How Can I Treat Abdominal Pain
If you have abdominal pain, keeping warm and placing a heat pack or hot water bottle on your stomach may help.
If your abdominal pain does not require you to stop eating and drinking, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of clear, non-alcoholic fluids. If you have a medical condition that restricts your fluid intake, check with your doctor about how much fluid you can have.
Eat small meals and – foods such as rice, dry toast or bananas. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine until 48 hours after the pain has gone away.
Several medicines can help if you have non-acute abdominal pain, including:
- paracetamol to ease the pain
- charcoal tablets or similar for wind pain
- medicines to ease spasms
- medicines to stop diarrhoea
Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen and naproxen since these can irritate your stomach. A pharmacist can advise you about the most appropriate medicine for your abdominal pain.
In more serious cases, the treatment recommended will depend on the cause and severity of the abdominal pain, and how long you have had it. Treatment may include following a particular diet in the long term getting more exercise taking medicines or having surgery.
Possible Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Women
Abdominal pain can be achy, crampy, dull, intermittent or may be sharp. It is also called stomachache. Usually women experience many types of abdominal pain, which may be only left-sided abdominal pain, or lower abdominal pain etc. A woman may experience abdominal pain due to various reasons. Some of the causes of abdominal pain in women may be harmless, however others can be life threatening.
What To Consider When You Have Abdominal Pain
Urgent care centers are often open to handle non-specialized care even outside of the normal working hours. Their care is affordable and you can walk in and out within an hour without booking an appointment. They also accept a number of different insurance policies.
On the other hand, emergency rooms are meant to handle life-threatening health conditions. Therefore, unless you have a life-threatening condition, its always prudent to visit an urgent care center to avoid taking up space in an emergency room where a patient in a critical condition may need medical help.
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How Common Are Stomachaches
Just about everybody will experience abdominal pain at one point or another. Most causes of abdominal pain are not serious and resolve spontaneously. A healthcare provider can usually readily diagnose and treat these conditions. However, abdominal pain can also be a sign of a serious illness, or even an emergency. Abdominal pain is responsible for some 5% of emergency room visits.
How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
The cause of abdominal pain can be diagnosed through a series of tests. Before ordering tests, your doctor will do a physical examination. This includes gently pressing on various areas of your abdomen to check for tenderness and swelling.
This information, combined with the severity of the pain and its location within the abdomen, will help your doctor determine which tests to order.
Imaging tests, such as MRI scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays, are used to view organs, tissues, and other structures in the abdomen in detail. These tests can help diagnose tumors, fractures, ruptures, and inflammation.
Other tests include:
Blood, urine, and stool samples may also be collected to look for evidence of bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections.
Not all forms of abdominal pain are preventable. However, you can minimize the risk of developing abdominal pain by doing the following:
- Eat a healthy diet.
Liver And Gallbladder Issues
Pain in the upper right stomach that comes and goes could signal a problem with the gallbladder, such as gallstones.
Gallstones can block the ducts of the gallbladder, making digestion more difficult. This causes pain shortly after eating, especially after very fatty meals. People with gallstones may notice that the pain appears a few hours after eating, lasts for 46 hours, and then disappears.
Gallstones sometimes pass on their own. If they do not, they can block the biliary ducts, which can affect liver function. Untreated gallstones may also cause problems with the pancreas.
If a person experiences vomiting, pale stool, or a fever along with symptoms of gallstones, they should seek emergency medical treatment.
Otherwise, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Home treatment is not effective for gallstones.
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Children
As in adults, abdominal pain and diarrhea in children are commonly caused by the stomach flu, infections, food allergies, lactose intolerance, and 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 places stress on the digestive system, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- 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 medical professional.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Symptoms Of Sharp Pains In The Stomach
You may experience different types of stomach pain. These characteristics can include:
Generalized pain is pain that you feel in large areas of your stomach, typically more than half of your abdominal area. This pain may be caused by a stomach virus, indigestion, or gas. If the pain is severe, it could be caused by blocked intestines.
Localized pain is focused in one area of your stomach. This is more likely to be a sign of issues in an organ, like the appendix, uterus, gallbladder, or stomach.
Cramp pain may feel more like a muscle tightening inside your abdomen. Most of the time, this type of pain is due to gas, bloating, or menstrual issues. However, if the pain is persistent, lasts longer than 24 hours, or is accompanied by fever, it may be more serious.
Location of stomach pain
Stomach pain may be generalizedtaking up more than half of the abdomenbut it also may be stronger in some areas of the stomach. It can occur in these locations:
- Upper or lower abdomen
- Right upper and lower abdomen
- Left upper and lower abdomen
- Right and left pelvis
What Are The Potential Complications Of Abdominal Pain
Complications of abdominal pain depend on the underlying cause, but can range from missed school or work to malnutrition to life-threatening infections. Getting an accurate diagnosis and following your treatment plan will help you avoid complications. Over time, abdominal pain can lead to serious complications including:
- due to blood loss
- Dehydration due to loss of fluids
- Organ failure
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What Are The Causes Of Severe Abdominal Pain
- Appendicitis the swelling of the appendix , which causes unbearable pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, and removal of the appendix is needed.
