When to Start Worrying About Abdominal Pain

When to Start Worrying About Abdominal Pain

Everybody gets stomachaches or cramps every now and then. These pains usually are nothing to worry about, and they eventually pass. However, some abdominal pains can be sharp and sudden, sometimes so intense that they require you to sit or lay down. In some cases, these pains require an examination by a physician. If the pain is severe, sudden, or interrupts your life; if you are pregnant; if you just finished eating; or if the pain started as all over, then reduced down to one area, it’s recommended that you visit the ER to get checked out.

In addition, abdominal pain that is accompanied by any of the following will require medical attention:

  • Bleeding when pregnant
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Blood in stool
  • Dark or pink tinge in urine
  • Inability to urinate, have a bowel movement or pass gas
  • Pain in other areas, such as the neck, shoulder, or arm

What tests are used to diagnose abdominal pain?

Tests such as ultrasound and blood or urine tests may be used to determine a diagnosis.

What are possible causes of abdominal pain?

There are many things that can cause abdominal pain. Some are more difficult to diagnose, though some are fairly obvious based on the symptoms that are presented. Some things that can cause discomfort are:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Appendicitis
  • Gallstones
  • Hepatitis
  • Ulcers
  • Diverticulitis
  • Cholecystitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney infection
  • Bladder infection
  • Hernia
  • Food poisoning
  • Cancer
  • Gynecological conditions
  • Cysts or abscesses

How is abdominal pain treated?

Treatment for abdominal pain depends on the diagnosis of the problem. Issues such as appendicitis, a cyst or a hernia most often require surgery. Conditions such as diverticulitis or ulcers, on the other hand, can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes. Infections can be treated with medications. Food poisoning may not require any intervention, though IVs may be needed if there is dehydration. Feel free to ask your physician any questions you have about your condition to ensure that you fully understand the diagnosis and treatment.