Causes Of Acute Stomach Pain
- Eating Too Much. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach and mild stomach pain.
- Hunger Pains. Younger children may complain of stomach pain when they are hungry.
- GI Virus . A GI virus can cause stomach cramps as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Food Poisoning. This causes sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. It is caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. Most often, symptoms go away in less than 24 hours. It often can be treated at home without the need for medical care.
- Constipation. The need to pass a stool may cause cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Strep Throat. A strep throat infection causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever.
- Bladder Infection. Bladder infections usually present with painful urination, urgency and bad smelling urine. Sometimes the only symptom is pain in the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis . Suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child wont hop and wants to lie still.
- Intussusception . Sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years.
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What Causes Abdominal Pain
Common causes of abdominal pain often involve the digestive system. Relatively harmless gastrointestinal conditions include indigestion, gas and constipation. Stress and anxiety can also cause general abdominal pain. Sometimes children say they have a because they are trying to avoid a stressful or frightening situation, such as, trying to miss school to avoid issues with peers or friends.
However, it is always important to consider and rule out the possibility of physical causes, as abdominal pain can be from infection, malignancy, inflammation, trauma, obstruction, and other abnormal processes.
Life-threatening conditions, such as trauma, , and a bleeding peptic ulcer can cause abdominal pain and should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Conditions involving other body systems, such as the endocrine, nervous, reproductive, and urinary systems, can also cause abdominal pain.
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How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
The cause of abdominal pain is diagnosed based on your symptom history, a physical examination, and testing, if needed. Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about the characteristics of your pain, and whether you have any underlying physical or mental health conditions that could be contributing to your abdominal pain.
Questions from your doctor may address the following aspects of your abdominal pain:
- Where its located
- Whether its dull, stabbing, burning, or cramping
- Whether it comes and goes
- When you experience or notice it most
- Whether it radiates outward to other areas of your body
- How long youve had it
- Whether any activities or actions seem to make it worse or better
Your doctor may also ask about your overall health history, any recent injuries, and whether you might be pregnant.
- Blood, urine, or stool tests
- X-ray of the abdomen
- Computerized tomography scan of the abdomen
- Barium enema
- Endoscopic procedures
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Who May Be Prone To Back Pain From Medical Emergencies
While a serious medical condition can affect anyone, some individuals are more prone to these problems due to their underlying health conditions, physical characteristics, and lifestyle habits.
This list outlines the groups of people most prone to back pain from medical emergencies:
- The young and the elderly. The age of the individual is an important initial consideration when diagnosing back pain. Those less than 18 years or more than 50 years of age are typically at a higher likelihood of serious conditions as the cause for the back pain and typically need immediate care when symptoms occur.
- Tumors and infection occur with higher frequency in both these age groups.1
- Younger individuals are at increased risk of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis.1 If these conditions are severe, they can affect the neural elements of the spine, causing pain and disability.
- Elderly individuals are more susceptible to abdominal aortic aneurysm.3
- Older individuals may sustain fractures, including pathologic fractures, even with minor trauma.1
What Treatments Help Common Back Pain
Conventional treatments including using multiple interventions at the same time are:
- Hot/cold packs: Help to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Even though they don’t resolve low back injury quickly, they allow for greater mobility.
- Activity: Limit bed rest. Instead, stretch and resume regular activity as soon as you can. Bed rest has been shown in studies to increase back pain and can lead to blood clots in the legs, less muscle tone, and even depression.
- Physical therapy: Core muscle groups are strengthened, allowing for better back support, greater mobility, and better posture.
- Medications: Some OTC medications that help relieve back pain include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Prescriptions include opioidsâwhich are addictive and should be used under careful supervision from a physician for a short durationâand COX-2 inhibitors, which treat pain and inflammation. Anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and counter-irritants may help some people for specific back pain causes.
- Additional therapies with insufficient evidence: Spinal manipulation , traction, acupuncture, nerve blocks, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations , and epidural steroid injections for thoracic back pain may be used. Behavioral options include biofeedback, meditation, music, distraction, and cognitive behavioral therapy .
Talk to your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you have questions about medications or various therapies for your back pain.
