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.
Sudden And Severe Onset Stomach Pain
When mid-abdominal pain occurs suddenly especially in people with a history of peptic ulcer disease or in those who take excessive amounts of aspirin or NSAIDs it may be a sign of a perforation that could require emergency surgery. A tear could leak air and gastric content which can lead to a condition called peritonitis, and eventually, septic shock. Surgery would be required to seal the perforation.
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.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does It Cost To Get Stomach Fat Removed
Treatment For Chronic Pancreatitis
The damage to the pancreas is permanent, but treatment can help control the condition and manage any symptoms.
People with chronic pancreatitis are usually advised to make lifestyle changes, such as stopping drinking alcohol and stopping smoking. They’re also given medicine to relieve pain.
Surgery may also be an option for those experiencing severe pain.
When To See A Doctor
At what point should you see a doctor? The basic answer would be the minute that the mid-abdomen pain becomes greater than mild or when you have become concerned about the pain. Beyond that, you should contact a medical professional about your mid-abdomen pain if:
- The pain lasts longer than a week
- The pain is fairly severe and last longer than 24 hours
- Youve had a recent injury to the area that is in pain
- Your belly is tender to the touch, or if its rigid
- The pain brings vomiting and diarrhea
- The pain is accompanied by fever
- The pain spreads from the abdomen to other parts of the body
You should also see a doctor if you are experiencing abdominal pain and already have the following conditions:
- You are pregnant or are potentially pregnant
- Suffer from colon, stomach, or pancreatic cancers
Read Also: What Do You When Your Stomach Hurts
When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP immediately if you’re experiencing severe pain, as this is a warning sign that something is wrong.
If this is not possible, call NHS 111 for advice.
You should also see a GP as soon as you can if you:
- develop symptoms of jaundice
- keep being sick
Jaundice can have a range of causes other than pancreatitis, but it’s usually a sign there’s something wrong with your digestive system.
Duration Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can be brief or long-lasting, depending on its underlying cause. It can be ongoing or recurring, coming and going at what seem like random intervals or with certain activities or behaviors.
How long your abdominal pain lasts, or whether it comes and goes, doesnt necessarily correspond to how severe the underlying condition is.
You May Like: Why Does My Stomach Cramp After I Eat
Common Causes Of Abdominal Pain On The Left Side Of Your Body
It can be easier to self-diagnose left side pain when you know what organs are on the left side of your body. The organs located in your left abdomen include your colon, left kidney, spleen, stomach, and pancreas. If youre not struggling with gas or indigestion, pain on this side is typically a sign that something is off in one of these organs or organ systems.
If your pain in the lower left abdomen continues, look for symptoms of the following conditions:
Causes Of Pain In Mid
As mentioned, numerous factors can contribute to pain in the middle of the stomach. These causes can range from indigestion, which is relatively easy to deal with, to gallstones and pancreatic disorders, which can require much more treatment and possibly even hospital stays. The following are the more common causes of pain in the mid-abdomen.
Read Also: How To Tone And Tighten Stomach
Symptoms Of Chronic Pancreatitis
The most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated episodes of severe pain in your tummy .
The pain usually develops in the middle or left side of your tummy and can move along your back.
It’s been described as a burning or shooting pain that comes and goes, but may last for several hours or days.
Although the pain sometimes comes on after eating a meal, there’s often no trigger. Some people might feel sick and vomit.
As the condition progresses, the painful episodes may become more frequent and severe.
Eventually, a constant dull pain can develop in your tummy, between episodes of severe pain.
This is most common in people who continue to drink alcohol after being diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.
When To Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Get medical help immediately if:
- You have abdominal pain that is very sharp, severe, and sudden.
- You also have pain in the chest, neck, or shoulder.
- Youre vomiting blood, have bloody diarrhea, or have black, tarry stools
- You have a high fever.
- Youre having difficulty breathing.
- You develop consistent nausea and/or vomiting.
- Your abdomen is stiff, hard, and tender to the touch.
