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    Abdominal Pain : Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Causes & Prevention

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    At some point in their lives, the majority of individuals experience abdominal discomfort or pain. Abdominal pain (sometimes referred to as a stomachache or a bellyache) is typically felt in the region below the ribs, above the pelvis and the genitals. It can range in severity from a mild ache to crippling agony.

    Abdominal pain is not normal, but it is usually not life-threatening and resolves on its own.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, certain types of abdominal pain may indicate a serious health condition, so it’s important to recognize the signs that may indicate you have an underlying issue that requires medical attention.

    Symptoms of Abdominal Pain

    There are various types of abdominal pain. In addition to its intensity, abdominal pain can be described by the following characteristics:

    Generalized Pain: It is common for stomach viruses, indigestion, or gas to cause pain that affects more than half of the abdomen.

    Localized Pain: It is typical for a problem with an organ such as the stomach, appendix, or gallbladder to be the cause of pain localised to a single area of the abdomen.

    Cramping: This type of abdominal pain is intermittent, varying in intensity and location. The most common causes of cramping are gas, bowel movements, and menstruation.

    It is critical that you get in touch with a medical professional if the pain in your abdomen is so severe that it prevents you from moving around without experiencing additional discomfort or from sitting in a position that is comfortable for you.

    If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms in addition to abdominal pain, you should seek medical attention right away:

    Weight loss, Bloody stool, Yellowish skin, Fever, Nausea and vomiting that doesn’t resolve, Abdomen very tender to touch Or Swollen abdomen

    What are the four different kinds of pain that occur in the abdomen?

    Viruses or gas are the most common causes of generalised pain. Pain that is localised may indicate a problem with an organ. Menstruation or gas are the most common causes of cramping. The pain associated with colic comes and goes (similar to cramps), but it is severe and could be an indication of gallstones or kidney stones.

    What exactly is the source of the pain in my stomach?

    Indigestion, a stomach virus, food poisoning, gas, food allergies, constipation, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain medications are just some of the conditions that can result in abdominal pain. Other causes of abdominal pain include irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.

    How can you tell if the pain in your stomach is something serious?

    However, certain types of abdominal pain may be an indication of a serious health problem, even though the condition itself is not always life-threatening and frequently goes away on its own. If the pain is so severe that you are unable to move without experiencing additional pain or are unable to sit in a position that is comfortable for you, you should call your doctor.

    When should I be concerned about the pain in my abdomen?

    If you are experiencing abdominal pain along with any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention: fever, bloody stool, nausea and vomiting that does not go away, weight loss, yellowish skin, a swollen abdomen, or an abdomen that is tender to the touch.

    Which of the following is the most typical kind of abdominal pain?

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), pancreatitis, and diverticulitis are some of the most common causes of diverticulitis. Constipation, urinary tract infections, strep throat, appendicitis, and milk allergies are a few of the more common causes of this condition in children.

    Abdominal Pain Causes & Risks

    The inner workings of our abdomen are not normally something that we are able to feel; however, discomfort or pain may be experienced when there is a disruption in the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue within the abdominal cavity.

    Inflammation (such as that which occurs in appendicitis, diverticulitis, or colitis), organ distention or stretching (such as that which occurs in an intestinal obstruction or the blockage of a bile duct by gallstones), or a disruption in blood supply can all be the source of abdominal pain (as in ischemic colitis).

    Stomach pain may be a side effect of taking certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as nutritional supplements. Either by irritating the stomach, which can result in nausea, pain, and diarrhoea, or by slowing digestion, which can result in constipation, medications can have this effect. Be sure to check the packaging of any medication you take to determine whether or not it lists abdominal pain among its potential side effects.

    According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some of the health conditions listed below are among the most common reasons why people experience abdominal pain.

