Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
There are many reasons why you may have pain in your abdomen. People often worry about appendicitis, gallstones, ulcers, infections and pregnancy problems. Doctors also worry about these, as well as many other conditions. Abdominal pain may not come from the abdomen. Some surprising causes include heart attacks and pneumonias, conditions in the pelvis or groin, some skin rashes like shingles, and problems with stomach muscles like a strain. The pain may occur along with problems in passing urine or with bowel motions, or period problems.With so many organs and structures in the abdomen, it can be hard for a doctor to be absolutely sure about the cause of your problem. The doctor will ask you several questions and then examine you carefully. The doctor may perform no further tests. The cause of your pain may be quite clearly not serious. Another scenario may be that the doctor is unable to find a cause, but the pain gets better within hours or days. All the doctor can do is to be sure that the pain does not require surgery or admission to hospital.
How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms seen by GPs .
Information about your symptoms and the location of the abdominal pain can help a doctor diagnose the cause of your pain. They will want to know how long you have had the pain and may want to do a physical examination. If you are female, this may include a pelvic examination. If you are male, it may include checking your penis and scrotum.
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 Make An Appointment To See Your Doctor
Schedule an appointment to see your doctor if:
- Your stomach pain doesnt go away within a couple of days.
- The pain comes back after going away.
- Symptoms like diarrhea dont go away within a couple of days.
- Youre urinating more or less often, and/or its painful.
- You have unintended weight loss.
Know your body, Dr. Kingsley says. If you start having pain that you have not had before and does not go away, you should contact your doctor to be evaluated further.
Bottom line: Trust your gut! Contact your doctor if youre concerned about lingering or unusual stomach pain.
Editor’s Note: This infographic was originally published on June 24, 2014.
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Bleeding And Ruptured Blood Vessels
The stomach is full of blood vessels, including the aorta, which is the bodys largest blood vessel.
A ruptured aortic aneurysm occurs when a bulge in the aorta breaks. An aortic dissection happens when something cuts or punctures the aorta. Sustaining any tear or rupture in the stomachs blood vessels is a life-threatening emergency.
The main symptom of a ruptured blood vessel in the stomach is sudden, unexplained, extreme pain. Some people also experience shortness of breath, a racing heart, and dizziness.
People who know they have an abdominal aneurysm should treat any stomach pain as an emergency. On arrival at the emergency room, they must tell the physician about the aneurysm.
Listen To A Hypnotherapy Recording
Hypnosis has strong research support for easing the symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain. Ideally, you want to be engaged in an ongoing hypnotherapy treatment program for best results. But when you are in immediate pain, you may be able to benefit from the relaxation of listening to a hypnosis CD or recording that focuses on the gut.
The quickest way is to download an app on your smartphone or other mobile device. There are quite a few IBS-specific hypnotherapy apps available. It’s best to find one that’s backed by research, like Nerva.
- Learn More:Signs and Symptoms of IBS
- What medications can reduce IBS pain quickly?
Anticholinergics reduce spasms, which can decrease the pain of IBS. Examples include hyoscyamine and dicyclomine. They should usually be taken 30 to 60 minutes before a meal.
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Diagnosis Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
If examinations and tests are needed, these may include:
- a rectal exam to check for hidden blood or other problems
- if you are a man, the doctor may check your penis and scrotum
- if you are a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in your womb , fallopian tubes and ovaries, and do a pregnancy test
- a blood test to look for infection or bleeding
- other blood tests may look at enzymes in the liver, pancreas and heart to sort out which organ may be involved
- a urine test to look for a urine infection or blood
- an ECG to rule out a heart attack
- other tests, including x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- sometimes you may be referred to another doctor to help find the cause of the problem.
- endoscopy is an examination where a flexible tube with a light and video camera at the tip is used to examine some internal organs without the need for surgery. Different names are used depending on which organ is being looked at.
If you do have tests, the doctor will explain the results to you. Some results may take a number of days to come back and these will be sent to your local doctor.
Is The Brat Diet Safe
Following the BRAT diet for a limited time is unlikely to cause significant harm, but people should avoid using the diet in the long term.