- You cant move your bowels, especially if youre also vomiting
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Stomach Feel Bloated And Tight
Characteristics Of The Pain
When does the pain occur? Always? More often in the morning or at night? If the pain comes and goes, about how long does it last each time? Does it occur after eating certain types of foods or after drinking alcohol? Abdominal pain that occurs after eating may be due to indigestion. Does pain occur during menstruation? These are typical questions your doctor may ask that may help determine the cause. For example, abdominal pain that comes on suddenly may suggest a sudden event such as the interruption of the supply of blood to the colon or obstruction of the bile duct by a gallstone .
Regions Of The Abdomen
Envision the sections of your abdomen as a Tic-Tac-Toe board. To simplify this even further, let’s number each region of your abdomen: Regions 1 to 3 are the top row , regions 4 through 6 encompass the middle boxes, and regions 7 to 9 comprise the bottom row.
- Region 1: Right Hypochondriac Region Liver, Gallbladder, Right Kidney, Small Intestine
- Region 2: Epigastric Region Stomach, Liver, Pancreas, Duodenum , Spleen, Adrenal Glands
- Region 3: Left Hypochondriac Region Spleen, Colon, Left Kidney, Pancreas
- Region 4: Right Lumbar Region Gallbladder, Liver, Right Colon
- Region 5: Umbilical Region Umbilicus , Jejunum , Ileum , Duodenum
- Region 6: Left Lumbar Region Descending Colon , Left Kidney
- Region 7: Right Iliac Fossa Appendix, Cecum
- Region 8: Hypogastric Region Urinary Bladder, Sigmoid Colon , Female Reproductive Organs
- Region 9: Left Iliac FossaDescending Colon, Sigmoid Colon
Also Check: What Could Be The Reason For Stomach Pain
Is Dyspepsia A Serious Condition
Most often, medicine can take care of this condition.
Sometimes dyspepsia can be the sign of a serious problemfor example, a deep stomach ulcer.
If you have dyspepsia, talk to your family doctor. This is especially important if any one of the following is true for you:
You’re over 50 years of age
You recently lost weight without trying to
You have trouble swallowing
You have black, tarry bowel movements
You can feel a mass in your stomach area
Severe Acute Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
A sudden pain in the lower part of the abdomen may be a sign of appendicitis. It may also be accompanied by a fever. Pain often begins around the belly button area and becomes worse with time. Vomiting or constipation or diarrhea along with the pain also indicate it’s time to go to the emergency room. Physicians recommend seeing a doctor right away if the pain comes on suddenly over several hours or is persistent. Appendicitis often requires surgery. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can be deadly.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Hair On Stomach
Left Side Of The Abdomen
This part of the abdomen contains a portion of the body of your stomach, the tail of the pancreas, and your spleen.
The spleen is an organ that filters blood and supports the immune system.
Center left and center middle:
The transverse colon and the small intestine make up the center left and center middle of the abdomen. The small intestine is where most food digestion occurs.
The transverse colon is the upper part of the large intestine, where unabsorbed food is carried after going through the ascending colon. The small intestine is the organ that takes up most of the abdomen.
The descending and sigmoid colon portions are the part of the digestive system that stores unabsorbed food remains and waste before they leave your body.
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Pregnant People
Pregnant people are especially prone to abdominal pain and diarrhea. One common reason is that many people make changes to their diet when they find out theyre pregnant. This can cause digestive trouble.
If youre pregnant, you may also start having sensitivities to particular foods. This can include foods you eat on a regular basis, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea. On top of that, hormone changes in your reproductive system that occur during pregnancy may also cause these symptoms.
Seek medical help if youre having abdominal pain and diarrhea that last for 3 days, if the pain grows increasingly worse over a 24-hour period, or if its accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- frequent nausea or vomiting
- a sustained fever of 101°F for adults or 100.4°F for children
- stool that contains blood or dried blood, which looks like wet coffee grounds
- an inability to keep food down
- extreme thirst or dry mouth
- an inability to speak or see
- mental confusion or loss of consciousness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- swelling of the genitals
- external bleeding
Diarrhea can be more dangerous for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. In these cases, discuss symptoms with a doctor.
