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WHAT CAUSES ABDOMINAL PAIN?

WHAT CAUSES ABDOMINAL PAIN?

Discomfort radiating from the chest to the pelvis is known as abdominal pain. Cramping, aching, dull, intermittent, or acute abdominal discomfort possibilities. It's also called a stomachache.

 

Abdominal discomfort can be caused by inflammation or diseases that damage the organs in the abdomen. The following significant organs are found in the abdomen:

 

 

Whether viral, bacterial, or parasitic, infections of the stomach and intestines can cause severe abdominal pain.

 

What are the causes of abdominal pain?

Many conditions can cause abdominal pain. Infection, aberrant growths, inflammation, obstruction (blockage), and digestive problems are the most common causes.

 

Bacteria can enter your digestive tract due to infections in the throat, intestines, or blood, causing stomach pain. Changes in indigestion, such as diarrhea or constipation, may occur due to these illnesses.

 

Cramps linked with menstruation can produce lower abdomen discomfort as well, but they are more typically connected with pelvic pain.

 

The following are some more prevalent causes of stomach pain:

 

Chronic abdominal pain can be caused by diseases that damage the digestive system. The following are the most common:

 

  • GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or colon spasms (a disorder that causes abdominal pain, cramping, and changes in bowel movements)

  • Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease)

  • lactose intolerance is a type of lactose intolerance (the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products)

 

The following are some of the causes of significant stomach pain:

 

 

Associated Symptoms and Signs 

Signs & symptoms can help you figure out what's causing your pain. The presence of fever indicates inflammation. Diarrhea or rectal bleeding means that an intestinal problem causes the pain. Fever and diarrhea indicate gut inflammation, which could be infectious or non-infectious (e.g., ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease). Irritable bowel illness is divided into two types: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (IBD). Dietary adjustments and anti-inflammatory medicines may be used to address these disorders.

 

Abdominal Pain Types

 

Localized, cramp-like, or colicky abdominal pain are all terms used to describe abdominal pain.

The pain is restricted to a single location in the abdomen. This form of discomfort is frequently caused by issues with a certain organ. Stomach ulcers are the most common source of localized pain (open sores on the inner lining of the stomach).

 

Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas can all cause cramp-like pain. It has been linked to menstruation, miscarriage, and reproductive difficulties. This discomfort comes and goes, and it may or may not go away.

 

Colicky pain can signify something more serious, such as gallstones or kidney stones. This discomfort may feel like a severe muscle spasm and arrives unexpectedly.

 

Location of pain within the abdomen

 

The location of the pain in the abdomen may provide insight into its origin.

 

Widespread pain (rather than localized) in the abdomen could indicate:

 

  • appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix)

  • Crohn's disease 

  • a terrible injury

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • infection of the urinary tract

  • the flu

 

Lower-abdominal pain could mean one of the following:

 

  • blockage of the intestines

  • appendicitis

  • ectopic pregnancy is a term that refers to a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb

 

In women, pain in the lower abdomen's reproductive organs can be caused by:

 

 

Abdominal pain in the upper part can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

 

The pain in the core of your abdomen may be caused by:

 

  • appendicitis

  • gastroenteritis

  • injury

  • uremia (buildup of waste products in your blood)

 

Abdominal pain in the lower-left part can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

 

  • Crohn's disease

  • cancer

  • infection of the kidney

  • cysts in the ovary

  • appendicitis

 

Upper left abdomen pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

 

  • spleen enlargement

  • fecal impaction (a hardened stool that refuses to pass)

  • injury

  • infection of the kidneys

  • heart attack

  • cancer

 

Lower right abdomen pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • appendicitis

  • An organ protrudes through a weak point in the abdominal muscles, causing a hernia

  • infection of the kidneys

  • cancer

  • flu

 

Upper right abdomen pain could be caused by:

 

  • hepatitis

  • injury

  • pneumonia

  • appendicitis

 

Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain

Chronic abdominal pain is defined as pain in the abdomen that occurs regularly or irregularly for at least six months. Chronic abdominal discomfort can be caused by a problem with the stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, intestines, colon, kidneys, ureter, prostate, or uterus, among other abdominal organs. 

 

Acute abdominal pain appears out of nowhere and is severe. A medical emergency or life-threatening condition could be the source of acute abdominal pain. Patients with this type of stomach pain may need surgery. Tell your doctor if your abdominal pain started suddenly or gradually, if it occurs regularly or only occasionally, and how long you've been in discomfort.

 

When to Call the Doctor About Abdominal Pain

Consult your doctor if your abdomen discomfort is severe, does not go away, or returns. If you have any chest pain or your belly hurts due to a recent injury, call 911 straight once.

