Causes And Risk Factors Of Abdominal Pain
While we dont usually feel the inner workings of our abdomen, pain can occur when there is a disruption of the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue inside.
Abdominal pain can be caused by inflammation , organ distention or stretching , or loss of blood supply .
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary supplements, can cause stomach pain. Medications can do this by irritating the stomach, leading to nausea, pain, and diarrhea, or by slowing digestion, leading to constipation. Be sure to check the label of any drug you take to see if abdominal pain is listed as a possible side effect.
- Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
- Emotional upset
Possible Causes Of Lower Abdominal Pain In Men
The pain is caused by increased strain that abdominal muscles are under in constipation. The muscle strain is accompanied by increased pressure surrounding them and may make the abdominal pain worse.
Men between the ages of 11 and 40 are at risk of appendicitis. Other symptoms of appendicitis include vomiting, fever and loss of appetite. The first sign of the condition is the dull pain near the navel or the upper or lower abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen. The appendix will be surgically removed before it ruptures and infects the entire system.
Hernias cause lower abdominal pain in men, specifically on the right side of the abdomen. A hernia is soft tissue that protrudes and hits the wall of the abdomen, causing pain. Pain can also be felt in the groin and upper thigh area.
4. Testicular Torsion
Testicular torsion occurs when a testicle is coiled. In addition to lower abdominal pain, a man may also experience vomiting, nausea and general testicular pain. The pain is usually sporadic, however becomes more constant as the condition becomes more severe.
5. Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis occurs in the large bowel. The pain is concentrated on the lower right side of the abdomen. Ulcerative colitis is typically accompanied by weight loss and bloody stool. You may also have rectal pain and bleeding. You may be unable to defecate despite the urgency to do so.
6. Kidney Stones
7. Food Poisoning
Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers
The pain from an ulcer may come and go. The pain is in the top part of your gut but may also feel like it goes through into your back. The pain often comes at night and wakes you up. Food may make it better in some types of ulcer, or may make it worse. See the separate leaflets called Stomach Ulcer and Duodenal Ulcer for more details.
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When It’s Not An Emergency
If your stomach pain is not severe, persistent, or associated with concerning symptoms like those already discussed, it is likely to resolve on its own. Abdominal pain is usually caused by minor problems such as constipation, trapped gas, or eating something that didn’t agree with you, like a high dairy meal or a spice that you aren’t used to.
Waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas usually helps. There are a few things you can do so that you can be more comfortable and to help relieve your symptoms as your pain resolves:
- Limit yourself to clear liquids for a few hours.
- If you experience vomiting and/or diarrhea, stick with the BRAT diet and other mild foods until your symptoms start to subside.
- Avoid foods that are tough on the digestive system, such as food that is high in fat, fried foods, spicy foods, and drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Try an over-the-counter antacid or gas-relieving product.
- Try to have a bowel movement. Often, eating raw fruit, vegetables, beans, or high-fiber cereal can help.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. This may help to soothe your pain. Place the pad on your abdomen for half-hour intervals and be sure to use a towel under the pad to protect your skin.
Your symptoms may completely improve within one to two days. If they do not, call your doctor’s office for advice.
Common Causes Of Stomach Pain
Harmless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours.
- Gas: Formed in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food, this can cause general stomach pain and cramps. This often can be indicated by belching or flatulence.
- Bloating: Related to gas, this occurs when excessive gas builds up in your digestive tract. Your stomach will usually feel full, and you may experience cramps.
- Constipation: This occurs when you are having difficulty making bowel movements. If you are having two or fewer bowel movements a week, constipation is the likely cause. In addition to feeling bloated and nauseous, you may experience cramping and pain in your rectum.
- Indigestion: You typically experience this as an upset stomach, burning, or belly pain after eating.
- Stomach flu: Your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
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Ovulation Pain Or Midcycle Spotting
Mittelschmerz is a German word that translates as “middle pain.” It refers to the normal discomfort sometimes felt by women during ovulation, which is at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle.
Each month, one of the two ovaries forms a follicle that holds an egg cell. The pain occurs when the follicle ruptures and releases the egg.
This is a dull, cramping sensation that may begin suddenly in only one side of the lower abdomen. In a few cases, there may be vaginal spotting. Mittelschmerz occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period.