    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • Constipation
    • Peptic ulcer
    • Pancreatitis
    • Diverticulitis

    The following conditions, as described by Kaiser Permanente, are among those that can lead to the kind of severe pain that requires immediate medical attention:

    • Aortic aneurysm rupture
    • Perforation of the stomach or the intestines
    • A twisting of either the ovary or the testis (when the ovary or testicle twists on the tissues that support them)

    According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are some of the other conditions that could lead to abdominal pain:

    • Indigestion
    • Stomach virus
    • Gastritis
    • Menstrual cramps
    • Food poisoning
    • Food allergies
    • Gas
    • Fecal impaction
    • Lactose intolerance
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease
    • Hernia
    • Gallstones
    • Kidney stones
    • Intestinal obstruction
    • Endometriosis
    • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
    • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Appendicitis
    • Cancer (pancreatic, stomach, or liver)
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Celiac disease
    • Strained or pulled abdominal muscle

    According to Health Children, the following are some of the most common causes of abdominal pain in children:

    • Constipation
    • Urinary tract infection (UTI), especially in girls ages 1 to 5
    • Strep throat
    • Appendicitis
    • Milk allergy
    • Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
    • Emotional upset

    How Is the Diagnosis Made for Abdominal Pain?

    The history of your symptoms, a physical examination, and, if necessary, further testing are used to diagnose the underlying cause of abdominal pain. Your physician will probably ask you questions about the nature of your pain and whether or not you have any underlying physical or mental health conditions that could be contributing to your abdominal pain. These questions will help your doctor determine the cause of your discomfort.

    Your physician may ask you questions about the following aspects of your abdominal pain:

    • Where it is located
    • How bad it is, whether it’s dull, stabbing, burning, or cramping.
    • Whether it comes and goes or
    • When you experience or notice it the most
    • Whether it spreads to other areas of your body
    • How long you have had it
    • Whether any activities or things seem to make it worse or better.

    Your doctor may also ask you about your general health history, if you’ve been hurt recently, and if you might be pregnant.

    If your doctor thinks you have a serious health problem that may need treatment, he or she may use one of the following tests to find out what’s wrong.

    • Tests of blood, urine
    • X-ray of the body’s stomach
    • A sonogram of the stomach
    • Abdominal computerised tomography (CT) scan
    • Barium enema (colon X-ray)
    • Endoscopic procedures (inserting a tube with a tiny camera through your mouth or rectum to view areas inside your digestive tract)
    • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) (ECG or EKG)

    What to expect from abdominal pain

    How long your abdominal pain lasts and whether or not it gets better or worse depends on what’s causing it and how well treatments work.

    Many causes of abdominal pain, such as constipation, food allergies or intolerances, or stomach viruses, tend to get better on their own or with self-care.

    But abdominal pain caused by appendicitis, bowel obstruction, peptic ulcers, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), for example, may take a long time to get better and may need a lot of treatment.

    How Long Does Stomach Pain Last?

    Depending on what’s causing it, abdominal pain can be short or last for a long time. It can happen all the time or come and go at what seems like random times or when you do certain things or act in certain ways.

    How long you have abdominal pain or if it comes and goes don’t always indicate how bad the underlying problem is.

    When severe pain comes on suddenly, you should see a doctor right away. You should also see a doctor if you have constant pain that gets worse when you move or cough, or if the pain starts out mild but gets worse over hours or days.

    Options for treating and taking medicine for abdominal pain

    What you do to treat abdominal pain depends on what’s causing it. The Cleveland Clinic says that the best way to treat your pain depends on what’s causing it. It could be self-care, over-the-counter or prescription drugs, or procedures like drug injections or surgery.

    Taking Care of Yourself

    • Don’t eat anything solid for a few hours.
    • drinking water or other clear liquids
    • Resting until you feel better
    • avoiding dairy, citrus fruits, fatty foods, tomato products, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
    • Sticking to simple foods like crackers, rice, bananas, or applesauce

    Kaiser Permanente says that you shouldn’t take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for stomach pain because they can irritate your stomach and make your pain worse.

    Choices in Medication

    Most of the time, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking any medicine for abdominal pain, since some common painkillers can irritate your digestive tract and make your pain worse.

