When Should You See A Doctor For Abdominal Pain
You should see a doctor for abdominal pain if it is severe or for mild abdominal pain lasting more than a week . So-called red flag symptoms that may indicate a serious or life-threatening condition include:
- Abdomen is stiff or hard and tender when you or someone else touches it
- Do certain foods or activities seem to make it worse?
- Have you taken any over-the-counter medications for your pain? What is the effect?
Liver And Gallbladder Issues
Pain in the upper right stomach that comes and goes could signal a problem with the gallbladder, such as gallstones.
Gallstones can block the ducts of the gallbladder, making digestion more difficult. This causes pain shortly after eating, especially after very fatty meals. People with gallstones may notice that the pain appears a few hours after eating, lasts for 46 hours, and then disappears.
Gallstones sometimes pass on their own. If they do not, they can block the biliary ducts, which can affect liver function. Untreated gallstones may also cause problems with the pancreas.
If a person experiences vomiting, pale stool, or a fever along with symptoms of gallstones, they should seek emergency medical treatment.
Otherwise, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Home treatment is not effective for gallstones.
Food Intolerance Or Allergy
You may wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden attack of abdominal pain and diarrhea. The answer to the cause may be in the food you ate before this attack.
Your digestive system may have trouble digesting and absorbing specific types of food. The undigested/unabsorbed food inside your intestine may cause intolerance symptoms .
The above condition is known as . Food intolerance is different from food allergy. Food allergy is an immune-mediated reaction to certain types of food.
Common causes of food intolerance and allergy include:
- Lactose intolerance .
- Whipples disease.
Diarrhea can be watery, with or without blood and mucus. You may also experience fever, symptoms of malabsorption, and weight loss.
Often, chronic infections affect people with a weak immune system as with chronic diseases and immunosuppressive drugs).
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Constipation From Not Eating Enough Fiber
Constipation is defined as having stools which are large, hard, and difficult to pass. This leaves the person feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Many things can cause constipation, and a common one is lack of fiber in the diet.
To determine whether lack of fiber is causing the constipation, all other causes are first ruled out:
- Not drinking enough water, sometimes to the point of dehydration.
- Lack of exercise, which helps increase blood circulation and therefore motility of the bowel.
- A very low or no-fat diet.
- A need for probiotics, which replenish the “good” bacteria in the gut.
- Medications, or certain illnesses, which have a constipating effect.
- Constantly ignoring the feeling of needing to move the bowels, and delaying going to the toilet.
If fiber is needed, the best sources are fresh vegetables fresh or dried fruits and whole wheat and brown rice, because those include the fiber-rich bran. Over-the-counter fiber tablets can be tried, though laxatives should only be used if recommended by a medical provider.
Top Symptoms: constipation, constipation, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain when passing stools, feeling of needing to constantly pass stool
Symptoms that always occur with constipation from not eating enough fiber: constipation, constipation
Symptoms that never occur with constipation from not eating enough fiber: vomiting
Right Or Left Lower Abdominal Pain In Women
Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain or left lower abdominal pain can indicate a ruptured ovarian cyst in a woman who is mid-cycle. This kind of pain could also be a sign of ovarian torsion, which is the rotation of the ovary and part of the fallopian tube, or possibly a twisting of the ovary due to compromised blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
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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.
National Health Service, Stomach Ache
National Health Service Inform, Stomach Ache and Abdominal Pain
U.S. National Library of Medicine, Abdominal Pain
What Is Abdominal Pain Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Most people experience abdominal discomfort or pain at some point in their lives. Abdominal pain is usually felt in the part of the trunk below the ribs, above the pelvis and the groin. It can range in intensity from a mild ache to severe, disabling pain.
While abdominal pain isnt normal, it isnt necessarily serious, and it often resolves itself.
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Can Dehydration Cause Stomach Pain
Dehydration can cause stomach pain, and is often a problem with those with severe nausea and vomiting. As well, dehydration can cause diarrhea. This causes your body to lose electrolytes which maintain the bodys fluid balance and keep your nervous system on an even keel. The remedy for this is drinking clear liquids which contain sodium and potassium. Water is of course number one, but coconut water, broths, and saltine crackers restore fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances. Sports drinks also work but remember the added sugar and use sparingly.
When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Stomach pain can be caused by a life-threatening condition, such as appendicitis, bowel obstruction , or a bowel perforation .
