Abdominal pain refers to pain that is felt between the pelvic and chest regions. The abdominal pain may be achy and achy. It can also be dull or intermittent. It’s also known as a stomachache.
Inflammation or illnesses that affect organs in the abdomen can trigger abdominal pain. Organs majorly found in the abdomen include:
- The intestines (small and big)
- Appendix (a portion of the appendix (a part of the large)
- The spleen
Viral or bacterial diseases that affect the stomach and intestines could cause severe abdominal pain.
Signs and Symptoms of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can take many different types. Along with the severity of it, abdominal pain is described in these ways:
Generalized pain: It refers to the pain that you feel in more than half of your abdomen It is a typical sign of stomach infections, indigestion, or gas as the reason for your discomfort.
localized pain: This is the term used to describe discomfort that is felt only in one part of your abdomen. This is common to the problem with an organ such as the stomach, appendix, or gallbladder being the source of the pain.
Cramping: The type of pain you experience is temporary and it can change in intensity or the perceived position of your abdomen. Cramping isn’t usually serious and is usually a sign of gas, passing stool, or menstrual flow as the reason for the discomfort.
Colicky Pain: Like cramping, this kind of pain can be experienced in a variety of ways however, it tends to be very severe and be abrupt in its beginning and end. It’s common to have kidney stones or gallstones as the reason for your pain, as per Mount Sinai.
It’s crucial to speak to your physician if abdomen pain becomes so extreme that you are unable to move without experiencing pain or if you can’t sit in a comfortable place.
Get medical attention immediately for abdominal pain if it is associated with any of the symptoms listed below:
- Bloody stool
- Vomiting and nausea that doesn’t disappear
- Weight loss
- Yellowish skin
- Abdomen very soft to the touch
- Swollen abdomen
Abdominal pain is due to a variety of causes. However, the most frequent reasons are due to infection or abnormal growths inflammation and obstruction (blockage), and intestinal issues.
Infections of the throat, the intestines, as well as blood could cause bacteria to enter your digestive tract, which results in abdominal discomfort. The infections can also trigger digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea.
Menstrual cramps can also be a possible cause of lower abdominal pain however they are most commonly recognized to be the cause of pelvic pain.
Other reasons for abdominal discomfort are:
- gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
- Acid reflux (when stomach contents leak backward into the esophagus, which causes heartburn and other signs)
Disorders that affect the digestive system can cause persistent abdominal discomfort. Most commonly, they are:
- gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (also known as the spastic colon) (a condition that causes abdominal cramping, pain, and changes in the way that bowel movements are conducted)
- Crohn’s Disease (an inflammatory bowel disease)
- lactose intolerance (the inability to digest lactose (the sugar in milk and other milk products)
The most common causes of severe abdominal pain are:
- Organ rupture, or near-rupture (such as an appendix that bursts or appendicitis)
- gallbladder stones (known as gallstones)
- kidney stones
- kidney infection
How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed?
The root of abdominal pain can be identified by analyzing your symptoms as well as a physical exam and testing, if required. Your physician is likely to ask you questions regarding the causes of your pain and whether you suffer from any other physical or mental health problems that may be causing the abdominal pain you are experiencing.
Doctors may refer to the specific aspects of abdominal pain
- Where is it located
- How intense is it?
- If it’s dull, stabbing burning, cramping, or dull
- It doesn’t matter if it’s a day or night.
- If you notice or experience it, you should be aware of
- If it radiates outwards into other parts of your body
- How long have you been using it?
- If any actions or activities appear to make it worse or better
The doctor can also inquire about your health history overall as well as any recent injuries and if you’re pregnant.
If your doctor suspects that you have a serious health problem that could require treatment, one of the following tests could be performed to determine the reason for your abdominal pain
- Urine, blood, or stool tests
- The x-ray from the abdominal area
- Ultrasound of the abdomen
- The computerized tomography (CT) image of the abdominal area
- Enema barium (colon X-ray)
- Endoscopic procedures (inserting tubes with tiny cameras through your mouth or into your rectum to see the areas of the digestive tract)
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
The majority of kinds of abdominal pain can be prevented. But, you can reduce the chance of experiencing abdominal pain by taking the following steps:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink plenty of water regularly.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat smaller meals.
If you suffer from an intestinal condition, such as Crohn’s Disease adhere to the diet that the doctor prescribed to ease discomfort. If you suffer from GERD avoid eating within two hours prior to your bedtime. Make sure to wait at least two hours after eating to lie down.