What Are The Four Types Of Abdominal Pain
Since your abdomen it is home to many organs, your healthcare provider may want to narrow down the kind of pain youre having by narrowing down the region youre feeling it in. Healthcare providers often divide the abdomen into quadrants or four parts. They may ask if your pain is in the:
- Right upper quadrant.
- Left lower quadrant.
What Triggers Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcers are irritated by stomach acid. Some people notice this irritation more after they eat, and some people notice it more on an empty stomach. There are also certain irritants that seem to make ulcer symptoms worse and make them more difficult to heal. Smoking and alcohol are the biggest ones.
How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are very common in Western countries. In the United States, there are about 4 million cases per year. Some estimates say that 1 in 10 people will have one at some point in their lives. Thats because many of the causes that contribute to stomach ulcers are common in Western life. Fortunately, these causes are usually easy to trace and to reverse, giving ulcers a chance to heal and your stomach lining a chance to repair.
Don’t Miss: What Makes Your Stomach Flat Fast
General Abdominal Pain With Bloating
Possible cause: irritable bowel syndrome
IBS is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that cause common symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, including constipation or diarrhea.
There is currently no cure for IBS. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and may include dietary changes and medications to treat diarrhea and constipation.
When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Sometimes stomach pain is mild at first but gets worse after a few hours. You may also develop other symptoms.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms along with stomach pain:
- Extremely hard abdomen
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Vomiting that won’t stop
- Inability to have a bowel movement, along with vomiting
- Pain in the neck, shoulder, or between shoulder blades
If you have these symptoms, call for an ambulance or have someone drive you to the ER. You should not “wait and see” or take medicine for the pain. Get help right away.
When stomach pain is associated with these other symptoms, it may be caused by a life-threatening condition. Some examples of these conditions include:
These emergencies usually cause pain that feels extreme. Other circumstances in which you should discuss stomach pain with a healthcare provider include when:
- You’re pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of abdominal surgery
- Your pain started after a procedure in your stomach area, like an endoscopy
- You have ever had surgery on your digestive tract, like a gastric bypass, colostomy, or bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after an abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen is bruised or rapidly expanding
- Excessive vaginal bleeding, or blood clots and bleeding longer than usual
- You have rectal bleeding, or tarry-looking or bloody stool
Recommended Reading: How Do I Tone My Stomach
Eat Plenty Of Roughage
Fibre is the part of food that is not digested. It is filling but has few calories. It helps your bowels to move regularly, which reduces constipation and other bowel problems. Fibre may also help to lower your cholesterol level.
Starchy foods, and fruit and vegetables contain the most fibre. So the tips above on starchy foods and fruit and vegetables will also increase fibre. If you switch to wholemeal rice and pasta and wholemeal bread, this can significantly increase your fibre intake. Pulses like lentils and beans are also full of fibre.
Have plenty to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet .
How Is Intestinal Gas Managed Or Treated
- Alpha-galactosidase , an enzyme to break down hard-to-digest foods.
- Bismuth subsalicylate for adults with upset stomach and diarrhea.
- Lactase enzymes for lactose intolerance .
- Probiotics to get rid of bad gut bacteria.
- Simethicone to reduce intestinal gas buildup that causes bloating.
Prescription medications may help if you have a motility problem like IBS. Antibiotics can treat bacterial overgrowth in the intestines that cause excess gas and bloating.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Large Stomach
Burning Sensation When Urinating
Chlamydia can cause a burning sensation when you urinate. Its easy to mistake this for a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
You might also feel like you have the urge to urinate more often than usual. And when you do go to urinate, only a little bit comes out. Your urine might also smell unusual or look cloudy.
If you have chalmydia, you might also feel some pain during sex, especially intercourse.
You may also some bleeding and lingering irritation after any type of sexual activity involving penetration.
What Are The Parts Of The Stomachs Anatomy
Your stomach has five distinct sections:
- The cardia is the top part of your stomach. It contains the cardiac sphincter, which prevents food from traveling back up your esophagus.
- The fundus is a rounded section next to the cardia. It’s below your diaphragm .
- The body is the largest section of your stomach. In the body, your stomach contracts and begins to mix food.
- The antrum lies below the body. It holds food until your stomach is ready to send it to your small intestine.
- The pylorus is the bottom part of your stomach. It includes the pyloric sphincter. This ring of tissue controls when and how your stomach contents move to your small intestine.
Read Also: Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Cough
How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms seen by GPs .
They may suggest you have some blood tests or other diagnostic procedures done, especially if you have had the symptoms for some time.