Actual Mittelschmerz is not associated with nausea, vomiting, fever, or severe pelvic pain. These symptoms should be evaluated by a medical provider since they can indicate a more serious condition.
Diagnosis is made through patient history.
Treatment requires only over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. An oral contraceptive will stop the symptoms, since it also stops ovulation.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , last period approximately 2 weeks ago, vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, pelvis pain
Symptoms that always occur with ovulation pain or midcycle spotting: last period approximately 2 weeks ago
Eat Plenty Of 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.
Have plenty to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet .
Further reading and references
Cartwright SL, Knudson MP Evaluation of acute abdominal pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Apr 177:971-8.
Zgheib H, Wakil C, Shayya S, et al Retrospective cohort study on clinical predictors for acute abnormalities on CT scan in adult patients with abdominal pain. Eur J Radiol Open. 2020 Jan 277:100218. doi: 10.1016/j.ejro.2020.01.007. eCollection 2020.
Dysmenorrhoea NICE CKS, November 2018
Constipation NICE CKS, November 2020
Constipation in children NICE CKS, November 2020
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What Is Abdominal Pain Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Most people experience abdominal discomfort or pain at some point in their lives. Abdominal pain is usually felt in the part of the trunk below the ribs, above the pelvis and the groin. It can range in intensity from a mild ache to severe, disabling pain.
While abdominal pain isnt normal, it isnt necessarily serious, and it often resolves itself.
Pain Just Above The Pubic Bone
If you experience pain just above the pubic bone it could be one of the following:
Bladder pain is generally a low central pain. Cramping and burning during or after passing urine might indicate an infection. With a urine infection you might need to go for a wee more often, notice blood in your urine and feel tired and sick. If your symptoms arent settling with plenty of fluids, then you need to see your doctor for possible antibiotics. Bladder stones can cause pain in this area too with a sharper, more severe pain and difficulty passing urine.
Its common for conditions of the testicles to be felt low in the abdomen, either centrally or to one side. This includes inflammation or infections such as sexually transmitted infections. Trauma to the testicles might be felt in the abdomen too. If youre experiencing abdominal pain and notice any lumps or bumps in your testicles, skin changes or any discharge from the penis then see your doctor.
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Causes Of Lower Left Abdominal Pain In Men:
There are several reasons of pain in lower left abdomen in males. The most common causes are listed below:
In most of the cases pain in lower left side of abdomen is caused due to a medical condition known as diverticulitis. The development of small pouch like structures in the week spots inside the colon results in abnormal swelling, infection and pain in lower left side of abdomen. The small pouches which develop inside the colon are known as diverticula and the condition is known as diverticulitis. The condition is common in makes as they cross 40 years. Other symptoms of the disease are fever with abdominal tenderness and swelling, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea along with mild pain in lower left side of abdomen, or sharp lower left abdominal pain. When the disease is at the beginning, it can be treated with the help of antibiotics and simple dietary changes while in acute conditions surgery is recommended. It is therefore recommended to consult your doctor if you experience dull pain in lower left abdomen in males to rule out the risk of complications.
Treatment For Abdominal Pain In Adults
Your treatment depends on what is causing your pain, but may include:
- Pain relief your pain may not go away fully with painkillers, but it should ease.
- Fluids you may have fluids given into a vein to correct fluid loss and rest your bowel.
- Medicines for example, you may be given something to stop you vomiting.
- Fasting your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink anything until the cause of your pain is known.
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Most Common Causes For Pelvic Pain In Men
Men should understand what may be the causes of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain in women is also common. Some causes are similar. In most cases, however, the causes may be linked to the male reproductive organs.
Chronic prostatitis, for example, has been shown to contribute to pelvic pain. In such a case, the pelvic pain is likely to become chronic. This means learning more about prostatitis symptoms2 is crucial for male patients. This becomes even more important if the patient experiences chronic pelvic pain.
In this section, we consider the common reasons why male patients may experience pelvic pain. Men should be educated about all of these causes. This allows them to determine why they may be suffering from the symptoms. It also helps the man identify whether the cause behind symptoms may be serious.
