The Pain Is Especially Intense During Your Period And Has Been Getting Worse Over The Years
Cramps can be a normal part of having a period, and hopefully, if yours are extreme, youve already seen a doctor. But its also worth noting that you should see someone if your cramps have sneakily gotten worse over time, Lauren Streicher, M.D., a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. If your cramps are worse now than they were a year ago , it could be a sign of a condition like endometriosis. Endometriosis is thought to happen when tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of your uterus on other organs. That can lead to unbelievable pain that can show up in a variety of ways, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains: period cramps, pain when you go to the bathroom, chronic pain in your lower back and pelvis, and pain during sex, along with other issues like heavy bleeding.
Keep in mind that the exact way endometriosis pain feels can vary from person to person. Its usually worse during a period and can feel sharp and cramping, Dr. Streicher says. But, for some people, its more like a dull, throbby pain. Its also not always worse during a persons periodsometimes its just bad throughout the month. There are ways to treat endometriosis pain, so dont write it off as something you just need to deal with. Try to find an endometriosis specialist who can help.
When To See A Doctor About Abdominal Pain
If your abdominal pain is concerning to you, dont hesitate to to set up an evaluation. You can also use this website to request an appointment.
Its likely that you or a loved one will suffer abdominal pain at some point during your life. Usually, you know what caused it. Maybe theres a bug going around the office or you ate something that didnt agree with you. In some cases, however, abdominal pain can signal a serious condition that requires medical intervention.
If you have any doubt about your abdominal pain, contact our office in Annapolis, Maryland. Our friendly staff at Digestive Disorders Associates can help schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists if your symptoms suggest its the right step.
When Should You Go To The Hospital For Stomach Pain
So the first thing I’m going to do of course is find out more about the stomachache, when did it start, where does it hurt. Have there been any other symptoms with it like fever or any pain elsewhere, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain with urination, any blood in the urine or in the stool. So these are all kind of things I’m doing to try and figure out, “Okay, what could be causing this sort of pain?”
The next thing often that I’m doing is, not often always, is a physical examination. So I’m examining this person trying to push on their abdomen and I really focus on certain areas because these areas will make me think of different things. If I push on the right lower side of their abdomen and it hurts, I’m thinking of appendicitis.
On the right upper side I’m thinking of the gallbladder, maybe a gallstone or an infection there. Just in the upper part of the abdomen, just kind of down below the ribs there where you feel a little notch that little bone there. Thinking about the pancreas there. It could be causing some symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Can Stomach Problems Cause Headaches And Dizziness
The Pain Has Stuck Around For More Than A Day And Its Spreading Into Your Back
Keep in mind that the amount of time youve been in pain isnt usually enough to tell you whats up on its own. The duration of pain is often not a reliable indicator of serious versus benign conditions, says Dr. Lee. But persistent stomach pain that wont stay put and actually starts spreading into your back can indicate something serious like acute pancreatitis or cholecystitis .
With pancreatitis, the pain typically starts in your upper abdomen and may extend into your back from there, the NIDDK says. While thats usually the main symptom of this condition, others include fever, nausea and vomiting, a quickened heartbeat, and a swollen or tender abdomen. If its cholecystitis, on the other hand, severe pain may first start brewing in your upper right or center abdomen before spreading to your right shoulder or back, according to the Mayo Clinic. Just in case these conditions dont seem similar enough, cholecystitis can also cause nausea, vomiting, fever, and stomach tenderness. Point being: Call your doctor. Both issues are serious, and itll be too hard to figure out whats up on your own .
You Started Feeling Discomfort Around Your Navel A While Agoand Now Its Turned Into Intense Pain In Your Lower Right Side
Ah, the appendix. No one is quite sure what its good for, but when infection or obstruction causes inflammation, known as appendicitis, it requires swift attention. A rupture of the insignificant organ can spread a potentially life-threatening infection throughout the abdomen. In addition to pain, other red flags include a low-grade fever, nausea or vomiting, bloating, loss of appetite, and constipation or diarrhea. An inflamed appendix can rupture within 72 hours, or even more quicklyso let your doctor know if you have any concerns.
Good to know: Eating a diet rich in fiber may lower your chances of developing appendicitis.
Read Also: How Do You Relieve Stomach Pain
What Causes Stomach Pain
Sometimes it can be exceedingly difficult to try to pinpoint the cause of stomach pain. There are many organs that reside within the abdomen, such as the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, large and small intestine, appendix (which is part of the large intestine, kidneys, spleen, and the stomach itself. There is also a chance that there is a parasitical, bacterial, or viral infection that may be affecting the stomach or surrounding areas. There is a long list of maybes when it comes to the causes of abdominal pain, however, the most common reasons for stomach pain include:
- Infection. Its not uncommon for an infection that is in your throat to extend to the digestive tract. You may also see changes in bowel habits from infection, such as sudden constipation or diarrhea.
