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
Chamomile Tea To Cure Stomach Pain
Chamomile tea is known to work as an anti-inflammatory along the digestive tract.
If your stomach pain is caused by gastritis or indigestion, a cup of chamomile can offer relief. It does this by relaxing muscles along the stomach and the esophagus, easing the contractions that push food along, and lessens any cramps or spasms you are experiencing.
- Place one teaspoon of dried chamomile in one cup of boiled water.
- Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and add lemon or honey for taste.
- Drink up to three cups daily
What Causes A Peptic Ulcer
Causes of peptic ulcers include
- long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen
- an infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori
- rare cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the stomach, duodenum, or pancreasknown as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Sometimes peptic ulcers are caused by both NSAIDs and H. pylori.
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Sharp Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
Possible explanation: appendicitis
What is it: Once universally believed to be a vestigial organ, the appendix is now thought to play a role in maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora. The appendix can sometimes become inflamed, either because of infection or a blockage in its hollow chamber, and bacteria can build up inside. If it bursts, the bacteria causing the inflammation is released into the abdominal cavity, causing a variety of potential complications. Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, along with other possible symptoms such as nausea and fever, is a telltale sign of acute appendicitis.
Treatment: Because of the danger related to the appendix bursting, treatment is necessary as soon after the onset of the symptoms as possible. In some cases, antibiotics can be effective in treating the condition, but the majority of the time an appendectomy is necessary.
Sharp Jabbing Pain In The Upper Right Abdomen
Possible explanation: gallstones
What is it: The gallbladder stores some of the bile that is used in digestion it combines with digestive juices from the liver and pancreas to break down the partially digested food that has left the stomach and entered the small intestine. The most frequent cause of gallstones is when the liver excretes excess cholesterol that excess cholesterol can collect in the gallbladder and harden into gallstones. The gallbladder sits next to the liver, and it is in this location in the upper right abdomen that sharp pain can be felt when the body attempts to pass the gallstones through the narrow biliary duct.
Treatment: Some people have gallstones without any symptoms at all, but when pain begins, the condition needs to be treated soon. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments range from oral medication to dissolve the stones to surgery to remove the gallbladder.
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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 won’t 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.
Serious Recent Procedures Or Diagnoses
Some abdominal issues causes may result from recent abdominal medical procedures such as surgery to the appendix or severe medical conditions such as a ruptured appendix, cancer, cardiac conditions, or organ failure. For instance, if you experience abdominal pain after a recent surgery, then constipation or infections may be the immediate problem. But the severity of the symptoms that you experience will determine whether you should visit the ER.
If you experience abdominal discomfort and youve undergone the following procedures or diagnoses, then it may be prudent to promptly visit the ER instead of going to an urgent care clinic.
- Recent surgery in the abdomen
- Upper abdominal pain and chest tightness, especially if youre over 45 years old
- If you have a history of cardiac problems such as stroke and heart attacks
- If youve undergone a recent gastric bypass surgery
- If youve undergone a recent upper endoscopy or colonoscopy
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What Causes Abdominal Pain
Common causes of abdominal pain often involve the digestive system. Relatively harmless gastrointestinal conditions include , gas and constipation. Stress and 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, abdominal , 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.
How Can I Feel Better
Most bellyaches don’t have a serious cause. They can happen for many different reasons, but most are easy to treat.
If stress or anxiety seem to be behind the pain, the doctor may recommend that you talk to a counselor or therapist. They help people figure out what’s behind their stress and give advice on how to fix problems or handle them better.
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What Is Stomach Churning
Stomach churning and gurgling can be an uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen. Although a queasy stomach is usually only temporary if you have an upset stomach for a week or longer it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
If you have ever experienced stomach growling, especially stomach gurgling after eating, then you may well know the other symptoms that run alongside it. Other symptoms of a sour stomach can include nausea and digestive issues.
Moreover, continue reading to find out what causes upset stomach and gas. We also explain when you should see a doctor, and further signs to look out for.
Stomach Noises such as stomach churning and gurgling and Pain: Causes and Symptoms for Those Belly Noises and Cramps
Prognosis Of Abdominal Pain
How long your abdominal pain lasts, and whether it gets better or worse, will depend on the cause of your pain and how the pain responds to any treatments.
Many forms of abdominal pain tend to respond to self-care measures or simply get better on their own, including pain caused by constipation, food allergies or intolerances, or stomach viruses.
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Ginger Tea As A Stomach Pain Remedy
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger neutralize excess acids that cause stomach pain.