When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have a variety of causes, some of which you can address by resting, avoiding heavy and spicy foods, taking medication, or using a heating pad. Others, however, may require urgent medical care.
While it can be hard to determine this on your own, at least with total certainty, there are some guidelines you can use to figure out if you should head to the ER, your doctor’s office, or try some at-home solutions. Regardless of how your case matches up if you feel severe, out-of-the-norm pain that you think needs immediate attention, seek it.
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What Medications Can Be Used To Treat Certain Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Medications that are used for the treatment of underlying cause of the pain are the medications of choice. For example, medications are not needed for the treatment of 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 , although some medications may be used while the person is waiting to have surgery.
What Organs Are In The Abdomen
The abdominal area is a large body cavity that is technically located between the thoracic cavity and the pelvic cavity. It is home to organs and tissues that are part of numerous body systems, including the digestive system, endocrine system, and the enteric nervous system. The stomach, spleen, large intestine, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, and adrenal glands are all closely packed into the space. It is because there is so much activity in the region that pain as a symptom can be hard to determine the cause of.
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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.
Prevention Of Abdominal Pain
In many cases, abdominal pain can be prevented by adopting lifestyle and dietary choices that address the cause of your pain. Constipation, digestive upset, and even abdominal injury can often be prevented.
The following steps may help you prevent abdominal pain:
Drink plenty of water.
Develop regular bowel habits. Many people can train themselves to have regular bowel movements to help avoid constipation.
Follow a balanced, fiber-filled diet. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, can help support healthy digestion and reduce constipation.
Eat regularly and slowly. Eating moderately-sized meals, instead of waiting until youre very hungry and stuffing yourself, can help avoid pain from overeating or eating on an empty stomach.
Exercise regularly. Getting enough physical activity can help prevent constipation and strengthen your abdominal muscles, which may help prevent straining.
Wear a seatbelt properly.
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What Is Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is a symptom that refers to pain that occurs between the groin and navel. Many men tend to experience such pain symptoms. There are also a large number of factors that have been associated with pelvic pain.
Acute abdominal pain: Sometimes, the pain will be acute. This means the man develops symptoms in their pelvic floor or another region of their pelvis for a short period. In such a case, a minor injury might have occurred. There are, however, cases where the pain can become chronic.
Chronic abdominal pain: Most commonly, chronic pelvic pain syndrome is considered when the pain becomes consistent.
It is important to note that pelvic pain can be specific. In such a case, a particular area of the pelvic region will be affected. When pain is specific, it may help a physician gain a better idea of the potential cause of the condition.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome has become an increasing concern among men. In one report, the NIDDK states that up to 15% of the male population may show signs of this condition1. Just as the causes vary, the treatment also differs from one patient to the next.
Recognizing symptoms helps with early detection of an underlying cause. This ensures appropriate treatment can be initiated during an earlier stage. It may also help to reduce the risk of more serious complications.
Other Common Causes Of Pain In The Lower Abdomen
Other common causes of pain in the lower abdomen include:
Have you suffered with any other causes of lower abdominal pain not mentioned here? We would like to hear from you. Please use the box below to help add to the list of causes of lower abdominal pain. Remember to share the details of your experience with this condition.
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Common Causes Of Lower Left Abdominal Pain In Men
Almost every man will experience abdominal pain at some time during his life, especially on the lower left side. This area is home to myriad organs, including the stomach, small and large intestines, kidneys, pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
For this reason, lower-left abdominal pain could be indicative of several different ailments, ranging from excess gas to kidney stones or appendicitis 6.
The concern for men, however, is that they are less likely to seek medical assistance than their female counterparts, says Rusha Modi, MD, a Los Angeles-based board-certified physician in internal medicine, gastroenterology and hepatology, and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California 3.
Fear of physicians, embarrassment or stigma, as well as a desire to be stoic or strong can sometimes be reasons that limit men’s ability to get help for pain, he tells LIVESTRONG.com.
One general rule of thumb Dr. Modi uses with patients is to ask them if the pain they are experiencing is interrupting their daily routine. If they have to regularly move, eat or sleep differently or with difficulty because of the pain, then it’s worth investigating, he says. Pain, while unpleasant, is a useful signal that may indicate underlying health problems, so it is best not to ignore it.