- Menstrual cramps. Cramps from your period can cause stomach pain. While its more common to feel pain in the pelvic region, it can certainly radiate to the stomach as well.
- Stomach flu. Also known as gastroenteritis, the stomach flu can wreak havoc on your abdomen.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Acid reflux happens when the contents of the stomach leak into the esophagus, causing heartburn and associated other symptoms, such as coughing or vomiting.
- Vomiting. If youre sick from food, the stomach flu, or other reason, vomiting can make the stomach muscles extremely sore. This usually passes in a day or two.
- Stress. Stress takes a toll on every portion of your body but particularly your stomach.
How Long Does It Take For Stomach Pain To Go Away
A stomachache that comes and goes, but never goes away for good, can truly be a pain. If you have at least three of them over 3 months, and theyre severe enough to keep you from doing everyday activities, you have what doctors call recurrent abdominal pain . The treatment you need will depend on the cause of your pain.
You May Like: What Will Help With Stomach Pain
Types Of Abdominal Pain
There are several types of abdominal pain, which are based on how quickly your pain starts and how long it lasts:
- Acute pain starts over a few hours or days and may come with other symptoms.
- Chronic pain lasts longer — from weeks to months or more — and may come and go.
- Progressive pain gets worse over time and often comes with other symptoms.
Should You Go To An Urgent Care Center Or An Emergency Room For Abdominal Pain
Its rather obvious that youve had some stomach pain or discomfort at one time or another. Abdominal or stomach pain denotes any discomfort in your body, which occurs between your pelvis and the chest. Most abdominal pains are mild, and theyre caused by various problems, which include muscle strain, indigestion, or food allergies.
In mild cases, symptoms often resolve on their own after a short while or after effective treatment. Common abdominal issue causes include:
- Endometriosis or menstrual cramps
- Bladder or Urinary Tract Infections
On the other hand, abdominal issues accompanied by chronic or severe symptoms may be an indicator of a serious underlying condition. For instance, abdominal pain resulting from appendicitis, organ failure, or advanced cancer may require emergency care. The less common abdominal issue causes, which often warrant emergency care, include a ruptured appendix, hepatitis, food poisoning, hiatal hernia, invasive cysts, bowel, pancreatic, or stomach cancer, gall bladder stones, kidney infections, abdominal organ infarction, and cardiac problems such as congestive heart failure or atypical angina.
Recommended Reading: Should You Take Probiotics On An Empty Stomach
Abdominal Pain Doctorsfind An Expert Close To Youor Online Today
Abdominal pain doctors are those who specialize inthe diagnosis and treatment of causes of abdominal pain. They include gastroenterologist, colorectal surgeons, gynecologists, urologists and pediatricians. You may also need a dietician.
Find one of such experts here.Are you a specialist in any of these fields, post your contact details here for freeand join our effort to reduce suffering from acute and chronic causes ofabdominal pain.
Do you suffer with abdominal pain and arenot sure of who to see? See the different types of abdominal pain experts andthe type of conditions or pain they deal with here. You will then be able tofollow on to seek one of such doctors here.
Worried you might fall into the hands of scammersonline? We have minimize such possibilities by ensuring that we check alldoctors details posted here with the healthcare regulator in their country.Where that was not possible, we will mention it and you decide.
Our list will include doctors from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America. It would be a work in progress, adding to the list as this free service becomes accessible to more doctors.
When To See A Doctor For Stomach Pain
Because stomach pain is so common, its important to note your symptoms and also the timing of the pain. A stomach ache may disappear in a few hours, come and go or get worse over time. If pain is severe or getting worse quickly, see your doctor. Your pain may be related to one or more conditions.
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: Your pain started within a week of having abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure
Also Check: How Much Is The Stomach Sleeve
Three Things To Look For With Stomach Pain
Suhail Sharif, MD, a general surgeon at Medical City Fort Worth and Medical City Alliance says there are three things you should look for that can help diagnose the source of abdominal pain, including:
- Type of pain: Is it a dull, achy, constant pain? Or more of a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes? This can tell doctors a lot about what might be going on.
- Location of pain: Pinpointing the exact location can be difficult, but try to narrow it down to the upper abdomen, the lower abdomen, the right side or the left. The abdomen has multiple organs, Dr. Sharif says, and as such any organ can cause abdominal pain.
- Additional symptoms: Are there other symptoms associated with your abdominal pain, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or indigestion? Your doctor will take all of these into account when making a diagnosis.
Liver Gallbladder Or Pancreas Issues
When a person experiences pain in the upper right abdomen, just under the ribs, it could signal a problem with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.