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Causes: Lower Back And Lower Stomach Pain
Many conditions can be behind lower back and lower stomach pain. In fact, it’s possible for pain to stem from a problem within the reproductive, musculoskeletal, urinary or digestive system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
For instance, menstrual cramps are a common cause of abdominal pain as well as lower back pain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Endometriosis, a condition that occurs when uterine-like tissue grows in areas outside the uterus, is another condition that can cause stomach and back pain at the same time in women, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
“There are many known chronic overlapping pain conditions with endometriosis, notably abdominal pain and low back pain,”Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy at Femina Physical Therapy in Southern California, says. “Endometriosis is known for creating cyclic and noncyclic pain in the abdomen, low back and jaw.”
Gastrointestinal conditions could be at the root of lower abdominal and potentially lower back pain as well.
Irritable bowel syndrome , a gastrointestinal disorder, could lead to pain in the lower stomach and possibly the lower back, according to Kaliq Chang, MD, a board-certified interventional pain management specialist at Atlantic Spine Center in New Jersey and New York. In addition to abdominal pain, common symptoms of IBS include gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhea, the Mayo Clinic says.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often doesnt cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. The symptoms may not be specific to pancreatic cancer, and they may come and go to begin with. This can make pancreatic cancer hard to diagnose.
These symptoms can be caused by lots of things, and are unlikely to be pancreatic cancer. If you are not feeling well and you have any of the symptoms on this page, speak to your GP to check if there is anything wrong.
Common symptoms include:
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What It Means When You Feel Upper Stomach And Back Pain Together
Back pains are quite common because there are a plethora of possible reasons why they happen from simple ones like stress or more serious diseases, such as herniated discs or scoliosis. The same goes for stomach aches they may be caused by overeating or autoimmune disorders. But if the co-occurrence of these symptoms happens too often, its time to consult a doctor to find out the exact reason.
So why do the upper stomach and back feel painful at the same time? These two uncomfortable symptoms are causes for concern because they might be a sign of more serious health conditions like pancreatitis, kidney stones, peptic ulcer, and gallstones.
What Else Could It Be
These lists of possible causes for RLQ are by no means exhaustive and there are many other conditions that can cause pain in the RLQ. Problems in your spine or back could be referred. Referred pain in this situation means that it is coming from your back but you are feeling it around the front. Muscular pulls and sprains can also affect you in the tummy area. If this is the case, moving the particular muscle would make the pain worse, whereas if you were to lie completely still, it wouldnt hurt.
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When Back Pain May Be A Medical Emergency
The underlying causes for most occurrences of back pain are non-emergent, but the intense pain and related symptoms often elevate anxiety and prompt a visit to the emergency room . While back pain is typically treated in a primary care setting or by a musculoskeletal specialist, physicians are often cautious and look for warning signs of neurologically impairing or life-threatening causes. These causes are rare, but if present, they are considered a medical emergency and warrant immediate treatment to preserve back and/or leg function.
Though rare, acute cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical emergency. It usually requires immediate medical attention. Watch Cauda Equina Syndrome Video
This article provides a comprehensive guide to when back pain may indicate a medical emergency and the associated red-flag symptoms to watch out for.
Possible Tests Your Doctor May Order
To find out the underlying source of the pain, you will likely need a test of some kind. The following are some of the most common tests used to reach a diagnosis:
- Physical Examination. Your abdomen will be thoroughly looked at and youll be asked a series of questions. The doctor will also ask you about other symptoms. It is common for doctors to feel the tender area to determine whether it is simply a strained muscle or if it is caused by a more serious condition.
- X-Ray, CAT Scan, Etc. Running these tests can help doctors assess the bones, organs, and other parts of the body. Any fractures or tumors can be easily seen, allowing doctors to make a diagnosis and offer treatment options immediately.
- Bloodwork. The doctor will take samples of your blood and submit it to a serious of tests.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging . As mentioned above, this is used by doctors to have a more in-depth vision of the extent of the injury or condition. An MRI allows doctors to see soft body tissues that X-rays cannot.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number if you:
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- Are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
- Are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have pain in, or between, your shoulder blades with nausea
- Have tenderness in your belly, or your belly is rigid and hard to the touch
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen
- Have difficulty breathing
- Abdominal discomfort that lasts 1 week or longer
- Abdominal pain that does not improve in 24 to 48 hours, or becomes more severe and frequent and occurs with nausea and vomiting
- Bloating that persists for more than 2 days
- Burning sensation when you urinate or frequent urination
- Diarrhea for more than 5 days
- Fever, over 100°F for adults or 100.4°F for children, with pain
- Prolonged poor appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
Back Pain And Abdominal Bloating
A number of possible reasons exist for the co-occurrence of spinal pain and abdominal bloating. Bloating can occur for a number of reasons, ranging from very benign causes like overeating or eating fatty foods to more serious concerns like autoimmune disorders and cancer.