If you dont have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Doctor To See For Stomach Pain
Why Does Belly Pain Happen
Pain is the body’s way of telling us that something’s going on. Belly pain alerts us to something that’s happening inside us that we might not know about otherwise.
Some reasons for belly pain are easy to spot, like when someone gets hit in the gut or eats spoiled macaroni salad. Oher times, it might be hard to figure out.
When you get a pain in your stomach, it might be an actual problem right in your stomach, but not necessarily. Your abdomen is more than your stomach. It’s more than your intestines. It’s the whole area between your chest and your pelvic bones. With so many organs in the abdomen, different problems can have similar symptoms.
How Is Dyspepsia Treated
If you have a stomach ulcer, it can be cured. You may need to take an acid-blocking medicine. If you have an infection in your stomach, you may also need to take an antibiotic.
If your doctor thinks that a medicine you’re taking causes your dyspepsia, you might take another medicine.
A medicine that cuts down on the amount of acid in your stomach might help your pain. This medicine can also help if you have acid reflux disease.
Your doctor might want you to have an endoscopy exam if:
You still have stomach pain after you take a dyspepsia medicine for 8 week.
The pain goes away for a while but comes back again.
In an endoscopy exam, a small tube with a camera inside it is put into your mouth and down into your stomach. Then your doctor can look inside your stomach to try to find a cause for your pain.
Also Check: What Stomach Issues Cause Bad Breath
Signs And Symptoms Of Pain In Upper Stomach
People experiencing pain in the upper stomach may have only one symptom or may have a combination of several symptoms. Here are some of the most common symptoms of pain in the upper stomach:
Belching is natural and common. Its your bodys way of getting rid of excess air. Everyone belches from time to time. However, if it interferes with your day-to-day life, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Most people have a regular desire to eat, but if you lose this desire, or appetite, the reason could be connected to pain in the upper stomach.
An unexplained drop in weight can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Pain in the upper stomach combined with weight loss could be related to disorders that prevent your body from absorbing the nutrients it needs.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your specific symptoms, the location of pain and when it occurs will help your provider detect the cause.
LOCATION OF YOUR PAIN
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Is it all over or in one spot?
- Does the pain move into your back, groin, or down your legs?
TYPE AND INTENSITY OF YOUR PAIN
- Is the pain severe, sharp, or cramping?
- Do you have it all the time, or does it come and go?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
HISTORY OF YOUR PAIN
- Have you had similar pain in the past? How long has each episode lasted?
- When does the pain occur? For example, after meals or during menstruation?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, eating, stress, or lying down?
- What makes the pain better? For example, drinking milk, having a bowel movement, or taking an antacid?
- What medicines are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
You May Like: What Is The Best Exercise To Lose Stomach Fat
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
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.
Don’t Miss: Why Is My Stomach Gurgling
Diagnosing Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea
To determine the cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea, a doctor will first perform a physical exam. Theyll also ask some questions about your health history and lifestyle.
Traveling to certain countries may increase your risk of digestive disease. Be sure to mention any recent trips overseas. The doctor will also ask questions about any recent changes in your diet.
A doctor may perform a stool culture, in which theyll send a sample of your feces to a lab to check for bacteria, viruses, and parasites. If this comes up negative, they may run a more complete analysis of your feces to look for possible digestive disorders.
Other common diagnostic tests include:
- Endoscopy. In an endoscopy, a doctor sends a camera down your throat and into your stomach to check for problems, such as ulcers and signs of celiac disease.
- Colonoscopy. A colonoscopy involves sending a camera into the rectum and intestines to check for signs of damage and signs of disease, such as ulcers and polyps.
- Lower GI tract radiography. In a lower GI tract radiography, also known as a barium enema, a technician will perform a real-time X-ray of the abdomen. This occurs after the doctor injects a barium-based contrast material into the rectum that can highlight intestinal obstructions and other conditions.
Medication can help treat the underlying condition causing your abdominal pain and diarrhea. If your symptoms are caused by stress or need to be managed, home remedies can help.