Abdominal pain is a general term referring to any irritation, tenderness or discomfort located in the midsection. Pain in the abdomen can have many causes, from overeating and nausea to inflammation and infections. Due to the vast array of causes, abdominal pain should be evaluated by a medical professional for a proper diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment can be started.
What could be the reason you have abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain can be caused by a multitudinous array of conditions, including, but not limited to:
Infection – When bacteria enters the digestive tract, caused by an infection of the throat, intestines or blood, it can result in abdominal pain.
Abnormal growths – An abdominal mass can cause noticeable swelling, pain and discomfort in the abdomen.
Inflammation – Abdominal inflammation is typically caused when air or gas enters the gastrointestinal tract, and can be caused by eating too much or too fast, swallowing air, weight gain, menstruation or constipation.
Obstruction (blockage) – An obstruction is a blockage in the intestines that prevents food or liquid from passing through the small or large intestine. It is also known as a bowel obstruction.
Intestinal disorders – There are a number of intestinal disorders that can cause abdominal pain, such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic diarrhea, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, and diverticulitis.
When should I be concerned about abdominal pain?
Signs abdominal pain should raise concern include the following:
- Sudden onset of pain
- Pain that persists beyond one or two hours
- Severe pain
- Pain in only one part of the abdomen
- Pain that is also felt in other areas of the body, such as the chest or back
- Pain that is worse when moving or when pressing the abdomen
What causes pain in the abdomen?
Abdominal pain has a wide list of causes, including, but not limited to:
- Gallstones and gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Abdominal muscle injury
- Abdominal hernia
- Gastroenteritis(viral or bacterial)
- Parasite infection
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis)
- Lactose intolerance
- Gluten intolerance(celiac disease)
- Food poisoning
- Menstrual cramps
- Ischemic bowel disease
- Abdominal organ injury from trauma
How long should abdominal pain last?
Typically, abdominal pain lasts less than a week with pain generally improving after one or two days. Pain caused by bloating shouldn’t last more than two days, and diarrhea typically lasts one to three days. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for longer than what is normal, call your doctor immediately.
How do I know if my stomach pain is serious?
The following stomach pain symptoms are indicative of a serious condition:
- Abdominal pain in the lower left side that is worse when moving
- Stabbing pain in the lower abdomen
- Sudden and severe onset of pain
- Indistinct upper abdominal pain accompanied with nausea and belching
- Upper abdominal pain between the ribcage
- Severe stomach pain after eating
- Cramping pain with diarrhea or constipation
If experiencing the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Severe pain in the lower right side of the abdomen
- Lower abdominal pain on the right or left side in women
If you or someone you know is experiencing abdominal pain, come to PrimeHealth Urgent Care for treatment today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating abdominal pain and can effectively evaluate and diagnose your pain to address the underlying cause. For more information on our abdominal pain treatment, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our abdominal pain specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today. We serve patients from Parrish FL, Ellenton FL, Bradenton FL, Palmetto FL, Lakewood Ranch FL, Sarasota FL, Sun City FL, and Wimauma FL.