Tests For Diagnosing The Cause Of Abdominal Pain
In many cases, doctors and other providers can determine or at least suspect the cause just by your symptoms. For example, abdominal pain with and fever suggests a bladder infection. Imaging exams and blood and urine tests may be necessary to pinpoint the cause of abdominal pain and determine the best treatment.
The cause of abdominal pain can be difficult to diagnose in some cases. If you have continued abdominal pain without a diagnosis, seek a second opinion.
Home Remedies For Abdominal Pain
Getting an accurate medical diagnosis is the first and safest step to relieve abdominal pain, because a doctor or other healthcare provider can perform an exam and order tests to rule out serious causes. However, if you have generalized abdominal pain and suspect it is due to minor gastrointestinal issues, consider these home remedies:
- Baking soda for heartburn
- Ginger to aid digestion and reduce nausea
- Heated compress on your belly for cramp-like pain
- Liquid diet of broth and watered-down, non-caffeinated sports drinks
- Lying reclined on your left side, which can help you pass gas
- Modifying your diet to exclude problem foods, such as dairy products, beans, broccoli, and potential allergens
- Blackstrap molasses for constipation
- Tylenol for pain or fever
Do You Think You Have The Stomach Flu Or A Stomach Bug
It is probably norovirus, a common virus that is not related to the flu. Norovirus is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, and foodborne illness.
- body aches
Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines. This is called acute gastroenteritis.
A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.
If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill, and vomit or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- dry mouth and throat
- feeling dizzy when standing up
Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.
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The Pain Is On Your Left Side
The stomach and upper part of the colon are located in the upper left side of your abdomen, and pain there can signal a stomach ulcer or gastroenteritis, Dr. Alaedeen says. Gastroenteritis, often called stomach flu, is inflammation of the intestines and often brings diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and stomach pain.
Pain in the lower left part of your abdomen may be linked to diverticulitis, which is inflammation of the diverticula, the bulges in the wall of your colon. Swelling, constipation, and pain are common symptoms.
Related: Food Poisoning vs. Stomach FluWhat’s the Difference?
You Have Bloody Stool
If your sharp pain comes with bloody stool or vomit, it might be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Ulcers, colon cancer, and bacterial infections, such as from E. coli or salmonella, also come with these symptoms.
“If the pain is associated with vomiting, fever, blood in the stool, if the stomach is tender to the touch or it is difficult to walk because of the pain, or if the pain is very severe, you should go to a doctor to be evaluated,” says Dr. Roshini Raj, MD, board-certified gastroenterologist, internist, and wellness expert.
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Certain Types Of Cancer
Colon cancer, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and some other types may cause gastric symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. Some forms of cancer may go undiagnosed until gastric symptoms occur.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can also cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Let your doctor know if your symptoms are accompanied by:
Your doctor can diagnose lactose intolerance with a hydrogen breath test. Avoiding foods containing lactose is the best way to avoid symptoms.
When To Contact A Clinician
Persistent or severe abdominal pain, especially if unrelieved by vomiting or passing a bowel movement
Fever greater than 101 degrees F, not relieved by acetaminophen, or any fever that lasts more than three days
Vomiting or diarrhea without any improvement for more 24 hours
Blood in vomit or stools
No urination for more than 8 hours, or painful urination
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Is Stomach Flu Contagious
Viral stomach flu spreads easily to others. You can catch a stomach flu virus any time of the year, but the common norovirus is more widespread from November to April when people tend to be more indoors. Because a variety of viruses can cause stomach flu, you might get different versions of gastroenteritis many times throughout life.
Its spread from person to person by coming into contact with tiny, invisible particles from a sick persons stool or vomit if you:
- Touch a surface and come in contact with the germs and you touch food or your mouth.
- Eat or drink food or beverages that have a sick persons germs.
- Have close contact with someone who has stomach flu .
Can Rice Cakes Cause Diarrhea
Can Rice Cakes Cause Diarrhea – Six Foods That Cause Diarrhea. A plain rice cake, by contrast, weighs only nine grams, but almost 80. However, rice cakes do have benefits for general and specific health conditions. It is possible that rice cakes may make you gain weight. You may get cramps in your belly or feel like your bowel movement isn’t finished. The sickness that some people call stomach flu can cause diarrhea;.