These emergencies usually cause very noticeable and often intolerable signs and symptoms. Your stomach pain is probably a sign of an urgent medical problem if:
- You are pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of having abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure
- You have ever had a gastric bypass, a colostomy, or a bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after you experienced severe abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen appears bruised or is rapidly expanding in size
Your stomach pain may be mild in the beginning, and then you may develop associated symptoms after a few hours. You should get help immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms along with your stomach pain:
- Abdomen is extremely hard
- Inability to have a bowel movement accompanied by vomiting
- Pain in neck, shoulder or between shoulder blades
- Vision changes
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Causes Of Serious Bloating You Dont Want To Ignore
Bloating everyones had the feeling once before, especially all those pasta lovers out there.
Bloating is a common side effect of eating too many bloating foods like carbohydrates or downing your oh so good fizzy drinks.
But what about if youre experiencing chronic bloating where you get so bloated you look pregnant?
Perhaps youve ruled out pregnancy, cut back on the bloating food and drinks, but still feel as though you have a bowling ball in your stomach.
Usually are not too worrisome, but if your persistent bloating is accompanied by other symptoms this just might be the canary in the coal mine.
Persistent bloating along with other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, fever, or blood in your stool might be a sign of a more serious health issue than just bloating from a bad meal.
Health issues such as cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions can cause severe bloating.
So differentiating between a simple case of bloating and severe bloating is important.
Right Side Of The Abdomen
The upper right side of your abdomen contains the gallbladder, liver, and first part of the small intestine.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile made by the liver. The duodenum, known as the first portion of the small intestine, is where food empties from the stomach into the small intestine.
The center right side of the abdomen contains the ascending colon and the transverse colon. Food then passes from the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
The cecum of the large intestine with the appendix and the small intestine are in the lower right side of the abdomen. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine that the end of the small intestine connects to.
Some experts believe the appendix plays a role in the immune system. Others think it has no purpose.
If your doctor performs a physical exam and then suspects a medical condition is causing your abdominal bloating or pain, theyll run various medical tests.
The types of tests they order will depend on your medical history and physical exam results.
Some common tests for abdominal problems include the following:
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Gut Feeling: How To Know If Stomach Pain Is Serious
Abdominal pain is the single leading reason for emergency room visits in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, accounting for more than 12 million of the nearly 139 million annual ER visits. Most people call it stomach pain, but it’s not always a stomach problem. Your abdomen holds many other organs, too, including your intestines , pancreas, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen and appendix.
So its not surprising that, just as with chest pain or a headache, it can be difficult to tell whats really going on in there when your tummy’s not feeling well. Add in other vague symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and you could have the stomach flu, food poisoning, gallstones, kidney stones or any number of other conditions.
Here are some ways to tell what the source of your pain is and when you should seek medical care.
Possible Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Women
Abdominal pain can be achy, crampy, dull, intermittent or may be sharp. It is also called stomachache. Usually women experience many types of abdominal pain, which may be only left-sided abdominal pain, or lower abdominal pain etc. A woman may experience abdominal pain due to various reasons. Some of the causes of abdominal pain in women may be harmless, however others can be life threatening.
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Are These Signs Or Symptoms Accompanying Your Bloat
Fortunately, if you feel bloated its usually harmless and caused by something as simple as gas, indigestion, or premenstrual symptoms.
But when there are other symptoms occurring with your persistent bloating symptoms you may want to dive deeper into the actual cause.
Other signs and symptoms to look out for with your constant bloating include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting, or both
Dont shrug your constant bloating off if youre experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Because when detected early, certain diseases such as colon cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, or diverticulitis are easier to treat and can reduce more complications.
And if gastrointestinal issues like leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases arent properly treated it could lead to other complications such as autoimmune diseases or cancer.
Miscellaneous Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Women:
There may be a lot of unrelated conditions causing abdominal pain. For instance, herpes zoster may impact the skin and the underlying nerves of several areas of the body, which may also include the abdomen. Again, a slipped disk can compress the abdominal nerves and cause abdominal pain, especially on the left side of the abdomen in the womenâs body.
This article talked about some of the causes of abdominal pain in women. In case you are suffering from any such pain and doubt about your condition then do visit an expert medical professional and get yourself properly diagnosed and go for the prescribed treatments. Women need immediate medical attention in case of any signs of internal bleeding, such as bloody or tarry stools or if they vomit anything that appears to be bloody or looks life coffee grounds. Abdominal pain along with high fever or chills may also be the result of a serious infection, which requires immediate medical attention.
