Types Of Abdominal Pain And What You Can Do
Abdominal pain can occur anywhere between the chest and the lower abdomen and can range from a dull ache to severe pain. Abdominal pain is one of the common reasons people visit urgent care centers and emergency rooms in the 78130 area code of New Braunfels, Texas.
The doctors and the medical professionals at Riverside ER, a 24-hour emergency care center located near you in New Braunfels, Texas, want to educate the public on the symptoms of abdominal pain and the relevant treatment.
There are four types of abdominal pain: upper, lower, right-sided and left-sided. Each type has specific symptoms and causes, and all are discussed below.
How To Tell If A Stomachache Is Actually Appendicitis
If you or a loved one have ever experienced a severe stomachache, chances are youve worried that it could be something far worse. The early symptoms of appendicitis are similar to those of stomach flu, food poisoning and some gastrointestinal or pelvic conditions, making it difficult to differentiate whats actually causing your abdominal pain. Fortunately, there are several signs that indicate youre suffering from appendicitis, as well as steps you can take if youre unsure.
Sudden Stomach Cramps With Diarrhoea
If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause may be a tummy bug . This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel. It should get better without treatment after a few days.
Gastroenteritis may be caused by:
- coming into close contact with someone who’s infected
- eating contaminated food
If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome .
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Could It Be Norovirus
Christopher Ramos, MD, a gastroenterologist at Medical City Alliance and Medical City Fort Worth, says that the difficulty when dealing with stomach painespecially in the upper abdomenis knowing whether it’s heartburn or something more serious.
Dr. Ramos has seen many norovirus cases in North Texans returning from cruises.
“Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S., so it’s very common but sometimes hard to diagnose,” he says. “Members of the same family can have the same disease process but different symptoms and duration.”
Dr. Hanscom agreed, adding that there is no point-of-care test for norovirus.
“We don’t have a test for norovirus in the ER,” he says. “Diagnosis is done by looking at the patient’s symptoms and other clues, such as if there’s a local outbreak, if the patient has been on a cruise or if it’s during the colder parts of the year when people congregate indoors and spread germs.”
Differential Diagnosis For Abdominal Pain Based On History And Physical Examination
In spite of the fact that area of stomach pain or abdominal pain directs the underlying assessment, related signs and indications are prescient of certain reasons for pain in the abdomen and can limit the differential diagnosis.
Medical History Test for Differential Diagnosis for Abdominal Pain
Whenever possible, the medical history has to be acquired from the patient to perform the differential diagnosis. The underlying differential analysis can be dictated by a depiction of the painâs area, radiation, and development . Once the area is distinguished, the doctor has to get general data about onset, span, seriousness, and nature of torment and about compounding and transmitting elements.
Physical Examination for Differential Diagnosis for Abdominal Pain
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Causes And Associated Symptoms Of Chest Pain
Chest pain can be the result of a variety of different causes, ranging from a mild case of heartburn to a heart attack. Due to the large range in severity of chest pain, it is important to have a clear understanding of what certain chest pain symptoms mean and how to treat the symptoms in an urgent manner.
The causes of chest pain can be broken into four different categories, which are a heart problem, digestive problem, lung-related issue or a muscle and bone issue. A heart-related issue, such as angina or a heart attack, are typically the most concerning, although lung-related issues, such as a pulmonary embolism, can be life-threatening as well.
With that said, any muscle and digestive issues can also be potentially problematic, and every instance of chest pain should be followed by treatment.
While in some cases, the cause of chest pain may be obvious, such as a physical injury or sore muscles, it can be complicated to know the exact cause of other forms of chest pain. In order to properly assess the cause and severity of your chest pain, it is important to know the symptoms and what they mean. Here are the most common symptoms that also occur with chest pain:
When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Stomach pain can sometimes be caused by a life-threatening condition. Some examples are:
- Bowel obstruction, which is when food or waste blocks the intestine
- Bowel perforation, which is a hole in the intestine that leaks food material
These emergencies usually cause pain that feels extreme. Your stomach pain may be urgent if:
- You are pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of abdominal surgery
- Your pain started after a procedure in your stomach area, such as an endoscopy
- You have ever had surgery on your digestive tract, such as gastric bypass, a colostomy, or a bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after an abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen is bruised or rapidly expanding
Even if you don’t have these symptoms, get help if you feel unusually severe pain.
Sometimes stomach pain is mild at first but gets worse after a few hours. You may also develop other symptoms. Get help right away if you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain:
- Extremely hard abdomen
- Inability to have a bowel movement, along with vomiting
- Pain in neck, shoulder, or between shoulder blades
- Vision changes
If you have these symptoms, call for an ambulance or have someone drive you to the emergency room. You should not “wait and see” or take medicine for the pain. Get help right away.