Drinking ginger tea may help to stimulate proper digestion by promoting the production of digestive juices while fighting harmful free radicals that cause disease.
Drink two to three cups of ginger tea daily.
- Cut one medium-sized ginger root into thin slices.
- Add the ginger to one cup of boiling water and boil for three minutes.
- Lower heat and simmer for five minutes.
- Strain and add honey for flavor.
Using Alcoholic Bitters To Relieve Stomach Pain
You may raise an eyebrow, but did you know that alcoholic bitters can naturally relieve stomach pain?
Many common brands of bitters contain a mix of mint, ginger, cinnamon, and fennel, all of which are known to help ease stomach pain in one form or another. Five to six drops in a glass of club soda or ginger ale might surprise you.
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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 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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Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Brussels Sprouts
When researchers from Japan tracked 88,000 people for 17 years, they discovered those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables were less likely to die from any cause during the study period than those who ate the least.
Thats a compelling reason to load up on the crunchy veggies, but resist the urge to add too many too fast. Like legumes, cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of fiber that arent broken down until they reach your large intestine.
The compounds at play with cruciferous vegetables are raffinosea type of oligosaccharideand hydrogen sulfide. When the bacteria in your gut start working to break down the compounds, they end up producing gas as a byproduct.
Its similar to what you might feel after eating beans or legumes, but theres one key difference: The sulfur compounds produced during the breakdown of cruciferous vegetables are responsible for the particularly potent-smelling flatulence you may experience after eating. Dining partners beware.
Peppermint Tea To Relieve Stomach Pain
For more generalized pain relief, try peppermint tea, or even sucking on a candy cane if youre feeling festive. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, a natural analgesic known to help nausea and upset stomachs. Whether you get it from a candy, tea, chewing on the leaves, or sniffing some extract, peppermint can alleviate stomach pain and any accompanying nausea.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to one cup of boiling water.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes before straining.
- Add a dab of honey for taste.
- Or, chew on one fresh peppermint leaf throughout the day.
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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.
Organs On The Right Side Of The Abdomen
On the right side of your abdomen you can find some of the most important internal organs in your body:
Liver and gallbladder Your liver lies under the ribcage on the right side of your stomach and the gallbladder is right under the liver. Gallstones or infection around your liver can cause sharp, right-sided pain below your ribs on the right side of the abdomen.
Right lung Your lungs play an important function in removing toxins from your blood and replacing them with oxygen. Certain lung infections in the right lung can cause severe pain that can be felt in the right side of your abdomen.
Part of the stomach, intestines, and colon Part of your stomach, intestines, and colon are also located on the right side of your abdomen. The last part of your colon is located in the lower right side of the abdomen. If you have any digestive problems, the digestive-related pain might be felt on the right side.
Appendix You appendix is another organ on the right side of your abdomen that can cause right-sided pain. Sometimes, inflammation or infection can cause appendicitis which will result in severe pain the lower part of your belly.
Organs on the Right Side of the Abdomen
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How To Eat Vegetables Without Gut Symptoms
Just because youre experiencing gut symptoms doesnt mean you have to ditch all veggies.
There are many ways you can consume vegetables while still being kind to your gut and keeping those pesky gut symptoms at bay.
Keep reading for a few of my tips for eating vegetables without experiencing gut symptoms.
When To Call Your Doctor
Theres a bit of a gray area in terms of which stomach pain cases need immediate attention and which would warrant a call or visit to your doctor instead, as there can be symptom overlap. Again, listen to your body and your instincts if youre not sure.
If you dont have any of the symptoms listed above and instead have any of the following features of your abdominal pain, it is important that you contact your doctor within a day or two:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding or blood clots
- Vaginal bleeding that lasts for longer than usual
You should also call your doctor if you experience stomach pain while you are being treated for cancer.
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How Is Abdominal Pain Treated
Treating abdominal pain depends on its cause. Options include:
- Medications for inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease or ulcers.
- Antibiotics for infection.
- Changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages.
- Local or spinal injections of numbing agents or corticosteroids by pain management physicians.
In more severe cases like appendicitis and hernia, surgery is necessary.
How Do Doctors Find The Cause Of A Stomachache
To find the cause of a stomachache, doctors ask about:
- your symptoms
- illnesses you’ve had in the past
- health conditions that other family members have
Be honest with your doctor, even if a symptom seems embarrassing.
The doctor will do an exam and sometimes might order tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or blood test. It all depends on what the doctor thinks is causing the problem.
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