- Acute cholecystitis Gallstones causes inflammation of the gallbladder which results in removing of a gallbladder.
- Kidney stones small stones may come out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and that needs to be broken down.
- Diverticulitis small pouches in the bowel leads to inflammation that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in a hospital.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Abdominal Pain
While we dont usually feel the inner workings of our abdomen, pain can occur when there is a disruption of the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue inside.
Abdominal pain can be caused by inflammation , organ distention or stretching , or loss of blood supply .
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary supplements, can cause stomach pain. Medications can do this by irritating the stomach, leading to nausea, pain, and diarrhea, or by slowing digestion, leading to constipation. Be sure to check the label of any drug you take to see if abdominal pain is listed as a possible side effect.
- Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
- Emotional upset
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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.
When Should You Be Concerned
Stomach cramps and diarrhea can be mild, fleeting and require no treatment.
However, if theyre accompanied by one of the following symptoms, its important to seek medical attention:
- Significant weight loss
- Diarrhea that persists for more than two days
- Severe pain
- High fever or chronic low-grade fever
- Chest, neck, jaw or arm pain
- Racing heartbeat
- Black, tarry stools
- Signs of dehydration
Summary: When stomach pain or diarrhea is accompanied by signs of dehydration, significant weight loss or other serious medical conditions, its important to seek medical attention.
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Home Remedies To Ease Mild Pain In Middle Of The Stomach
There are home remedies that you can try to help ease middle stomach pain. However, if you are in severe pain in the mid-abdominal area, it is best to see a doctor, as severe abdominal pain is a sign of a condition that needs medical attention as soon as possible.
For mild upper-middle abdominal pain and connecting areas, the following tips may be able to help you out.
When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Stomach pain can be caused by a life-threatening condition, such as appendicitis, bowel obstruction , or a bowel perforation .
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:
- You are pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of having abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure
- You have ever had a gastric bypass, a colostomy, or a bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after you experienced severe abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen appears bruised or is rapidly expanding in size
Your stomach pain may be mild in the beginning, and then you may develop associated symptoms after a few hours. You should get help immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms along with your stomach pain:
- Abdomen is extremely hard
- Inability to have a bowel movement accompanied by vomiting
- Pain in neck, shoulder or between shoulder blades
- Vision changes
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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.
Medically Unexplained Abdominal Pain
Somatoform symptom disorder is a psychiatric illness that can present with chronic GI symptoms including abdominal pain and abnormal bowel movements.
In SSD, the physical symptoms cannot be fully explained by an underlying medical illness. This condition is also sometimes referred to as functional abdominal pain .
Summary: Cancer, hernias, alcohol abuse and stress and anxiety are some of the other possible causes of chronic stomach pain and diarrhea. Determining the exact cause will require a trip to a healthcare professional.
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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.
Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
There are many reasons why you may have pain in your abdomen. People often worry about appendicitis, gallstones, ulcers, infections and pregnancy problems. Doctors also worry about these, as well as many other conditions. Abdominal pain may not come from the abdomen. Some surprising causes include heart attacks and pneumonias, conditions in the pelvis or groin, some skin rashes like shingles, and problems with stomach muscles like a strain. The pain may occur along with problems in passing urine or with bowel motions, or period problems.With so many organs and structures in the abdomen, it can be hard for a doctor to be absolutely sure about the cause of your problem. The doctor will ask you several questions and then examine you carefully. The doctor may perform no further tests. The cause of your pain may be quite clearly not serious. Another scenario may be that the doctor is unable to find a cause, but the pain gets better within hours or days. All the doctor can do is to be sure that the pain does not require surgery or admission to hospital.
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Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
What Is Abdominal Pain Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Most people experience abdominal discomfort or pain at some point in their lives. Abdominal pain is usually felt in the part of the trunk below the ribs, above the pelvis and the groin. It can range in intensity from a mild ache to severe, disabling pain.
While abdominal pain isnt normal, it isnt necessarily serious, and it often resolves itself.
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What Causes Pain In The Abdomen After Diarrhea
Indigestion, the stomach flu, and food poisoning are common causes of acute diarrhea and abdominal pain. In these cases, symptoms last for less than four days and often resolve without medical treatment. Infections or diseases that affect the organs in your abdomen can also cause pain with diarrhea. Organs in the abdomen include your:
Why Choose Weill Cornell Medicine
Our physicians at the Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Pain Management use the latest research, the most advanced equipment, and innovative therapies to diagnose pain and develop customized pain management plans for each patient.
We are experts in diagnosing and treating chronic abdominal pain and its many causes.
Weill Cornell Medicine also offers clinical trials, giving patients access to treatments that may not be available elsewhere. Learn more about Pain Management’s current clinical trials.
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Causes Of Stomach Pain At Night
Stomach pain at night can be a symptom of a mild or serious health condition that seems to worsen when we lie down. It may also be associated with our digestive tract and its response to food consumed in the evening. Whether it is a stomach ache that becomes more uncomfortable as the evening wears on or a sudden pain that awakens us during a sound sleep, lets look at some possible causes.
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