 

If you have any of the symptoms that are listed above other than pain, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Fever

  • If you can't eat for more than two days.

  • Not frequently peeing, dark-colored urine, and being extremely thirsty are all signs that you're dehydrated.

  • It's impossible to have a bowel movement, especially if you're vomiting.

  • When you pee, you may have pain or need to urinate frequently.

 

If you have any of the symptoms that are listed, talk to your doctor:

 

  • Your stomach is soft to the touch.

  • The discomfort persists for several hours.

 

Other symptoms could indicate an issue inside your body that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If you have abdominal pain and the following symptoms, seek medical help immediately once:

 

  • Blood in the vomit

  • Notice whether your bowel movements are bloody or black and tarry

  • If you have problems with breathing

  • If you constantly vomit

  • If you have a bloated stomach

  • If you have a yellow complexion

  • If you are expecting a child

  • If you experienced inexplicable weight loss

 

Abdominal Pain Diagnosis

Your doctor will do a comprehensive physical examination because there are many probable causes. They'll also ask you some questions about your symptoms and what kind of discomfort you're experiencing. Is it, for example, sharp stabbing pain or a dull ache?

Other questions your doctor might ask you include:

  • Is it hurting throughout your abdomen or just in one spot?

  • When does it get painful? Always? Is it more likely to happen in the morning than at night?

  • How long does the discomfort last each time it comes and goes?

  • Is it painful after eating particular meals or drinking alcohol?

  • Do you have discomfort during your period?

  • How much has passed since you had the pain?

  • Is the hurt in your lower back, shoulder, groin, or buttocks getting worse?

  • Are you taking prescription or over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements?

  • Are you expecting a child?

  • Is there anything you can do to relieve the discomfort, such as eating or lying on one side?

  • Is there anything that can help you get rid of the pain?

  • Have you been hurt recently?

 

You may require tests once your exam is finished and your doctor has finished asking you questions to assist find the source of your pain. These tests may involve the following:

 

  • Blood tests

  • Stool or urine tests

  • Endoscopy

  • Barium swallows or enemas

  • X-ray

  • CT scan

  • Ultrasound

  • Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy

 

Why is it so difficult to figure out what's causing your abdominal pain?

 

Modern technological advancements have substantially increased the accuracy, speed, and convenience of determining the origin of stomach discomfort, yet there are still considerable hurdles. Diagnosing the source of stomach pain can be difficult for various reasons. The following slides go through these points in detail.

 

Difficulties in Diagnosing - Symptoms Could Be Atypical

 

Appendicitis pain, for example, might be felt in the right upper abdomen, while diverticulitis pain is felt on the right side. When there is inflammation, such as cholecystitis or diverticulitis, older adults and those using corticosteroids may experience little or no pain and soreness. This happens because the elderly have fewer inflammation symptoms and indicators, and corticosteroids diminish inflammation.

 

Difficulties in Diagnosis - Tests Aren't Always Abnormal

 

  • Gallstones, tiny ones, can be missed by ultrasound investigations.

  • CT scans, especially tiny ones, may miss pancreatic cancer.

  • The KUB (kidney, ureter & bladder x-ray) can miss intestinal blockage or stomach perforation.

  • Appendicitis or even abscesses may go undetected on ultrasound or CT scans, especially if the spots are small.

  • The CBC and other blood tests may be expected despite severe illness or inflammation, especially in individuals on corticosteroids.

 

Difficulties in Diagnosis - Diseases Can Look-Alike

 

  • Symptoms of IBS might be mistaken for bowel obstruction, cancer, ulcers, gallbladder attacks, or even appendicitis.

  • Crohn's disease can cause symptoms that are similar to appendicitis.

  • A proper kidney infection can seem like acute cholecystitis.

  • A ruptured right ovarian cyst can be mistaken for appendicitis and a ruptured left ovarian cyst for diverticulitis.

  • Appendicitis or diverticulitis might be mistaken for kidney stones.

 

What can I do to avoid stomach pain?

Not all types of stomach pain may be avoided. You may, however, reduce your chances of having stomach pain by doing the following:

 

  • Maintain a balanced diet.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Exercise on a regular basis.

  • Smaller meals are better.

 

If you have an intestinal disease, such as Crohn's disease, stick to the diet your doctor gave you to keep your symptoms to a minimum. If you have GERD, avoid eating within two hours of bed.

Heartburn and abdominal pain can occur if you go to bed too soon after eating. Wait at least 2 hours after eating before going to bed.

Treatment for Abdominal Pain and Home Remedies

Abdominal discomfort can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the cause:

  • Medications to cure ulcers and infections, as well as to reduce inflammation and prevent acid reflux.