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Menstrual Pain Or Cramps In Women:
This is perhaps the most common cause of abdominal pain in women of all ages. Menstruation causes the contraction of uterus walls and this leads to the pain, which may be severe in some cases and gets rectified with age. For those women who are experiencing a lot of pain can take painkillers to help reduce the pain.
Tests For Diagnosing The Cause Of Abdominal Pain
In many cases, doctors and other providers can determine or at least suspect the cause just by your symptoms. For example, abdominal pain with and fever suggests a bladder infection. Imaging exams and blood and urine tests may be necessary to pinpoint the cause of abdominal pain and determine the best treatment.
The cause of abdominal pain can be difficult to diagnose in some cases. If you have continued abdominal pain without a diagnosis, seek a second opinion.
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What Causes Upper Stomach Pain Radiating Into The Back
Asked by RH
What Causes Upper Stomach Pain Radiating Into The Back?
What causes upper stomach pain radiating into the back? The pain starts in the upper middle of my abdomen and radiates to the back, like a band of extreme, severe pain. I get cold sweats and weakness and cannot get up. This continues for hours and hours. I don’t have any vomiting yet, nausea, and no diarreha. Seems to be set off by eating solid foods. Any idea what this could be?
When To Seek Medical Care For Abdominal Pain
If your abdominal pain is severe or chronic, our gastroenterology team at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County can help. We use sophisticated diagnostic tools and a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of your pain.
Once theres a diagnosis, we create a personalized treatment plan to manage your condition and pain levels. Our doctors make sure you understand the course of treatment and check in with you regularly to ensure your pain and other symptoms are under control.
No matter whats causing your abdominal pain, our team can help you live without discomfort. To schedule an appointment at one of our locations, in Irvine, Huntington Beach, Tustin, and Foothill Ranch, California, book online or call the location nearest you.
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Foods To Help Stomach Aches
On the other hand, a variety of foods can gallop to your rescue. What foods help stomach aches ?
Ginger is often used to tame nausea and vomiting. It can be taken raw, cooked, steeped in hot water, or as a supplement. For people undergoing chemotherapy ginger is a godsend as it can reduce the severity of the nausea and vomiting.
Chamomile is a well known remedy for upset stomachs. It can be dried and brewed into a tea or taken as a supplement. It has been proven to relieve indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, and colic in babies.
Peppermint has been known to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Taking peppermint oil capsules daily for at least two weeks can relieve IBS symptoms such as stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea. This oil works by relaxing muscles in the digestive tract. One caution here. Those plagued with hiatal hernias, kidney stones, or liver and/or gallbladder disorders should err on the side of caution as peppermint may worsen their symptoms.
Licorice can reduce indigestion and may even help prevent stomach ulcers. The supplement, technically called deglycyrrhizinated licorice, is preferred over regular licorice because it does not contain a naturally occurring chemical found in whole licorice which often causes high blood pressure, and low potassium levels. The supplement decreases the inflammation in the stomach lining and increases mucus production which protects the tissues from stomach acid. .
When In Doubt About Your Abdominal Symptoms Physicians Say Its Best To Call Your Doctor Or Head To The Er
The egg salad didn’t taste quite right, but you were hungry. Or maybe your craving for cheesecake overrode the punishment you knew your lactose intolerance would inflict. You expect stomach distress in situations like these, but other times, abdominal pain can come out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s severe enough or lasts for so long that you know it’s not simply a matter of eating something that didn’t agree with you.
Digestive system issues account for 51 million visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The severity of the pain, its location within your abdominal area, and accompanying symptoms may provide clues to the origin of the pain and whether or not you should seek help immediately. Here are some of the most common signs your tummy troubles need more than an over-the-counter remedy.
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Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers
Stomach and duodenal ulcers can often be found as a cause of mid-abdominal pain. Essentially, an ulcer is an open sore inside your digestive tract. In the case of stomach or gastric ulcers, the ulcer forms in the stomach. Duodenal ulcers form inside the upper portion of the small intestine, which is also known as the duodenum.
These open sores tend to bring on colicky pain, which comes and goes depending on various circumstances. Ulcers can be aggravated by a rise in stomach acid and certain types of foods .