Nearly everyone will experience a stomachache at some point of time or the other. The causes of stomach aches are usually minor, which can be diagnosed and treated easily. However, in some cases, abdominal pain may signify a serious disease. If the pain is persistent or accompanied by other severe symptoms, it is recommended to consult a physician.
Abdominal pain is caused by:
Inflammation of an organ such as: Appendicitis, Diverticulitis & Colitis
Stretching or Distention of an organ such as: Bowl Obstruction, Blockage of a Bile duct by
Other symptoms may be associated with abdominal pain
- Bloating Belching Gas (flatus, farting) Indigestion
- Discomfort in the upper left or right; middle; or lower left or right abdomen Constipation
- Diarrhea GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) Heartburn Chest discomfort
- Pelvic discomfort Painful urination and or Lack of urination
- Serious Symptoms
Stomach aches should be considered severe and a doctor must be consulted if it is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
The inability to keep food down for many days in a row after eating a meal
• Inability to pass stool for a few days
• Frequent or painful urination
• Uncontrollable vomiting
• Stomach is tender to touch
• Pain persists for several days
• Pain is an outcome of abdominal injury
Rectal Bleeding & tarry stool
pain during pregnancy
Determining the Cause of Pain
To treat abdominal pain, it is most important to identify the underlying cause. The doctor will usually perform a detailed physical exam, listen to the patient’s description of symptoms and pain, and then arrive at a conclusion.
The cause of abdominal pain is diagnosed on the basis of its characteristics, the physical examination, and testing by conducting stool tests, blood tests, and X-rays to arrive a conclusion Occasionally, surgery is necessary for diagnosis.
The medical diagnosis of the cause is challenging because the characteristics may be atypical, tests are not always abnormal, diseases causing pain may mimic each other, and the characteristics of the pain may change over time.
Important questions will be asked by your physician reaching the diagnosis:
➢ What is the severity of pain?
Is it dull or stabbing?
➢ Is the pain localized to a part of or spread throughout the abdomen?
➢ When does the pain occur more often? Daytime or While sleeping
Does the pain gets better or worse with eating and or on empty stomach?
➢ Is the pain continuous or intermittent?
➢ Does the pain radiate to the shoulders, lower back, buttocks, or groin?
➢ Does any activity such as lying on side relieve the pain?
Medical treatment depends upon the patient’s history of disease or other health conditions that may be the cause. The treatment for abdominal pain may range from drugs to reduce inflammation to antibiotics for infections. Surgery may be necessary if the ache has been caused due to hernia or appendicitis.
Gallstones & Swelling of the liver with Hepatitis
Loss of blood supply to an organ such as: Ischemic Colitis
Functional disorder such as: Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)
Some of the most common causes of abdominal pain are listed as follows: