Abdominal pain is discomfort or pain that occurs in your abdomen. Abdominal pain is also known as tummy, stomach, gut, or belly pain. Abdominal pain is experienced by everyone occasionally.
1What causes abdominal pain?
The cause of abdominal pain is not always easy to diagnose. Sometimes the cause of abdominal pain is specific to a certain area of the abdomen such as the upper or lower portion, or the left or right portion of the abdomen. Pain originating in other parts of the body can also cause abdominal pain (this is called referred pain).
2How is abdominal pain diagnosed?
Your doctor will complete a physical examination with emphasis on the abdominal, rectal, pelvic and genitourinary regions and review your medical history. Your doctor may also order tests such as lab tests, X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound, or MRI.
3How is abdominal pain treated?
The treatment for abdominal pain will depend on the cause of the abdominal pain, which can be quite varied. Keeping track of the location of the pain, what makes it better or worse, symptoms associated with pain (such as more pain with meals and with bowel movements) may be helpful in your diagnosis.
4When to seek medical advice:
Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience trauma such as an accident of injury or have pressure or pain in your chest. Seek medical attention immediately if you have pain that is severe or is accompanied by bloody stools, nausea, yellowing skin, swelling of the abdomen, or if your abdomen is tender to the touch.
5What is Abdominal Pain?
Pain is unpleasant sensation that causes discomfort and seeking to medical care. When pain occurs in abdomen, commonaly called belly, gut or stomach, its called abdominal pain. It can occur as acute abdominal pain in which there is sudden, usualy severe pain leading to urgent consultation or admission and sometime surgery. Other pattern is chronic abdominal pain in which there is long standing, intermittent and usualy mild severity of pain occurs. Everyone experiences abdominal pain at some point of time in their life.
6What Causes Pain?
Abdominal pain can be caused by varities of conditions requiring extensive investigation to diagnose. Most of the time abdominal pain correlate with the site in abdomen and further investigation is directed toward ascertaining the cause. However, many time its very difficult to know as pain characteristic do not point towards specific cause. Figure here shows the organ location in abdomen and usually outer site correlate with underlying organ. Sometime abdominal pain can be caused by condition outside the abdomen and termed as referred pain. Causes of abdominal pain may be ranging from some serious condition requiring urgent care to trivial innocuous condition requiring assurance.
7How Abdominal Pain Diagnosed?
Medical history is most important diagnostic tool. Clinician may ask you some specific questions to narrow the diagnostic possibilities. Physical examination will help further to confirm the diagnosis. Investigation is directed toward probable diagnosis and ranges from X ray of abdomen, Blood tests and Imaging like Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
8How Abdominal Pain Treated?
Treatment depends upon cause of abdominal pain and some patient requires medical management and life style modification. While for many condition surgery is curable and may required on urgent basis.
9Who Requires Urgent Medical Help?
Patient with acute onset or severe abdominal pain requires urgent medical help. There are few other warning signs which requires urgent attention like: nausea or vomiting, bloody stools, swelling of the abdomen, jaundice or if there is pain on touching the abdomen. Physician or surgeon will start treatment on provisional diagnosis and may advise admission.