What Is The Best Test For Abdominal Pain
Ultrasonography is the initial imaging test of choice for patients presenting with right upper quadrant pain. Computed tomography is recommended for evaluating right or left lower quadrant pain. Conventional radiography has limited diagnostic value in the assessment of most patients with abdominal pain.
Gallstones In Your Gallbladder
The gallbladder is located just outside the lower region of the liver, it is a small sac that processes fats and rids them of bile. If gallstones form inside of your gallbladder this can cause pain near the upper right side of your stomach. If you are suffering from gallstones, a common time you may notice your stomach pain is right after a fatty meal.
What Are The Symptoms Of Appendicitis
The classic symptoms of appendicitis include:
- Pain in your lower right belly or pain near your navel that moves lower. This is usually the first sign.
- Loss of appetite
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away. Timely diagnosis and treatment are important. Donât eat, drink, or use any pain remedies, antacids, laxatives, or heating pads.
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Chronic Abdominal Pain Symptoms
Symptoms of chronic abdominal pain vary from patient to patient, and they may change with each episode. The most common symptoms include:
- Sharp or dull pain
- Severe pain that causes you to become sweaty, cry or bend over in pain
- Pain that lasts a few minutes or hours
- Pain in the belly button area or anywhere in the belly
- Pain that may or may not be related to eating
- Pain that occurs any time of the day or night
- Abdominal pain that occurs with vomiting, headaches, or pain in the arms or legs
- Not being hungry like usual or skipping meals, usually without losing weight
Symptoms that require a doctors immediate attention include a high fever, loss of appetite or weight, pain that awakens the person, blood in stool or urine, jaundice, severe nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the legs or abdomen.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt
There are numerous reasons for abdominal pain. It can come from any of the organs in your belly gallbladder, pancreas, liver, stomach and intestines or the abdominal wall the outer shell of the body. Sometimes you feel the pain in your belly, but its actually coming from the chest, back or pelvis.
Abdominal wall pain is common and easy to miss as healthcare professionals may direct their attention to internal organs as a cause of the pain. Once the abdominal wall is considered as a suspect, it is generally easy to nail down this diagnosis. If a patient strains the ab wall muscles from exertion, he may tell his doctor that he has right sided stomach pain. Clearly, this pain is not caused by a diseased internal organ such as the gallbladder or the stomach.
Healthcare providers can often determine where pain is coming from by taking a detailed history from you. Depending upon the physicians style, you may be simply asked to relate your medical story in your own words as a narrative. Other physicians may prefer to ask a series of detailed questions. Others may utilize both techniques. This medical history is paramount, even more important than the physical examination. After the history and physical, certain diagnostic tests may be advised to make an accurate diagnosis.
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Infectious Stomach Cramps Causes
You may be experiencing stomach cramps due to an infection.
- Viral infections: Most contagious cases of stomach cramps are caused by viruses and result in vomiting or diarrhea. They are especially common in children.
- Food poisoning: Spoiled or contaminated food can contain bacteria that make you feel sick. Be wary of food that has not been refrigerated or is past the expiration date.
Urinary Tract And Bladder Infections
Symptoms include pain, pressure, and bloating in the lower abdominal area. Most infections also cause painful urination and cloudy, strong-smelling urine.
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Who Gets Stomach Pain
Anyone can get acute stomach pain and it can occur at any age.
Some people are more likely to develop chronic stomach pain. Here are a few risk factors that might make the development of chronic stomach pain more likely:
People with chronic pain in other parts of the body like chronic back pain and irritable bowel syndrome
People with a history of anxiety or depression
Lack of exercise, low fitness level and fatigue
Females are more likely to develop chronic stomach pain although it does occur in males
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Children
Like adults, children often experience abdominal pain and diarrhea because of stomach flu, infections, food allergies, lactose intolerance, or stress. But eating too much can also cause these symptoms.