As far as foods go, there are quite a few different types of food that cause bloating, which can trigger pain in stomach and back. Foods rich in oligosaccharides can cause abdominal bloating, as can strawberries, apricots, prunes, Brussel sprouts, dairy products, sweeteners, and whole grains. When these foods cause fiber to get backed up in the digestive system, bloating and constipation can occur, making it crucial that you drink plenty of liquids to keep the fiber moving.
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What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the pain and the tests that may need to be done or come and go . Chronic abdominal pain usually occurs in children… read more ).
Doctors ask particularly about activities that relieve or worsen the pain. Whether the pain or other digestive upset occurs after eating or drinking dairy products is important because lactose intolerance is common, especially among blacks, Hispanics, Asians , and American Indians. Doctors also ask about other symptoms , about diet, and about any surgery involving the abdomen, drugs used, and previous tests and treatments for the pain. Whether any family members have disorders that cause abdominal pain is also important.
Doctors also ask about a person’s diet because ingesting large amounts of cola beverages, fruit juices , or gas-producing foods can sometimes be the cause of otherwise puzzling abdominal pain.
Between the initial visit and follow-up visits, people are often asked to record information about the pain, bowel movements, diet, any activities that seem to trigger pain, any remedies tried, and the effects of the remedies.
Can Bloating Be Prevented
To keep your digestive system working well, follow a healthy diet and eat at least 30g of fibre every day. Cut down on processed and fatty foods, and drink less alcohol. Drink plenty of water and take any medicines as directed by your doctor.
Dont overeat, and try to eat more slowly. Eating regularly will help to prevent digestive problems.
Regular exercise is also important for your gut because it strengthens the muscles in your tummy and stimulates the digestive system to push food through. It also helps with stress, which affects the nerves in the digestive system and can slow down digestion.
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What Should I Do If I Am Experiencing Symptoms
It is important to remember these symptoms can be caused by many different conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome or indigestion, and arent usually the result of cancer.
However, if you regularly experience one or more of these symptoms which are not normal for you, do not ignore them, contact your GP straight away.
What Are Some Symptoms And Problems Of Gas
The most common symptoms of gas are belching, flatulence, abdominal bloating, and abdominal pain. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms. The determining factors probably are how much gas the body produces, how many fatty acids the body absorbs, and a persons sensitivity to gas in the large intestine. Chronic symptoms caused by too much gas or by a serious disease are rare.
An occasional belch during or after meals is normal and releases gas when the stomach is full of food. However, people who belch frequently may be swallowing too much air and releasing it before the air enters the stomach. Sometimes a person with chronic belching may have an upper GI disorder, such as peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease , or gastritis.
Believing that swallowing air and releasing it will relieve the discomfort of these disorders, this person may unintentionally develop a habitual cycle of belching and discomfort. Frequently, the pain continues or worsens, leading the person to believe he or she has a serious disorder. An extreme example of this is Meganblase syndrome, which causes chronic belching. This syndrome is characterized by severe air swallowing and an enlarged bubble of gas in the stomach following heavy meals. The resulting fullness and shortness of breath may mimic a heart attack.
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Middle Abdominal And Back Pain
For pain in the middle abdomen that spreads to theback, the causes are well-defined. The main causes are:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is the dilatation of thewall of large blood vessel that bring blood from the heart into the abdomen. If the aorta balloons or dilates for any reason, it couldstart to leak blood in small amounts. This leads to middle or lower abdominalpain that spreads to the back.
This condition occurs in middle-aged or elderly menand women who have smoked in the past. The pain is often accompanied by dizzinessupon standing. Sufferers can collapse or faint with this pain if bleeding issignificant.
Youcan read more about symptoms of ruptured abdominal aorticaneurysm here.
Heart attacks can start as abdominal pain. Typically,the pain begins in the middle upper abdomen, above the umbilicus and below thebreastbone.
Heart attack pain that starts in the abdomen tends tocome suddenly either as mild discomfort or severe ache. Patients describe thefeeling of more severe heart attack pain as a heavy load or pressure on thechest. Heart attack pain that starts in the abdomen could spread up to the leftarm, neck, and jaw. It is often accompanied by sweats, nausea, andvomiting. The pain could last a few minutes or up to an hour or two beforeit goes away. If it goes away.
The symptoms of kidney stone pain include:
Sufferersof kidney stones usually describe the pain as quite severe.