes

Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection: signs of urinary tract inflammation

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the ovaries, the reproductive organ in women responsible for producing eggs. Risk factors for developing ovarian cancer include familial genetic syndromes, increasing age, obesity or weight gain, starting menses at an early age, undergoing menopause at a later age and using prolonged postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy.

Early-stage ovarian cancer is usually asymptomatic. Late-stage ovarian cancer may cause(, urinary symptoms, or difficulty breathing.

The diagnosis is made by laboratory studies, imaging, and tissue biopsy. Treatment consists of surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, headache

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Iga nephropathy

IgA nephropathy is a disease in which immunoglobulin A (IgA) — a form of antibody normally found mostly on mucous membranes, such as lining the mouth and intestines — deposits in the kidneys, causing kidney damage. The kidneys are then less able to filter waste from the blood.

Symptoms include blood in the urine, frothy urine, high blood pressure and swelling of the body. Symptoms of liver disease, such as a yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea or vomiting, itching, and abnormal blood vessels may be present. Symptoms of celiac disease are also possible, which involves abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea.

Treatments include regular follow-ups with your physician, medications to manage blood pressure, heart disease or kidney damage, dialysis, and if necessary, a kidney transplant.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: side pain, moderate fever, groin pain, dark brown urine, pink/blood-tinged urine

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Abdominal aortic aneurism

The aorta is the main blood vessel to everything below the neck. Weaknesses can happen within the wall of the aorta, which balloons out due to the pressure of the blood pushing against it.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, side pain, general abdominal pain, abdominal pain that shoots to the back, abdominal bump

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Ovarian torsion

Ovarian torsion, also called adnexal torsion or tubo-ovarian torsion, is the twisting of the "stem," or supporting fleshy pedicle, of the ovary.

This condition can occur when a mass forms on the surface of the ovary and pulls it over. This is most often a complication of cystic ovaries.

It is most common in women under thirty or past menopause. It can occur during pregnancy.

Symptoms include severe, one-sided, lower abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting.

Diagnosis is made by ultrasound. The ovary will appear enlarged due to the torsion cutting off the circulation. There will be free pelvic fluid and a twisted pedicle.

Ovarian torsion is a medical emergency. The ovary can die due to loss of circulation, causing infection, abscess, or peritonitis. Surgery must be done to prevent tissue death and subsequent complications. In the majority of cases the affected ovary must be removed, which also removes the cyst or mass that caused the torsion.

Proper treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can help prevent at least one cause of ovarian torsion.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, nausea, moderate abdominal pain, loss of appetite

Symptoms that never occur with ovarian torsion: diarrhea, pain below the ribs, mild abdominal pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Alport syndrome

Alport syndrome is an inherited genetic condition caused by a mutation in one of the genes that produces collagen, a building block of the body.

Alport syndrome can cause kidney problems, hearing loss, and eye pain and vision problems. It is also sometimes associated with certain types of tumors and blood vessel problems. Alport syndrome is a rare condition that affects approximately 1/50,000 newborns.

There is no cure for Alport syndrome, but close follow up with your doctor can help to reduce or prevent damage to organs like the kidneys, eyes, and ears.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: side pain, swollen foot, swollen ankle, bright red (bloody) urine, pink/blood-tinged urine

Symptoms that never occur with alport syndrome: severe fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain On One Side

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you noticed any changes in the color of your urine recently?
  • Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having pain on one side

Pain On One Side Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced pain on one side have also experienced:

  • 4% Nausea
  • 4% Lower Back Pain
  • 4% Side Pain

People who have experienced pain on one side were most often matched with:

  • 42% Kidney Stone
  • 42% Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
  • 14% Urinary Tract Infection

People who have experienced pain on one side had symptoms persist for:

  • 38% Less than a day
  • 30% Less than a week
  • 16% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Pain On One Side Symptom Checker

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