  • An organ condition necessitates surgery.

Aspirin and ibuprofen, both over-the-counter pain medicines, might irritate your stomach and worsen your discomfort. Take these only if a doctor has diagnosed the source of your stomach ache and has prescribed them.

Gas and indigestion can cause stomach pain, which can be relieved with several dietary and lifestyle adjustments. We listed some ideas to get you started: 

  • Consume smaller servings more frequently.

  • Slowly eat.

  • Chew your meal thoroughly.

  • Consume beverages at room temperature 

  • Foods that cause gas or indigestion should be avoided.

  • Take control of your anxiety.

  • Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided.

  • After you've eaten, sit up straight.

  • Get some regular exercise and go for a short walk after you eat.

 

 

Natural remedies for abdominal pain

 

1. Bitters and carbonated water

Although a bar is usually the last place you'd think to go for nausea treatment, many people swear by a cold glass of tonic, club soda, or ginger ale blended with five or six drops of cocktail bitters.

The majority of bitter products use a combination of herbs like cinnamon, fennel, mint, and ginger. Bitterness can help some people with nausea due to these ingredients.

 

2. Ginger

People have long used ginger to remedy everything from pain to nausea. It is not just an urban legend. Studies have shown ginger effective for some therapy for certain types of stomach upsets.

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that comes in various forms, all of which can help. Ginger chews and tablets are suitable, but some individuals prefer their ginger as a beverage. Make fresh ginger root tea or try all-natural ginger ale.

 

3. Tea with chamomile flowers

By acting as an anti-inflammatory, chamomile tea can help soothe the pain of an upset stomach. These anti-inflammatory characteristics assist your stomach muscles in relaxing, reducing cramping and spasm pain.

 

4. BRAT diet

Every parent of a small kid is familiar with the BRAT diet consisting of bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast. It can help with nausea and diarrhea.

BRAT contains low-fiber foods that bind strongly. Any of these foods have salt or spices, which could worsen symptoms. When you are not feeling well and still need to eat something, this mild diet is a good option. Try cooking toast; burnt bread is said to help with nausea.

 

5. Peppermint

Because menthol in peppermint leaves is a natural analgesic or pain reliever, it is often recommended to relieve nausea and stomach upsets.

Try:

  • making a cup of spearmint or peppermint tea

  • taking a whiff of peppermint extract

  • savoring a minty treat

  • chewing on the actual leaves

 

This should help to keep stomach pains at bay and nausea at bay.

6. Apple cider vinegar

Take a teaspoon of this acidic pantry staple to settle an upset stomach if you can tolerate it. Is it too strong? Sip carefully after mixing a spoonful with a cup of water and a teaspoon of honey.

Apple cider vinegar's acidity may aid in starch digestion, allowing the starch to reach the intestines and keeping gut flora healthy. As a preventative strategy, some people take a tablespoon every day.

7. Heating pad

When you are not feeling well, a heater or hot water bottle relaxes you, so cling to the electric blanket and relax until the symptoms disappear.

Heat on the abdomen will help distract from cramps or pain, relax muscles, and relieve nausea. However, please don't keep it on for too long, or you'll damage your skin.

Homeopathic Medicines for Abdominal Pain 

Homeopathy has a lot of potential for treating stomach pain caused by a variety of factors. Except in cases of presence of any of the above mentioned critical signs indicative of serious cause, homeopathic medicines help with abdominal pain of various types and causes such as gas issues, constipation, gastritis, gastric ulcer, food intolerance, food allergies, a stomach infection, and menstrual cramps (acute emergencies like appendicitis, perforated gastric ulcer, acute gallstone, colic, intussusception, etc.).

Only conventional treatment should be used in such emergency situations. After a thorough case study and diagnosis, one can consider using homeopathic medicine for stomach discomfort. This is necessary to rule out the source of belly pain, which will help determine whether homeopathic medications may be used or if conventional treatment is required immediately, as in the case of abdominal pain, which indicates a medical emergency.

 

 

Bottom line

Don't expect a cure or a diagnosis right away. Multiple doctor visits and tests are frequently required to establish the diagnosis and/or rule out significant conditions. Doctors may prescribe medication to you before a definitive diagnosis is obtained. Your reaction (or lack thereof) to that medicine might occasionally give your doctor important indications as to the problem. As a result, you must take the prescription as prescribed.

 

Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen, your drugs stop working, or you suspect you're experiencing adverse effects. Self-medicate (including herbs and supplements) only after consulting with your doctor. Even the most excellent doctors don't always get it right, so don't be afraid to ask your doctor for referrals for second or third opinions if the diagnosis isn't precise and the pain persists. It's crucial to educate yourself but read from reliable sources.

 

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