Tests and procedures that may help in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain include:
Other procedures that may be suggested, depending on your gender, include:
- pregnancy test and/or pelvic ultrasound
- ultrasound of the scrotum
When To Seek Immediate Medical Help
Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, and persists, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.
or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if this is the case.
If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, see the section on chest pain.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Flabby Stomach
What Causes Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is frequently caused by a problem in the digestive tract . However, it can also be caused by other organs located in the abdomen, such as the kidneys. Large blood vessels, such as the aorta are also found in the abdomen and may give rise to pain. Abdominal pain can even be caused by some medicines.
Causes of abdominal pain connected to the gut include:
- trapped wind or indigestion
- gallstones, gallbladder problems, liver problems
- medicines to help manage the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
Some of the causes of abdominal pain are short-term , whereas others are long-term or ongoing conditions. Find more information about the underlying causes of abdominal pain here.
Gastroenteritis And Infectious Colitis
These are the terms for inflammation in the lining of the intestines and colon, respectively. Symptoms will vary based on the location and cause. In both cases, the underlying cause could be due to a condition such as Crohns disease or even something more benign such as a lack of blood flow to the abdominal area, says Dr. Dann. Patients with infectious colitis generally have diarrhea associated abdominal pain, which may be severe.
How to treat it: Depending on the severity of symptoms, antibiotics may be needed.
You May Like: How Can I Get Rid Of My Bloated Stomach Quick
Abdomen Lower Back Or Joint Pain
Pain in your abdomen may be a sign of a chlamydial or gonorrheal infection that has progressed. Late-stage chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the pelvis and cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease . If left untreated, PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, tubo-ovarian abscess, and/or ectopic pregnancy.
Pain in your lower back may be a sign of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or herpes prodrome. Herpes prodrome is a physical pain that typically means a herpes breakout is about to occur. The pain can be located in your lower back, thighs, butt knees, or feet. Herpes prodrome also indicates a time when youre most susceptible to spreading the virus. But even though you may not be exhibiting herpes lesions, youre still at risk of spreading the virus.
Joint Pain can mean that Hepatitis B, syphilis, or HIV have infiltrated your body and have gone untreated or may be, a symptom of gonorrhea or chlamydia. When gonorrhea or chlamydia begin to cause joint pain, its called Gonococcal Arthritis or Venereal Arthritis. This reactive arthritis occurs when gonorrhea or chlamydia go undetected and the bacteria infects one or multiple joints. If left untreated, this arthritis can lead to chronic joint pain, chronic joint inflammation, permanent joint damage, and/or deformity.
Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Most abdominal pain goes away without special treatment. Be guided by your doctor, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain, including:
- Place a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag on your abdomen.
- Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids such as water.
- Reduce your intake of coffee, tea and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
- When you are allowed to eat again, start with clear liquids, then progress to bland foods such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
- Take mild painkillers such as paracetamol. Please check the packet for the right dose. Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs unless advised to take them by a doctor. These drugs can make some types of abdominal pain worse.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Get Rid Of Bloating In My Stomach
Common Stomach Pain Causes
Around 40% of emergency department visits initiated by abdominal pain are reported as having an undiagnosed cause, explains Dr. Mahidhara. She adds that 30% of those emergency room patients under 50 had an ultimate diagnosis of appendicitis. With that being said, the list of potential stomachache culprits is pretty extensive. The more common stomach pain causes, according to Dr. Greenwald and Dr. Mahidhara, are:
- Indigestion or acid reflux
- Viral hepatitis
Symptoms associated with abdominal pain vary depending on cause, but may include fever, lack of appetite, weight gain or loss, difficulty swallowing, chest pain or burning, bloating, fullness, nausea or vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, black or bloody stools, burning with urination, blood in the urine, back pain, rash, jaundice, and bruising, says Mahidhara.
When To See A Doctor About Abdominal Pain
Go straight to your doctor or the emergency department of the nearest hospital if you have any of the following:
- pain lasting for several hours
- pain or vaginal bleeding if you are pregnant
- pain in your scrotum if you are a male
- pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- pain and vomiting blood
- blood in your bowel motions or urine
- pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulder
- unable to move your bowels or pass gas
- any other concerns.
Also Check: How To Flatten Stomach Naturally
Whats Causing Your Severe Lower Abdominal Pain
A severe pain on either side of the lower abdomen can be a symptom of any of the following:
- Cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder that brings pain and a feeling of pressure.
- Endometriosis. Tissue that grows outside of a womans uterus and causes pelvic pain that intensifies during menstruation.
- Intestinal obstruction. A blockage that prevents food and liquid from passing through the intestines. The pain associated with intestinal obstruction feels similar to a cramp and often comes and goes sporadically.