Some children may have trouble telling the difference between when theyre hungry and when theyre full. This can cause them to overeat. Overeating puts stress on the digestive system, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
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When To Call The Doctor About Abdominal Pain
If your abdominal pain is serious, doesn’t go away, or keeps coming back, talk to your doctor. Call 911 right away if your belly hurts because you had a recent injury there or if you have any chest pain.
You should also contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have symptoms along with the pain, such as:
- Can’t keep food down for more than 2 days
- Signs you’re getting dehydrated, including not urinating frequently, dark-colored urine, and being very thirsty
- Can’t have a bowel movement, especially if you’re also vomiting
- Pain when you pee, or you need to urinate often
Also call your doctor if:
- Your belly is tender to the touch
- Pain lasts more than a few hours
You may have other symptoms that could be a sign of a problem inside your body that needs treatment as soon as possible. Get medical care right away if you have abdominal pain and you also:
- Have unexplained weight loss
Eat Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables
It is recommended that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit or vegetables each day. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables then your chances of developing heart disease, a stroke or bowel cancer are reduced. In addition, fruit and vegetables:
- Contain lots of fibre, which helps to keep your bowels healthy. Problems such as constipation and diverticular disease are less likely to develop.
- Contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, which are needed to keep you healthy.
- Are naturally low in fat.
- Are filling but are low in calories.
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How To Treat Abdominal Pain
Some cases of abdominal pain resolve on their own. Staying hydrated, resting, and avoiding foods that can irritate your stomach can help improve your pain. Taking over-the-counter gas medications or antacids can help ease an upset stomach and relieve indigestion.
If home remedies dont work and you have abdominal pain for several days, get in touch with us. Depending on the cause, we may approach treatment in several ways, including:
- Antibiotics for infections
- Medications, such as anti-inflammatories or pain relievers
- Acid reducers for GERD and acid reflux
- Making lifestyle changes, like exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet
Some conditions like Crohns disease or other forms of inflammatory bowel syndrome require special treatment. We can connect you with the right specialist if needed.
If Your Stomach Hurts Suddenly
Acute stomach pain comes on quickly and lasts for a limited amount of time, typically a few hours to a few days. It’s usually caused by external factors, like a particular food or contaminant that didn’t agree with your stomach. Even people with completely healthy digestive tracts will experience occasional stomach pain.
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Lower Abdominal Pain In Teenage Girls
A few causes of abdominal pain are specific to teenage girls .
What Investigations Might Be Advised
Some conditions may not need any investigations. Otherwise, the type of investigation will depend on which part of the gut is affected. Blood tests sometimes provide useful information about what is causing abdominal pain. Sometimes an X-ray or ultrasound scan will be carried out, which will look for specific things your doctor may suspect. The gut can be looked at directly with endoscopy. A gastroscopy will look at the oesophagus and stomach, and a colonoscopy will look at the large bowel. More details can be found in the individual condition leaflets, mentioned above.
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What Is The Most Common Cause Of Abdominal Pain
The most common causes such as gas pains, indigestion or a pulled muscle usually arent serious. Other conditions may require urgent medical attention. While the location and pattern of abdominal pain can provide important clues, its time course is particularly useful when determining its cause.
What Are Symptoms Of Stomach Pain
Symptoms of stomach pain depend on the cause.Pain may be dull or sharp, intermittent or constant, mild or severe. Pain may occur in any part of the abdomen, and may also radiate to other areas such as the back, flank, or shoulder.
Symptoms that may accompany stomach pain may include:
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Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may take several different forms. In addition to how severe it is, abdominal pain can be described in the following ways:
Generalized Pain This refers to pain felt in more than half of your abdominal area, and is typical of stomach viruses, indigestion, or gas as the cause of your pain.
Cramping This type of pain come and goes, or changes in its severity or perceived position in your abdomen. Cramping is rarely serious and is typical of gas, passing a stool, or menstruation as the cause of your pain.
