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Abdominal Pain

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Introduction

We have all experienced Abdominal Pain at some point in our lives. In most cases, the pain can be attributed to a simple reason, and it usually disappears on its own.

However, some people experience persistent or chronic Abdominal Pain that a serious underlying medical condition could cause.

Any pain that’s felt in the abdominal region is known as Abdominal Pain. The abdomen is home to several organs, and the pain could result from one of many conditions that could be affecting these organs.

The abdomen is the region between the chest and pelvic region. The pain could be sharp, dull, throbbing, cramping, aching, or intermittent. The many organs in this region are:

  • ● Stomach
  • ● Large and small intestines
  • ● Gallbladder
  • ● Spleen
  • ● Liver
  • ● Pancreas
  • ● Appendix
  • ● Uterus
  • ● Kidneys

Abdominal Pain can be traced to a malfunctioning tissue or an infection in any one of these organs.

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What Causes Abdominal Pain?

A range of factors can cause your Abdominal Pain. The most common causes are inflammation, blockages, abnormal growths, infections, and intestinal disorders. It is crucial to visit a doctor to find the exact cause of your abdominal pain.

Sometimes, infections of the throat and blood can enter the digestive tract wreaking havoc on the digestive system’s normal functioning. This could result in diarrhoea or constipation.

Another common cause of Abdominal Pain is cramping related to menstruation. This type of pain is accompanied by pain in the pelvic region.

Some common causes of Abdominal Pain include:

  • ● Gastroenteritis
  • ● Diarrhoea
  • ● Constipation
  • ● Vomiting
  • ● Stress and anxiety
  • ● Acid reflux

Some serious diseases are also known to cause pain in the abdomen. These are:

  • ● Crohn’s disease
  • ● GERD
  • ● IBS
  • ● Lactose intolerance

If you are experiencing extreme Abdominal Pain, then you might have one of the following conditions:

  • ● Kidney or gallbladder stones
  • ● Appendicitis
  • ● Ruptured spleen
  • ● Infection of the kidney

What Are the Symptoms of Abdominal Pain?

In most cases, Abdominal Pain is a symptom of an underlying condition or disease. It’s vital that you pay attention to the type of pain you are experiencing.

This is because different types of pain can indicate different underlying causes. The pain can be acute, persistent, intermittent, episodic, or progressive.

You might also experience accompanying symptoms like diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and a burning sensation in your throat and chest.

How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed?

The first step to an accurate diagnosis is having a physical examination done by your doctor. They will ask you to describe the Abdominal Pain and rate the pain on a scale. They will then physically examine the abdomen and ask you to pinpoint the exact area that’s hurting. They will physically feel for the pain in order to locate the origin.

Your doctor will also need your complete medical history as well as your family history. They might ask questions regarding your lifestyle and the type of work you do.

You will be asked to undergo some tests to investigate or confirm the source of pain. These tests can include imaging tests like an MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, or laparoscopy.

You might also be recommended some blood tests to detect the presence of an infection. A urine sample might be required to determine the health of your kidneys.

How is Abdominal Pain Treated?

The treatment for Abdominal Pain depends entirely on the underlying issue that has been diagnosed. For instance, pain that is caused by appendicitis will be treated with an appendectomy.

However, if an infection causes the pain, it will be treated with medications like antibiotics. Your doctor might also recommend pain relievers.

You should discuss the diagnosis with your doctor and determine a suitable course of treatment that is satisfactory to both you and your doctor.

What is the outcome of Treatments for Abdominal Pain?

Most cases of Abdominal Pain are very easy to treat and require only medications or, in severe cases, surgery. Very few cases are non-treatable or fatal.

However, the chances of recovering from Abdominal Pain increase exponentially if you receive medical attention at the earliest possible. This is why it’s crucial to visit your doctor if you are suffering from Abdominal Pain.

What Are the Risk Associated with Abdominal Pain Treatment?

Some causes of Abdominal Pain will require surgery to correct or treat. As with most surgeries, there are some risks associated with this course of action. The risks include:

  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Development of blood clots
  • Infection at the site of the surgery
  • Injury caused due to the surgery

It would be best to discuss any fears you have regarding the surgery with your medical team beforehand.

Conclusion

Abdominal Pain is a common condition that affects a large fraction of the population at some point. A diverse range of factors can cause the pain.

Getting an accurate diagnosis for the cause of the pain is crucial to getting the right treatment. Abdominal Pain must not be ignored, especially if it is acute or persistent.

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FAQ's

Is Abdominal Pain Fatal?

Abdominal Pain is a symptom of an underlying issue and isn’t dangerous to your health on its own. The actual underlying problem must be treated to cure the pain. Most causes of abdominal pain are non-fatal and can be easily treated.

Are there any Home Remedies for Abdominal Pain?

There are specific steps you can take to ease the Abdominal Pain you are experiencing. These include taking antacids, placing a hot water bag on the pain location, staying hydrated, eating simple and light food, avoiding coffee and alcohol, taking OTC painkillers, and getting adequate rest.

However, if the pain is acute and persistent, it is advisable to visit your doctor.

Why do I have a Hard Stomach?

A hard stomach can be caused due to simple reasons like consuming carbonated drinks or eating a full meal.

The pain caused by these reasons can be quickly relieved. However, in some cases, a hard stomach can be indicative of more severe conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Can I Treat Gastritis with Antacids?

In most cases of gastritis, OTC antacids can help treat the condition. However, gastritis can be caused due to several reasons, including but not limited to bacterial infections, ulcers, fungal infections, bile reflux, overconsumption of steroids and alcohol, and food poisoning.

If any one of these conditions is responsible for gastritis, then it has to be treated for you to feel any relief. The use of antacids in such a situation will not help treat gastritis.

When should I be concerned about Abdominal Pain?

You should visit your doctor or the hospital if the Abdominal Pain is accompanied by vomiting of blood, tarry and black stools, bloody diarrhoea, or pain in the neck, chest, and shoulders. You must also get medical attention if the pain is intense, severe, and sudden.

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