340 participated, including children, their families, and kindergarten staff, of which 136 began suffering from symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever;. It can also lead to unhealthy weight loss. It’s not only bad for your stomach, but it can also lead to heart;. Medical treatments, such as antibiotics and some;. In order to prevent food poisoning due to rice cakes, we will inform you.
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Is The Stomach Flu Worse In Some People
In general, most people recover quickly from the stomach flu. Symptoms can be worse in babies, young children, older adults or anyone of any age that is immune-compromised. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration within just a short period of time, depending on the circumstances. Signs of dehydration include:
- Extreme thirst.
- General weakness.
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s;concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.;
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis; the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated;stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis; inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones; small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis; inflammation of the small pouches;in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with;antibiotics;in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital;immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle;in your abdomen or by an injury.
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What To Do If Youre Experiencing Chronic Stomach Pain Or Diarrhea
Stomach pain and diarrhea are often short-lived and require no special treatment.
However, there is a long list of medical conditions and medications that can cause GI symptoms to last for weeks.
These include infections, inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities or allergies, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, stress and anxiety, and medications like NSAIDs and antibiotics.
Because there are many different reasons for chronic stomach pain and diarrhea, its important to check with a healthcare provider to detect an underlying cause.
Knowing the root of your symptoms will lead to an effective treatment and some much needed relief.
About Joe Leech, Dietitian
Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.
Learn more about him on the About page.;
Joe Leech, Dietitian
The Pain Is On The Right Side
Appendicitis is one of the most common reasons people go to the emergency room for sharp abdominal pain, Dr. Alaedeen says. The appendix is located on the lower right side of your abdomen, and the pain often starts near the belly button and moves to the lower right in appendicitis.
If the pain is in the upper right, it may be gallbladder inflammation, called cholecystitis. Along with abdominal pain, other signs of the condition include fever, tenderness in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and bloating.
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If Your Stomach Hurts Suddenly
Acute stomach pain comes on quickly and lasts for a limited amount of time, typically a few hours to a few days. It’s usually caused by external factors, like a particular food or contaminant that didn’t agree with your stomach. Even people with completely healthy digestive tracts will experience occasional stomach pain.
Immediate Action Required: Call 999 Or Go To A&e If You Or Your Child:
- vomit blood or have vomit that looks like ground coffee
- have green or yellow-green vomit
- might have swallowed something poisonous
- have a stiff neck and pain when looking at bright lights
- have a sudden, severe headache or stomach ache
- Severe pain:
- always there and so bad it’s hard to think or talk
- you cannot sleep
- it’s very hard to move, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash or dress
- Moderate pain:
- makes it hard to concentrate or sleep
- you can manage to get up, wash or dress
- Mild pain:
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What Are The Potential Complications Of Abdominal Pain
Complications of abdominal pain depend on the underlying cause, but can range from missed school or work to malnutrition to life-threatening infections. Getting an accurate diagnosis and following your treatment plan will help you avoid complications. Over time, abdominal pain can lead to serious complications including:
- due to blood loss
- Dehydration due to loss of fluids
- Organ failure
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Children
As in adults, abdominal pain and diarrhea in children are commonly caused by the stomach flu, infections, food allergies, lactose intolerance, and stress. But eating too much can also cause these symptoms. Some children may have trouble telling the difference between when theyre hungry and when theyre full. This can cause them to overeat. Overeating places stress on the digestive system, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- swelling of the genitals
- external bleeding
Diarrhea can be more dangerous for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. In these cases, discuss symptoms with a medical professional.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Abdominal Pain And Nausea Caused By Medications
Stomach pain and nausea could be the side effects of certain medications. For example, some drugs can irritate the stomach and cause increased gas, diarrhea, constipation, and make you feel that you want to throw up.
Dr. William Blahd says that some of the common medications that can cause nausea and stomach pain are:23
- Aspirin. The continual use of aspirin can erode your stomach lining and lead to ulcers. This can cause upper abdominal pain, burning sensation in your chest, and a possible upset stomach.
- Antibiotics. If you need to take antibiotics to treat serious bacterial infections, you might find that they make you nauseous with a sore stomach. Dr. Everett Stephens on eMedicineHealth says that antibiotics can also cause severe watery diarrhea, gas, and vomiting.24
- Opioid painkillers. Powerful painkillers can cause stomach cramps, nausea, and make you constipated.