- herbal teas, especially ginger and peppermint
- coconut water
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Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea
Frequent, constant, or severe abdominal pain and diarrhea may indicate a disease or a more serious medical issue. Diarrhea that gets progressively worse and is bloody can also be a sign of a more serious issue. Possible causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea include:
The above conditions and disorders can cause inflammation in different parts of your digestive tract, like the stomach and intestines. When your digestive system is inflamed, you might have cramps and trouble with typical digestive processes. This usually results in abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Abdominal pain and diarrhea that last for more than a week or keep coming back may be a sign of an intestinal disease or disorder. Talk with your doctor if youve experienced these symptoms for more than a week or on a reoccurring basis.
How Is The Cause Of The Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Physical examination will include a careful examination of the patient’s abdomen, heart, and lungs in order to pinpoint the source of the pain.
- The doctor will touch different parts of the abdomen to check for tenderness or other signs that indicate the source of the pain.
- The doctor may do a rectal exam to check for small amounts of blood in the stool or other problems, such as a mass or internal hemorrhoids.
- If the patient is a man, the doctor may check the penis and testicles.
- If the patient is a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
- The doctor also may look at the patient’s eyes for yellow discoloration and in the mouth to be sure the patient is not dehydrated.
Laboratory tests may or may not help to determine the cause of the abdominal pain. Combined with the information gained from the questions the patient was asked and the physical examination performed by the doctor, certain blood or urine tests may be ordered and could assist in determining the diagnosis.
Radiology studies of the patient’s abdomen can be useful, but are not always necessary or helpful.
- Occasionally, an X-ray will show air outside of the bowel, meaning that something has ruptured or perforated.
- An X-ray also can help diagnose bowel obstruction.
- Sometimes X-rays can show a kidney stone.
Ultrasound is a painless procedure useful in finding some causes of abdominal pain.
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The Truth About Vitamin C And Mild Stomach Upset
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that isnt stored very well in the body. The Reference Nutrient Intake for vitamin C is set in the UK at 40mg, which is the amount for 97.5% of the population to ward off deficiency disease, rather than being recommended for optimum health.
An important thing to note is that our need for vitamin C demands change according to lifestyle factors are we warding off an infection? Are we stressed? Do we smoke or are we exposed to other toxins ?
Causes And Risk Factors Of Abdominal Pain
While we dont usually feel the inner workings of our abdomen, pain can occur when there is a disruption of the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue inside.
Abdominal pain can be caused by inflammation , organ distention or stretching , or loss of blood supply .
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary supplements, can cause stomach pain. Medications can do this by irritating the stomach, leading to nausea, pain, and diarrhea, or by slowing digestion, leading to constipation. Be sure to check the label of any drug you take to see if abdominal pain is listed as a possible side effect.
- Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
- Emotional upset
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When To Connect With Your Doctor
Popper recommends contacting a doctor about stomach pain when it’s severe, lasts more than a few days, doesn’t improve with OTC treatments, or if the pain interferes with your sleep.
Important: An acute or sudden stomach ache that gets worse quickly or doesn’t go away can be serious. Get medical treatment right away if you experience:
Sharp Abdominal Pain Symptoms
When abdominal pain is severe, it indicates an underlying problem. Severe abdominal pain is often referred to by the medical term acute abdomen. Severe abdominal pain, in some cases, requires emergency care. You know your body best, so if the pain becomes unbearable, seek care immediately. A few other symptoms you may be experiencing in addition to your severe abdominal pain are listed below.
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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:
- severe pain
- pain lasting for several hours
- pain and/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
- fever and sweats
- unable to move your bowels or pass gas
- any other concerns.
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What Types Of Pain Are There
Doctors have different words to describe the different types of pain you can feel in the gut. Very broadly, pains may be sharp or stabbing, crampy, colicky or a general dull ache. Colicky means gradually becoming worse, then easing off again. This may happen repeatedly.
Doctors may also be interested in where the pain is and whether the pain seems to be travelling in a certain direction. Having this information and putting it together with other information, such as whether you have been being sick or have had diarrhoea, will help the doctor work out what is wrong.
Pain that comes on suddenly may be called acute. Longer-standing pain is called chronic.
Calm Your Mind And Body
When we are in pain, we tend to get anxious. Unfortunately, anxiety can make our pain worse. Taking a few minutes to calm down can be very effective.