Gallstones are one of the most common culprits. Without treatment, gallstones can block the bile duct and cause liver function problems or an infection in the pancreas called pancreatitis. The gallbladder may even rupture.
Typically, gallstones cause intense pain in the upper right abdomen that lasts for 46 hours. Some people may also vomit.
Gallstones are not usually a medical emergency, but they do warrant a visit to the doctor. This is because the complications of gallstones, such as pancreatitis, can be life-threatening.
Other conditions, such as porcelain gallbladder, can also cause pain in the upper right abdomen. Porcelain gallbladder occurs when calcium deposits build up in the gallbladder.
If the pain comes with a fever, vomiting, yellow eyes or skin, white or pale stools, or feelings of intense illness, a person should go to the emergency room.
Stomach Pain In The Upper Abdomen
If your child is complaining about pain in their upper abdomen, they may be experiencing indigestion. Telltale signs of indigestion include:
- Pain in the middle of the upper belly
“Indigestion may be the cause, if your child complains about pain in their upper belly, especially if it happens after eating certain foods,” says Dr. Mehta.
If your child has pain in the upper right side of their abdomen, this could also be a sign of gallstones. Gallstones are more common in adults than in children, but some children may be more at risk for developing gallstones including children with obesity, children with certain health conditions including sickle cell disease, and children with a family history of gallstone disease.
Why Do People Go To The Emergency Room For Abdominal Pain
In fact, abdominal pain is the NUMBER ONE NON-TRAUMA REASON FOR WHICH PEOPLE VISIT THE EMERGENCY ROOM. And of the millions of people who go to the emergency room every year for abdominal pain, the majority of them walk away WITHOUT a serious diagnosis.
When Should You Go to the Hospital for Stomach Pain? Dr. Madsen: This is a really great question because you may think to yourself, Okay, my stomach hurts. Im going to go to the ER and theyre going to look at me and say, Why are you here? Theyre going to send me home.
Recommended Reading: What Are Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcers
Gastrointestinal Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may arise from problems in the digestive tract including:
- : You may experience early signs of appendicitis in the center of the abdomen, but the telltale sign is lower right abdominal pain and fever. Appendicitis is often a medical emergency because an inflamed and infected appendix can rupture and spread the infection.
- Bowel blockage or obstruction: Marked by stomach pain, and swelling, constipation, , bloating and nausea, a bowel obstruction can lead to intestinal tearing and infection if not treated promptly.
- Celiac disease: You may experience abdominal bloating and pain, , weight loss, and fatigue. There is no cure for celiac diseasea chronic, immune-mediated condition that causes your body to overreact to gluten and damages the lining of the small intestinebut eliminating gluten from your diet is a must.
- Colitis: An infection or inflammation of any part of your colon. Colitis is less severe than a form of inflammatory bowel syndromebecause UC is a chronic, lifelong condition. Antibiotics can clear bacterial colitis, and viral colitis will typically clear on its own.
- : An uncommon, but possible cause of abdominal pain. Symptoms may also include fatigue, blood in stool, a change in bowel habits, bloating, and gas.
- Gallstones: Upper-right abdominal pain is a classic sign of , especially after eating a meal. Medication may dissolve small gallstones, but is the most common treatment.
Signs You Should See A Doctor About Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can be tricky for even the best doctors to diagnose, so if all youre armed with is Google, M.D., sussing out whats causing your discomfort can be hard. For starters, stomach pain is a pretty broad description. Are we talking a mild yet persistent twinge or a cramps-that-hurt-so-badly-youre-on-the-floor kind of situation? Then theres the fact that stomach pain can crop up pretty much anywhere in your abdomen, and health issues that cause problems in one part of your belly might not affect others. These seemingly little nuances all matter when it comes to narrowing down what could be behind your stomach pain.
If youre struggling with stomach pain that makes you wonder if you should see a doctor, you probably should. Nothing beats an evaluation from an expert. That said, its understandable that you might want to have some inkling of what may be going on before then. Here are some common types of stomach pain you can experience, plus the health issues that could be behind them.
Recommended Reading: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Hurt Your Stomach
When Is Abdominal Pain Serious
All abdominal pain is not created equal. Its important to know which types of stomach pains are worrisome. You may need to know when to check with the doctor, and when to take something over-the-counter and wait for the pain to subside. By having a good idea of which pains are significant and which are common, most of the time we can take care of many common issues at home.
There are a lot of structures in the abdomen, including organs like the stomach, appendix, intestines, kidneys, gallbladder and liver. The majority of stomach pain comes from things like overeating, gas and bloating, or eating something that causes some digestive upset for a short period of time. Cramping and an uncomfortably full feeling often comes from digestive concerns that arent serious and will go away in an hour or two. But localized pain thats not going away, or thats getting worse, could be the sign of something more serious.