Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain refers to pain that happens anywhere between the chest and the torso. Because so many different organs are found in that part of the body, this type of pain can be caused by a multitude of different things. Learn more about the symptoms, potential causes, and risks that are associated with abdominal pain - along with possible treatments - below.

Symptoms
Many different symptoms are associated with abdominal pain. Such pain may be mild enough to only cause slight discomfort; at other times, it may be severe enough to make a person double over in pain. Abdominal pain sometimes occurs in waves, but it can be constant too. The acute abdominal pain stops after a short amount of time. Chronic abdominal pain continues over long periods of time. It is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, but that is not always the case.

Potential Causes
There are dozens of potential causes for abdominal pain. To narrow down the list of possible causes, it helps to pinpoint precisely where the pain originates. Generalized abdominal pain may be caused by excessive gas; sharp, stabbing pain in the abdomen could be caused by something as innocuous as a pulled muscle or by something more serious. Additional causes of abdominal pain include gallstones, the stomach flu, injury, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, a urinary tract infection, appendicitis or endometriosis.

Risks

Everyone experiences abdominal pain from time to time. As noted above, such pain is sometimes triggered by completely harmless causes. Certain situations do warrant trips to the emergency room, however. If you experience severe abdominal pain that worsens when you move, or if you simply can't get comfortable in any position, you should seek medical attention. If your abdominal pain is accompanied by symptoms like bloody diarrhea, vomiting, chest pain or persistent nausea, you should consult a doctor as well. Chronic abdominal pain should also be brought to the attention of a medical professional.

Treatments
Treatments for abdominal pain vary and depend on what's causing the pain. Ibuprofen and aspirin irritate the stomach and should not be used to treat abdominal pain. Conditions like gallstones typically require surgical intervention; medications are often prescribed for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and gas pain. The only way to receive the right treatment is by seeking medical attention. In most cases, abdominal pain can be handled without any extreme or invasive measures. The longer treatment is avoided, though, the more severe the problem can become.

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