What is Abdominal Pain?
The abdomen is the part of the body located between the lower ribs and the pelvic bone and extends to the flanks on either side.
Pain in this area can be muscular, but usually, the term abdominal pain is reserved for discomfort originating from organs within the abdominal cavity which include:
• Small Intestine
• Spleen, and
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What Causes Abdominal Pain?
There are several causes of abdominal pain,
1. Inflammation of an organ within the abdominal cavity such as:
2. Stretching or Distention of an Organ such as:
- Obstruction of the intestine
- Blockage of a bile duct due to gallstones
- Swelling of the liver from hepatitis
3. Loss of Blood Supply to an Organ
- Ischemic Colitis
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), it is unclear what exactly causes the pain, but doctors believe it could be either of these:
- Abnormal contractions or spasms of the intestinal muscles
- Abnormally sensitive nerves within the intestines also known as visceral hypersensitivity
5. Crohn’s Disease
6. Food Poisoning
How to Prevent Abdominal Pain
There are many causes of abdominal pain, most can be prevented with a proper diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits which provide fiber, avoiding fried foods and for those with IBS avoiding spicy dishes.
In the event of a hepatitis outbreak, individuals should:
- Wash their hands thoroughly
- Only drink from clean water sources, avoid public water fountains
- Avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish
- Do not buy food from street vendors
- Practice safe sex
To avoid developing ischemic colitis patients are advised to:
- Exercise regularly
- Follow a healthy diet
- Control cholesterol levels
- Seek medical attention to control heart disease that may cause blood clots
- Avoid smoking
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Symptoms of Abdominal Pain
The type and location of the abdominal pain vary depending on the cause.
Intense pain in the lower right side of the abdomen usually starts as a vaguely uncomfortable feeling around the navel. The pain might be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and a mild fever.
Severe pain that starts in the upper abdomen and can spread to the sides and back. Pain crisis usually follows a heavy meal or heavy drinking. Other symptoms of pancreatitis include fever, nausea, vomiting, skin turning a yellowish color, and a racing heartbeat.
The pain manifests in the upper right side of the abdomen and radiates to the right upper back, chest, or shoulder. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and gas.
Moderate to severe cramps that come and go, these may flare after a meal. Other symptoms may include vomiting that smells like stools, watery, ribbons like stools or no stools at all.
Pain or tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen usually accompanied by fever. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, chills, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or constipation.
Chronic abdominal pain, yellowing skin, and eyes, accompanied by dark urine.
Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis
Dull stomach pain that comes and goes that becomes aggravated when the stomach is empty and seems to improve or disappear after a meal. Other symptoms include indigestion, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, gas, and dark stools.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Vague, widespread cramp-like pain accompanied by bloating, gas, tiredness, and occasional nausea. There could also be diarrhea, constipation, or bouts of both.
Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, which could be accompanied by unexplained weight loss, skin rashes, tiredness, joint pain, fever, and mucus or blood in the stools.
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When to Go to The Emergency
At Prestige ER, we are available 24/7 because an accident or illness complication can happen at any time. Do not risk your health for not getting help from the ER experts, visit us immediately on 7940 Custer Road Plano, Texas 75025.
Patients should be checked by an ER physician if:
- Their abdominal pain is severe, and it does not go away or if it keeps coming back
- The patient has been unable to keep food down for more than 2-days
- Patient hasn’t had a bowel movement and is vomiting
- Patient shows any signs of dehydration
- The abdomen is tender to the touch
- Patient vomits blood
- Stools are bloody or black
- The Abdomen is swollen
- Skin and or eyes turn a yellowish color
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Texas, Near Frisco and Allen
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