Abdominal Pain Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Home Remedies

Abdominal Pain Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Home Remedies


What is abdominal pain?


The abdomen is that part of your body which is below your ribs and above your hips. Some people call it the trunk, tummy, belly or gut. When you have a pain in that area doctors will call it abdominal pain. However, other popular terms for abdominal pain include tummy pain, tummy ache, stomach ache, stomach pain, gut ache, belly ache and gut rot.

Usually, pain that you feel here will be caused by a problem in your gut. Sometimes it can be caused by problems in other organs.

Call your doctor right away if you have abdominal pain so severe that you can't move without causing more pain, or you can't sit still or find a comfortable position. Also, seek immediate medical help if pain is accompanied by other worrisome signs and symptoms, such as fever, bloody diarrhea or severe tenderness in your abdomen.

Read more: Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): Cost, Produce, Preparation, Complications

What Are the Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain?


Whether it's a mild stomach ache, sharp pain, or stomach cramps, abdominal pain can have numerous causes. Some of the more common causes include:

Abdominal Pain Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Home Remedies
Abdominal Pain: Many Causes




What Symptoms of Abdominal Pain Are Cause for Concern?


If your abdominal pain is severe or if it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible:

  • Fever
  • Inability to keep food down for several days
  • Inability to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
  • Painful or unusually frequent urination
  • The abdomen is tender to the touch
  • The pain is the result of an injury to the abdomen
  • The pain lasts for several days

These symptoms can be an indication of an internal problem that requires treatment as soon as possible.

Seek immediate medical care for abdominal pain if you:

  • Vomit blood
  • Have bloody stools
  • Have difficulty breathing
  • Have pain occurring during pregnancy

How is the cause of abdominal pain determined?


Because there are so many potential causes of abdominal pain, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, discuss with you the type of symptoms you are experiencing, and ask you several related questions about the pain you are feeling. These questions could include the following:

  • What type of pain are you experiencing? Is the pain throughout your abdomen or is it confined to a particular area?
  • Where in your abdomen does the pain seem to be located?
  • What type of pain are you experiencing? Is it stabbing and severe? Is it a dull ache?
  • When does the pain occur? Always? More often in the morning or at night? If the pain comes and goes, about how long does it last each time? Does it occur after eating certain types of foods or after drinking alcohol? During menstruation?
  • How long have you had this pain?
  • Does the pain also radiate (branch out) into your lower back, shoulder, groin, or buttocks?
  • Are you currently taking any medications or herbal supplements?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Does any activity such as eating or lying on one side relieve the pain?
  • Have you been injured recently?
Once this initial evaluation has been completed, your doctor may have you undergo some tests to help him or her make the diagnosis. These may include blood or urine tests, barium swallows or enemas, an endoscopy, x-ray, or ultrasound.

When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?


Some doctors suggest that if you have a "less serious" cause of abdominal pain (see above section on topic), especially if it is likely food poisoning (viral or bacterial) and you have had discomfort but are not dehydrated, you will likely not need medical care as the symptoms should resolve in about 24 to 48 hours. If you have a chronic problem that occasionally causes abdominal pain, most doctors suggest you contact the person treating you for the ailment for an appointment or prescription (refill). However, if you have any of the problems or symptoms listed in the "serious abdominal pain "section above, you should seek immediate medical care.

What medications can be used to treat certain causes of abdominal pain?


Medications that are used to treat the underlying cause(s) of abdominal pain are the medications of choice. For example, medications are not needed to treat simple viral gastroenteritis, while surgery and/or chemotherapy may be the best approach to treat certain cancers in the abdomen. Other causes may require antispasmodics, antimicrobials, H2 blockers, or even nitrates or morphine. The diagnosed cause usually narrows the choice of medications. A few causes can only be treated by surgery (for example appendicitis, hernia [incarcerated], and certain abdominal injuries), although some medications may be used (for example, morphine) while the person is awaiting surgery.

What lifestyle changes can I make to prevent abdominal pain?


Lifestyle changes really depend on the cause of the abdominal pain.

Eat a good diet, exercise, and avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption reduce the chances that you will experience certain causes of abdominal pain.

Good hygiene, especially hand washing and avoiding materials and foods contaminated with viruses and bacteria will reduce your chances of abdominal pain from many infectious causes.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables


It is recommended that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit or vegetables each day. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, then your chances of developing heart disease, a stroke, or bowel cancer are reduced. In addition, fruit and vegetables:

  • Contain lots of fibre, which helps to keep your bowels healthy. Problems such as constipation and diverticular disease are less likely to develop.
  • Contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, which are needed to keep you healthy.
  • Are naturally low in fat.
  • Are filling but are low in calories.

Eat plenty of fibre (roughage)


Fibre is the part of food that is not digested. It is filling, but has few calories. It helps your bowels to move regularly, which reduces constipation and other bowel problems. Fibre may also help to lower your cholesterol level.

Starchy foods, and fruit and vegetables contain the most fibre. So the tips above on starchy foods and fruit and vegetables will also increase fibre. If you switch to wholemeal rice and pasta, and wholemeal bread, this can significantly increase your fibre intake. Pulses like lentils and beans are also full of fibre.