Its important to call your doctor if your abdominal pain is so severe that you cant move without feeling more pain, or sit still in a comfortable position.
- Nausea and vomiting that doesnt resolve
- Weight loss
- Abdomen very tender to touch
- Swollen abdomen
Side Effects From Medications
A Mayo Clinic study finds around 70% of Americans take some type of medication. Not all medications list stomach pain as a potential side effect, but yours might.
A popular drug used to treat osteoporosis, oral bisphosphonates, is known to cause stomach swelling and pain. NSAIDs, including Ibuprofen and aspirin, are another potential cause of stomach pain. If you are taking a medication that might be causing your stomach pain you want to discus this with your doctor in order to prevent any serious damage from forming.
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When Should I See My Doctor
In some cases, you should seek urgent medical attention or consult a doctor if you have abdominal pain.
If you have a sudden, severe, incapacitating pain in your abdomen, go immediately to your nearest emergency department or call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
You should also seek urgent medical attention if you have pain that:
- is severe and/or getting worse
- has lasted for several hours or more
- wakes you from sleep
- is spreading to your neck, chest or shoulders
- makes it difficult to swallow
Urgent medical attention is also required if you have abdominal pain accompanied by
- unexplained weight loss
- skin that appears yellow
If you are experiencing pain high up in your abdomen that is made worse by exercise it could be angina or a heart attack. If you, or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance.
If you are pregnant and experiencing abdominal pain, check with your doctor or midwife. Abdominal pains are common in pregnancy, but should always be checked out.
If your abdominal pain does not match the situations above, but it is recurrent or persistent , or it started mild but is worsening, you should still consult a doctor.
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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How Can I Prevent Abdominal Pain And Frequent Urination
Not all causes of abdominal pain and frequent urination are preventable. However, you can take some steps to reduce your risk. Consider avoiding beverages that commonly upset peoples stomachs, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
Always using condoms during sexual intercourse and participating in a monogamous sexual relationship can reduce your risk of contracting an STI. Practicing good hygiene and wearing clean, dry underwear can help prevent a UTI.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly may also help prevent these symptoms.
Last medically reviewed on September 14, 2016
- Congestive heart failure. .
Can Abdominal Pain Be Prevented
Eating enough fibreand doing regular exercise can help prevent constipation and keep your bowels working well, which will prevent some forms of abdominal pain. It will also reduce your long-term risk of some diseases, such as diverticular disease or bowel cancer.
Drinking plain water but not carbonated or fizzy drinks will reduce the chance of pain from bloating as well as keeping your body healthy.
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Top 10 Common Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Digestive problems are the primary cause of abdominal pain. Irregularities and discomfort in any part of the abdomen or any organ can lead to pain that spreads throughout the entire area. The pain or discomfort that occurs between the pelvic region and chest is referred to as abdominal pain. Apart from indigestion and muscle strain, there are other various, common causes of abdominal pain.
Abdominal pain can be achy, crampy, intermittent, dull or sharp. Its also known as a stomachache. Abdominal pain can be acute, and onset can be sudden, and the pain sometimes can be long-lasting. The diagnosis of the pain can be done by understanding the characteristics of pain, such as duration, timing, and location.
Infections caused by a virus, bacteria also affect the stomach and intestine that lead to significant abdominal pain. In our post we break down some of the types of pain along with the top 10 most common causes of abdominal pain.
How Do I Get A Stomach Pain Diagnosis
Stomach pain is complex and should be assessed by a medical professional or pain specialist who will take the time to understand the pain story and perform a physical examination before setting forward a treatment plan.
Blood test are sometimes required. In some circumstances imaging tests may be required. Types of imaging tests might be X-rays, CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound. Sometimes endoscopy and or colonoscopy are required.
Once a stomach pain diagnosis is made, the medical professional or pain specialist will determine the best stomach pain treatment.
Book an appointment to have a Pain Specialist make a stomach pain diagnosis.
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