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Abdominal Pain


Introduction

Abdominal pain can be felt anywhere between thorax ( chest ) and pelvis. Pain could be mild, moderate or severe. It may be dull or acute. Almost everyone has experienced abdominal pain, one time or other. Most of the time, stomach pain is not serious, but severe abdominal pain is a cause of concern. If pain starts suddenly and unexpectedly, it should be regarded as an emergency, and investigated accordingly.

Symptoms

Pain in abdomen can be of various intensities and nature. It can be: Sharp, stabbing cramp like pain Brief pain that may come or go Pain associated with vomiting Reference: www.nhs.uk

Diagnosis

Generally abdominal pain goes with time, but if the pain does not subside, then one should seek medical help: Abdominal discomfort that lasts 1 week or longer Abdominal pain that does not improve in 24 - 48 hours, or becomes more severe and frequent and occurs with nausea and vomiting Bloating that persists for more than 2 days Burning sensation or increase in frequency on urination Diarrhoea for more than 5 days Fever (over 100°F for adults or 100.4°F for children) with pain Prolonged poor appetite Prolonged vaginal bleeding Unexplained weight loss Reference: www.nlm.nih.gov

Management

Generally, treatment for abdominal pain depends upon its cause. Treatment usually is with medications for inflammation of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Ulcers Use antibiotics in case of infections Modify your eating habits Surgical treatment is indicated in conditions like appendicitis or hernia (inguinal and umbilical) Seek doctors advice before going in for any treatment. Reference: www.nlm.nih.gov

Causes

Various conditions are associated with abdominal pain . Causes of abdominal pain include: Constipation Irritable bowel syndrome Food allergy Food poisoning Menstrual pain Sudden, severe abdominal pain: Abdominal infection Appendicitis A perforated peptic ulcer Gallstones Kidney stones Diverticulitis : Inflammation of small pouches that are part of the bowel Other common causes in adults are: Irritable bowel syndrome Crohns disease Urinary tract infection Long term Peptic ulcer Constipation Heartburn and acid reflux Common Causes in children Constipation Urinary tract Infection Anxiety Heartburn and acid reflux References: www.nlm.nih.gov www.nhs.uk