Relaxation exercises are a way to break the cycle of anxiety and pain. They offer a way to “turn off” the anxious feelings. Of course, they work better with regular practice, but can still offer some benefits for immediate pain relief.
Three basic types of relaxation exercises are:
With a little experimentation, you can decide which methods work best for you.
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> > > 1 Unlikely Stretch Wipes Out Sciatica
Surgical interventions to correct spinal deformity include spinal fusion, which is a surgical procedure that uses bone graft to replace a disc. After undergoing surgery, your back will require physical therapy for three to six months. In addition to doctors and dentists, you can also see neurologists, physiatrists, and chiropractors. These specialists specialize in the brain and spinal cord disorders. They are often the best choice for patients seeking treatment for back pain.
Non-specific back pain is usually not diagnosed until the pain is long-term. There is no clear cause for non-specific back pain, but doctors should seek a diagnosis to treat the condition. It is important to visit a specialist for treatment in order to get the best treatment options. If the pain is chronic or has no specific cause, a doctor will perform diagnostic imaging to help identify the exact source of the pain. Further, they can perform MRIs to help diagnose underlying conditions.
While back pain is a common ailment, it can also be caused by something else. Many people experience sciatica or other pain in the leg, and a slipped disc could be the cause. Other types of back pain may be more acute, such as a herniated disc. For nonspecific back pain, a doctor may need to perform radiological imaging to diagnose the exact cause of the pain.
Types Of Abdominal Pain
Not all abdominal pain is the same.
For example, if youre experiencing acute abdominal pain, youve most likely only been dealing with the discomfort for about a week, maybe less.
Chronic abdominal pain, on the other hand, is pain thats constant or recurring. It lasts for a period of 3 months or longer.
Since there are a number of gastrointestinal and systemic disorders that lead to abdominal pain, doctors and healthcare professionals sometimes have a hard time understanding the root cause of the pain.
Progressive abdominal pain is pain that gets worse over time.
Typically other symptoms occur as the abdominal pain progresses.
Progressive abdominal pain is often a sign of something more serious.
Read on to learn more about the different types of abdominal pain, including what and where the pain occurs and potential causes.
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Drink Warm Lemon Water To Relieve Stomach Pain
Since pregnant women should avoid fennel, they can try warm lemon water instead. The high acidity of the lemon will trigger extra production of your stomachs hydrochloric acid to further break down food and keep things moving smoothly.
- Squeeze the juice from one-half of a lemon into one cup of warm water.
- Mix well and drink while warm.
What Causes Acute Abdominal Pain
- An allergic reaction to food, food poisoning, or acid reflux
- Constipation or a blockage in your bowels
- Monthly period pain in females
- Inflammation or rupture of your appendix
- Swelling or an infection in your abdomen or an organ
- An ulcer or a tear in your esophagus, stomach, or intestines
- Bleeding in your abdomen or an organ
- Stones in your kidney or gallbladder
- In women, diseases of the fallopian tubes or ovaries, or an ectopic pregnancy
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Using Apple Cider Vinegar As A Stomachache Cure
Another paradoxical-sounding remedy is using acidic drinks to relieve pain from gastric reflux. Since gastric reflux can result in stomach acid leaking out into places its not wanted, your stomachs acidity can end up lower than is optimal for digesting food.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can help improve the levels and ease an upset stomach. This assumes that youre able to, well, stomach the drink in the first place. While apple cider vinegar does its work best if taken raw, you may find mixing it with water, a teaspoon of honey, and sipping slowly to be the more tolerable option.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of warm water.
- Mix in one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this remedy every three hours until pain is gone.
How To Relieve Stomach Pain Symptoms
There isnt necessarily a cure for the stomach pain symptoms themselves. When your body is under stress, your stomach tends to hurt based on the acids in your stomach and the foods youve already eaten. If you have stomach pain as a result of an anxiety attack, you may need to wait it out.
Water can help a little, however. So consider sipping cool water. Antacids may also be beneficial in some cases, but if you have stomach pain often, you may not want to depend on antacid treatments.
Stomach pain from anxiety can be caused by several stress-related issues, including abdominal tension, digestion issues, and irritable bowel. Although the stomach pain may be caused by anxiety, the acids in the stomach are still very real. There are ways to treat both your stomach discomfort and anxiety.
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