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Full Body Discomfort Or Malaise With Diarrhea Or Constipation
Possible explanation: lactose intolerance
What is it: Lactose is a component of milk-based products that requires an enzyme called lactase in order to be digested. In many people, this enzyme stops being produced in sufficient quantities and the lactose gets passed to the large intestine. Once there, it promotes the growth and activity of some gut bacteria that in turn cause a variety of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms.
Treatment: There is no cure for the gradual lessening of lactase production, but the condition can be mitigated by avoiding milk-based products or by taking lactase supplements that aid in the digestion of lactose.
Gastroenterologist AppointmentSome reasons for your stomach pain are no big deal at all, and theyll usually resolve on their own. But some can indicate a deeper or potentially more dangerous problem. If you have been having stomach pain that lingers, it may be time to talk with a gastroenterologist. Contact Carolina Digestive today to make an appointment and find some much-needed relief.
Common Causes Of Left
The common causes for pains on the left side of the abdominal area are kidney stones, a kidney infection and diverticulitis.
The common symptoms for kidney stones and an infection are:
- pain in the left and/or right abdomen area, the back or the genitals
- fever, shivers and chills
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick
If a kidney stone is too large to pass on its own, then a hospital admission becomes necessary. The avoidance of kidney stones should be discussed with a doctor.
Diverticulitis is an infection that can occur following diverticular disease that affects the large intestine. People with this disease rarely have symptoms until an infection is present. The symptoms caused by the infection are:
- constant, severe abdominal pain
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How K Health Can Help
Find out whats causing your abdominal pain. Did you know you can get free personalized healthcare in the K Health app? Download K, then check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and chat with a doctor for free. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
Gastric Pain And Stomach Ulcer: Whats The Difference
Gastric pain is a term used to describe pain in the middle of the upper abdomen. Often, this pain arises from an irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining. Patients with severe gastritis can get shallow sores in their stomach lining known as erosions. A stomach ulcer is a deeper and open sore which occurs in the stomach lining and the first part of the small intestine. You can get a duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer or peptic ulcer.
Both carry similar symptoms, which include:
- Dull or burning stomach pain in the upper portion of the stomach
- Nausea that may come with or without vomiting
- Weight loss
- Changes in bowel movement
The most common characteristic of a stomach ulcer however is a dull pain around your breastbone and belly which occurs around meal times and wakes you up at night. What you also want to especially look out for are bloody or tarry stools or blood in vomit. If you experience these, please see a doctor immediately as regular gastric pain should not come with those symptoms.
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Treatment Options For Appendicitis
Treatment of appendicitis usually involves the surgical removal of the appendix. Called an appendectomy, this procedure can often be done as an outpatient operation.
There are two types of appendectomies and with both types of surgeries, antibiotics are often prescribed to treat any remaining infection:
Open surgery involves one incision in the lower right abdomen. This is especially helpful if your appendix has burst and the area around the appendix needs to be treated for infection.
Laparoscopic surgery involves a few small incisions.
A tube called a cannula is inserted into one of the incisions. This tube fills the abdomen with gas which expands it and helps the surgeon get a better look at the appendix.
Another thin, flexible tool called a laparoscope is then inserted through that incision. It contains a tiny camera that displays images on a nearby monitor. The camera helps guide the surgeon with instruments , that are inserted through another small incision.
Laparoscopic surgery has fewer risks than open surgery and has a shorter recovery time.
Differential Diagnoses For Left Hypochondriac Pain
Pain in the left hypochondriac region can occur with GERD, gastritis, or gastric ulcers. As well, a splenic rupture, cyst, or other diseases of splenic etiology can present with pain in this regionwhich often radiates to the back. These diseases may also involve anemia of thrombotic origin which can lead to a physical exam finding of splenomegaly.
Figure 3. Differential diagnoses common to the left hypochondriac region include gastroesophageal reflux disease , gastritis, gastric ulcers, and diseases of the spleen .
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Appendicitis Symptoms In Children
Most children will likely complain of a sharp stomach pain. But there are other symptoms, too, such as:
- walking bent over at the waist
- lying on their side with knees drawn upward
- nausea and vomiting
- tenderness to the touch
Keep in mind that children may not be able to describe their symptoms or pain very well, or in much detail.
Foods That Frequently Cause Gas
For example, cramping abdominal pain is commonly due to gas and bloating. It’s generally not caused by something serious , and may be followed by diarrhea.