- Iron supplements. If you take iron supplements to address the symptoms of anemia, you may suffer from digestive discomfort. This can include dull stomach pain, nausea, constipation, and a metallic taste in your mouth.
Other Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can also be caused by problems in body systems other than the digestive tract including:
- Abdominal trauma: Damage of the organs or blood vessels within the abdomen can result in , even if there is no sign of trauma from the outside. Always seek professional medical care after an accident or injury from blunt force or an explosion to rule out internal damage.
- Abdominal tumor or mass: Ranging from a simple cyst to cancer, an causing pain and other symptoms requires prompt medical attention to diagnose and treat the problem.
- : A condition in which the uterine lining grows abnormally outside the uterus. Symptoms include lower back and abdominal pain during and after your period, cramps, , and heavy bleeding. Medication can help relieve endometriosis symptoms; surgery is necessary in some cases.
- Hernia: A painful is one sign of an . A hernia causing problems in the lower abdomen is usually an . A painful hernia may involve surgical repair.
- : Symptoms vary widely depending on the cause; is usually severe and felt in the side of the abdomen and moves into the lower abdomen and groin. Treatment also depends on the cause.
- Medication side effect: Examples include anti-cancer drugs, , and sodium phosphate.
- Ovarian cyst: Although they dont often cause symptoms, ovarian cysts symptoms include lower abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, pain with bowel movements, and possible changes in menstruation. See a gynecologist for signs of ovarian cysts.
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Causes Of Recurrent Stomach Pains
- Stress or Worries. The most common cause of frequent stomach pains is stress. Over 10% of children have a “worried stomach.” These children tend to be sensitive and too serious. They often are model children. This can make them more at risk to the normal stresses of life. Examples of these events are changing schools, moving or family fights. The pain is in the pit of the stomach or near the belly button. The pain is real.
- Abdominal Migraine. Attacks of stomach pain and vomiting with sudden onset and offset. Often occur in children who later develop migraine headaches. Strongly genetic.
- Functional Abdominal Pains. Functional means the stomach pains are due to a sensitive GI tract. The GI tract is free of any disease.
- School Avoidance. Stomach pains that mainly occur in the morning on school days. They keep the child from going to school.
Lower Back Pain And Diarrhea Treatment
There are several medical and at-home treatments for lower back pain and diarrhea, depending on the cause.
General back pain and diarrhea that are unrelated can often be relieved using home remedies. If a medical condition is causing your symptoms, your doctor will need to treat the underlying cause of your lower back pain and diarrhea.
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What You Need To Know:
The cause of severe stomach pain and diarrhea depends on the time frame of your symptom.
The recent onset of severe abdominal pain and diarrhea in the middle of the night is often due to infections and foodborne illnesses . Chronic or recurrent incursions of night diarrhea and stomach pain have a wider ranger of the possible cause.;
Today, You will learn about the distinguishing features of each cause. Although the article is written by a gastroenterologist, dont use it as a substitute for medical advice.
Causes of acute attack:
- An acute attack of food intolerance or allergy.
- Recent intake of a drug that causes diarrhea.
Causes of chronic attacks:
- Less frequent causes: Endocrinal disease, SIBO, chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and others.;;
Below, we will explain the symptoms & features of the common causes.
How Can I Treat Abdominal Pain
If you have abdominal pain, keeping warm and placing a heat pack or hot water bottle on your stomach may help.
If your abdominal pain does not require you to stop eating and drinking, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of clear, non-alcoholic fluids. If you have a medical condition that restricts your fluid intake, check with your doctor about how much fluid you can have.
Eat small meals and – foods such as rice, dry toast or bananas. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine until 48 hours after the pain has gone away.
Several medicines can help if you have non-acute abdominal pain, including:
- paracetamol to ease the pain
- charcoal tablets or similar for wind pain
- medicines to ease spasms
- medicines to stop diarrhoea
Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen and naproxen since these can irritate your stomach. A pharmacist can advise you about the most appropriate medicine for your abdominal pain.
In more serious cases, the treatment recommended will depend on the cause and severity of the abdominal pain, and how long you have had it. Treatment may include following a particular diet in the long term; getting more exercise; taking medicines; or having surgery.
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