    If you have a health problem that needs medical treatment, your doctor may give you one of the following drugs:

    • Drugs for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Antibiotics to treat a disease
    • Drugs that reduce swelling
    • IBD treatments that are more likely to work (IBD)
    • Operations and Procedures

    In rare cases, you may need an office procedure or surgery to get rid of your abdominal pain. Among these steps, the following might be done:

    • An injection of a painkiller
    • Injections of corticosteroids
    • Surgery to fix a hernia
    • Appendectomy

    Therapies that are Complementary and Alternative

    You may find that certain alternative therapies, in addition to self-care measures, are helpful in reducing or managing the abdominal pain you are experiencing or in coping with it. According to MedlinePlus, these preventative measures consist of:

    Acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, and training in relaxation techniques

    Abdominal Pain Management

    In many cases, abdominal pain can be avoided by making lifestyle and dietary changes that address the source of your pain. Constipation, digestive upset, and even abdominal injury can all be avoided.

    The following steps may help you avoid abdominal pain:

    Drink plenty of water

    Staying hydrated can help you avoid constipation. right up arrow
    Develop regular bowel habits. Many people can train themselves to have regular bowel movements in order to avoid constipation.

    Maintain a fiber-rich, well-balanced diet

    Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, can help support healthy digestion and reduce constipation.

    Eat regularly and slowly

    Eating moderate-sized meals rather than waiting until you’re extremely hungry and stuffing yourself can help you avoid pain from overeating or eating on an empty stomach.

    Regular exercise is recommended

    Getting enough physical activity can help prevent constipation and strengthen your abdominal muscles, which can help prevent straining.

    Wear your seatbelt properly

    According to Kaiser Permanente, abdominal injury from car accidents can often be avoided by wearing a seatbelt as intended.

    Abdominal Pain Complications

    Chronic abdominal pain is linked to a number of harmful complications, including dietary changes and psychological distress. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more likely to develop mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

    Furthermore, many of the underlying conditions that cause abdominal pain can have serious consequences, such as structural damage to the digestive system from infection, cancer and its treatments, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

    To avoid complications, seek medical attention if your abdominal pain is sudden and severe, or if it is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, bloody stool, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, or visible swelling.

    You should also see a doctor if your pain persists for more than a few days or causes you concern.

    How Many People Have Abdominal Pain, According to Research and Statistics?

    Almost everyone experiences occasional abdominal pain, which is usually caused by minor conditions such as digestive upset or constipation.

    It’s more difficult to estimate how many people suffer from chronic abdominal pain because it can be caused by a variety of medical conditions and doesn’t always have a clear diagnosis.

    According to the American College of Gastroenterology, while 5 to 7 percent of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the actual prevalence of IBS is estimated to be 10 to 15% of the population.

    Constipation is thought to be even more common, affecting approximately 20% of the general population, but it could affect anywhere from 2% to 27% of the population depending on the definition used. Constipation is especially common among the elderly, affecting up to 50% of those living in nursing homes. According to a 2015 study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging, elderly women are the most likely to experience severe constipation.

    Functional gastrointestinal disorders that cause abdominal pain, such as IBS and constipation, have been linked to psychological disorders in studies. This could be explained by a breakdown in communication between your brain and your gut, which are inextricably linked. People with functional GI disorders, according to Harvard Health Publishing, have a more acute perception of gut-related pain than others because their brains are more responsive to pain signals from the GI tract. When compared to conventional medical treatment alone, studies have shown that psychologically based treatments are more effective in improving digestive symptoms.

    Abdominal Pain Related Conditions

    The following are some of the most common conditions associated with abdominal pain:

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (IBS) Symptoms of this condition include diarrhoea, constipation, and bloating.

    Constipation You may feel bloated and full, as well as have sharp gas pains in your abdomen, if you aren’t having regular bowel movements.

    Ulcerative Colitis When a sore develops in your stomach or upper small intestine lining, you may feel a burning sensation similar to hunger pangs, as well as nausea, vomiting, or heartburn.

    Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that causes severe pain in the upper middle area of your abdomen, as well as nausea, vomiting, and fever. This condition can be acute or chronic in nature.

    Diverticulitis According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, when small pouches inside your colon (large intestine) become infected or inflamed, you may experience discomfort or tenderness in the lower left area of your abdomen.

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