“Colicky pain,” or abdominal pain that’s severe and comes and goes in waves, is typically the result of kidney stones or gallstones.
If your pain isn’t localized to a specific area, and instead you feel it in more than half of your belly, you may have a stomach virus, indigestion, or gas. Sometimes stress or anxiety causes vague, nonlocalized abdominal pain as well.
If that pain becomes more severe over time, or your abdomen becomes swollen, it could be the result of something obstructing or blocking your large intestine.
The way the pain evolves over time can also be useful in determining whats causing it. Certain conditions tend to cause acute pain over the course of hours or days, while other conditions cause pain that comes and goes but doesnt necessarily worsen over time.
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Differential Diagnosis For Abdominal Pain
While diagnosing an individual with abdominal pain of acute nature, the doctor usually concentrates on regular conditions that bring about stomach pain or abdominal pain and additionally on more severe conditions. The point of pain or the location of the abdominal pain will usually help in diagnosis. For example, when diagnosing a patient with appendicitis, the location of the pain can give a good hint in the diagnosis of the condition.
An ultimate diagnosis is not generally done at the initial visit of the patient accordingly, it is basic to start the assessment by dismissing out severe conditions for example vascular illnesses like mesenteric ischemia and aortic dissection and surgical problems such as cholecystitis and appendicitis. The doctors will also examine the wall of the abdomen related conditions like herpes zoster, muscle strain in light of the fact that these are regularly misdiagnosed.
Different Types Of Stomach Pain And How To Treat Them
Having a tummy ache is one of the most common human medical experiences. Whether from eating too much junk food as a kid or acquiring some kind of virus, we all know what its like to suddenly be racked with stomach problems. Its also pretty universally understood that not all stomach pain is the same. By considering the type and location and severity of the pain, and by noting any accompanying symptoms, its possible to narrow down the possible causes. Below are 8 different kinds of stomach pain that range from relatively common to relatively rare:
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Pathophysiology Of Abdominal Pain:
Neurologic basis for abdominal pain Stretch is the primary mechanical stimulus of the visceral receptors located on serosal surfaces, within the mesentery, and within the walls of hollow viscera. Other mechanical stimulus distention, contraction, traction, compression, and torsion. Localization The type and density of visceral afferent nerves makes the localization of visceral pain imprecise. Most digestive tract pain is observed in the midline because of bilaterally symmetric innervation. Pain that is clearly lateralized most likely arises from the ipsilateral kidney, ureter, ovary, or somatically innervated structures, which have predominantly unilateral innervation. Exceptions to this rule include the gallbladder and ascending and descending colons which, although bilaterally innervated, have predominant innervation located on their ipsilateral sides. Referred pain Pain originating in the viscera may sometimes be perceived as originating from a site distant from the affected organ. Referred pain is usually located in the cutaneous dermatomes sharing the same spinal cord level as the visceral inputs. As an example, pain from an inflamed gallbladder may be perceived in the scapula.
Signs Of Passing A Kidney Stone
David Cameron, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Medical City Lewisville and Medical City McKinney, says that you will know immediately if you are passing a kidney stone, with pain in the side of your back or abdomen.
This is the worst pain of your life that you’re experiencing, Dr. Cameron says. It’s so profound that it’s beyond a 10. You’ll be incapacitated with the pain, quite often. It’ll lead to nausea and vomiting, the pain is so severe.
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How To Know If You’re Having Gas Or Contractions
Your baby can mess with your digestive system. First, there’s morning sickness. Then, as hormones slow the digestive process and your growing baby starts to squeeze everything in your abdomen, you may end up with gas, indigestion, and a whole host of other unsavory issues. Truly. When you’re pregnant, tummy troubles abound. But how do you know if that uncomfortable feeling in your belly is your baby signaling their impending arrivalor simply your lunchtime burrito causing trouble? Here’s how to figure out if you’re having contractions or gas.
Differential Diagnoses For Hypogastric Pain
Pain in the hypogastrium could be caused by appendicitis or diverticulitis. However, diverticulitis may start with pain in the lower left quadrant if it involves the sigmoid and left colon.
Ischemic colitis often presents with pain and bright red rectal bleeding from a vascular etiology such as mesenteric ischemia. The left colon is commonly associated with ischemic colitis because of watershed areas found near the splenic flexure in the distal transverse colon and in the upper rectum.
Cystitis or a urinary tract infection can also cause pain in the hypogastric region.
Figure 8. Differential diagnoses common to the hypogastric region include appendicitis, diverticulitis, ischemic colitis, cystitis, and a urinary tract infection.
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