Abdominal pain is a pain that is felt between your pelvis and chest area. This pain can be sharp, intermittent, dull, an ache, or cramps. Abdominal pain is sometimes also referred to as stomach ache. It can be caused by diseases or inflammation that affects your internal organs. It can affect your smaller intestines or major ones, thus, your abdominal pain may be located more on one side, both sides of your abdomen or in the middle.
Here is a list of some major organs that are located in your abdominal area:
• Appendix (this is a part of your large intestine)
• Intestine (large and small intestines)
What causes abdominal pain?
Parasitic, bacterial, or viral infections that affect your intestines and stomach can cause a lot of abdominal pain.
There are a lot of different conditions that can lead to abdominal pain. Yet, abdominal pain is mainly caused by intestinal disorders, obstruction (blockage), inflammation, abnormal growths, and infections.
If you have an infection in your blood, your intestines, or even the throat, it can give bacteria access to your digestive tract. This will result in you experiencing severe abdominal pain.
These infections can cause you to experience changes in digestion like constipation or diarrhea. Menstruation cramps can also be associated with lower abdominal pain, but they are most commonly known to cause pelvic pain.
Here is a list of common causes of abdominal pain:
• Acid reflux (this is when your stomach liquid leaks into the esophagus, this causes heartburn, as well as other symptoms)
• Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
Different types of abdominal pain
Abdominal pain can be described as colicky, cramp-like, or localized.
Localized pain means that the pain only stays in a certain area within the abdominal area. Localized pain is usually caused by an organ with a problem and is most commonly caused by stomach ulcers.
Cramp-like pain is generally associated with flatulence, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. However, if a woman experiences cramp-like pain it can be associated with complications with their female reproductive organs, a miscarriage, or menstruation. Cramp-like pain comes and goes, sometimes, it can even go away completely without any treatments.
Colicky pain is a common symptom that indicates something very severe is wrong. It can show to kidney stones or gallstones. Colicky pain feels like severe muscle spasms and it occurs very sudden.
When to see your doctor
If you have mild abdominal pain there is a big chance that it will go away on its own without treatment. But sometimes abdominal pain may lead to you seeing a doctor. If you experience abdominal pain due to pain in your chest, pressure, or trauma (trauma caused by an injury or accident) call 911.
Make sure you find medical help ASAP if your abdominal pain is so severe that you cannot sit, walk or even move.
Find immediate medical care if the pain makes you want to curl up into a ball or if you have any of following happening to you:
• Difficulty breathing
• Severe tenderness or swelling of your abdomen
• Yellowing of the eyes or skin
• Persistent vomiting or nausea
• Hematemesis (vomiting up blood)
• High fever that is greater than 101°F
• Bloody stools
How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?
Abdominal pain and the cause of it can be diagnosed via a lot of different tests. Before you take any tests, your doctor will do a physical examination of you. Your doctor will lightly press down on different areas of your abdomen to check for swelling and tenderness. With this information, as well as the location and severity of the pain, it will help your doctor determine which tests you should take.