- Mittelschmerz. A lower abdominal pain that occurs midway through a menstrual cycle and typically does not require medical attention.
- Ovarian cysts. Pockets on the surface of the ovary that fill with fluid and lead to pain that may extend to the lower back and thighs and intensify during intercourse, bowel movements or at the beginning or end of a menstrual cycle.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . An infection of the female reproductive organs that can bring pain to the lower abdomen and levis, especially during intercourse and urination.
- Salpingitis. Inflammation of the fallopian tubes causing pain on both sides of the abdomen and lower back.
Cancer. Many different types of cancer can cause pain in various areas of the abdomen.
Pain in the lower right portion of the abdomen can be a symptom of:
For pain on the lower left side of the abdomen, the culprit could be:
General Abdominal Pain With Diarrhea
Possible cause: gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, usually affecting the stomach or small intestine. Also known as infectious diarrhea, gastroenteritis is typically caused by rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus, or other viruses. The infection triggers inflammation, which then causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting.
Treatment typically focuses on managing diarrhea and other symptoms. Fluids are helpful in counteracting dehydration resulting from diarrhea and vomiting.
You May Like: How To Flush Your Stomach
What Is A Stomach Ulcer
A stomach ulcer, also called a gastric ulcer, is an open sore that develops in your stomach lining. You can also get one in your duodenum, the first part of the small intestine that your stomach feeds into. Duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers are both types of peptic ulcers. Theyre named for pepsin, one of the digestive juices that are found in the stomach and that sometimes leak into the duodenum. These juices are a contributing factor in peptic ulcer disease.
Peptic ulcers occur when the protective mucous lining in your stomach and duodenum has been eroded, allowing gastric acids and digestive enzymes to eat away at your stomach and duodenal walls. This eventually results in open sores that are continually irritated by the acid. If left untreated, they can begin to cause serious complications, such as internal bleeding. Over time, they can even wear a hole all the way through. This is a medical emergency.
How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning
- Reduce NSAID use, if possible. Consider whether acetaminophen might substitute. If you take NSAIDs for medical reasons, talk to your doctor about reducing your dosage or switching your medication. Your doctor may also prescribe another medicine to take with NSAIDs to protect your stomach lining.
- Reduce other irritants that may contribute to too much stomach acid or erode your stomach lining, including smoking and alcohol use.
- Take an H. pylori breath test to find out if you have an overgrowth of the bacteria.
You May Like: Can Sugar Cause Stomach Pain
How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you detailed questions about your pain. Theyll want to know:
- Where you feel it.
- How long youve had it.
- If it comes and goes.
- If its getting worse.
- If it stays in one place or moves.
- What makes it better or worse.
- What other symptoms you have.
From your answers, your healthcare provider will try to determine if you need emergency treatment. Sometimes your healthcare provider will be able to tell right away that your pain is temporary and not serious. Sometimes they may suspect a more serious condition and may want to run some tests. And sometimes they wont be able to solve the mystery on the first visit. Your pain may subside, or you may have to return for further investigation.
What Is The Stomachs Structure
Several layers of muscle and other tissues make up your stomach:
- Mucosa is your stomachs inner lining. When your stomach is empty, the mucosa has small ridges . When your stomach is full, the mucosa expands, and the ridges flatten.
- Submucosa contains connective tissue, blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerve cells. It covers and protects the mucosa.
- Muscularis externa is the primary muscle of your stomach. It has three layers that contract and relax to break down food.
- Serosa is a layer of membrane that covers your stomach.
Don’t Miss: What To Eat With Stomach Issues
What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
The classic symptoms of peptic ulcers are stomach pain and indigestion. Ulcer pain feels like burning or gnawing inside your stomach, which is between your breastbone and your belly button. It may improve temporarily when you eat or drink or when you take an antacid, medication to reduce stomach acid. It may feel worse between meals and at night when stomach acid builds up without food to digest. It may also make you feel like you dont want to eat.
How do I know if I have an ulcer or gastritis?
Gastritis and gastric ulcers share many symptoms and often go hand in hand. Gastritis can be a precursor to stomach ulcers, caused by the same conditions that will eventually cause ulcers, including H. pylori infection and mucous erosion. You may also have both.
Both gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause stomach pain, as well as symptoms of indigestion. Usually, the pain from an ulcer will feel more localized like its coming from one particular spot. But since some ulcers are silent, you might not feel it if you do have one.
If you have symptoms of either gastritis or stomach ulcer, you should seek medical care. Gastritis can lead to ulcers if it hasnt already. It can also indicate an infection or other condition that needs to be treated. Medical testing can quickly determine the causes of your stomach pain.
How can I tell if I have ulcer pain or heartburn?