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Pain the Abdomen can be due to many different causes including inflammatory, obstruction, cancer related, or trauma.
As the abdomen contains many important organs including the stomach and the intestines, liver, pancreas, kidneys, gall bladder, urinary bladder, ovaries and uterus in women, among other organs, the pain in the abdomen can originate in any one of these organs. The pain may start in the abdomen or even in your chest.
Causes of abdominal pain
Many different medical conditions can cause abdominal pain. If the abdominal pain is severe or persistent, you would need to seek immediate medical help and even for a milder pain, you do want to know what might be causing it and how to reverse it.
Some of the milder causes of abdominal pain include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food allergies or food intolerance (such as lactose intolerance)
- Food poisoning
- Stomach flu
Serious causes of abdominal pain
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Bowel obstruction
- Cancer of the stomach, colon, and other organs
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) with or without gallstones
- Ischemic bowel
- Heartburn, indigestion, or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Kidney stones
- Pancreatitis (swelling or infection of the pancreas)
- Stomach ulcer
Sometimes, abdominal pain may occur due to a problem somewhere else in the body, such as the following:
- Heart attack
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Muscle strain
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Urinary tract infections
How to diagnose and treat abdominal pain
- Barium enema
- Blood, urine, and stool tests
- CT scan
- Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
- EKG (electrocardiogram) or heart tracing
- Ultrasound of the abdomen
- Upper GI and small bowel series
- X-rays of the abdomen
Abdominal pain in children
Abdominal pain can be caused by a number of things and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Common causes of abdominal pain in children include:
- an injury or pulled muscle caused by a direct blow or sporting injury
- menstrual (period) pain in girls who have started their periods
- nerves, excitement or worry
- trapped wind
- lower urinary tract problems, such as cystitis (as suggested by lower abdominal pain).
Most abdominal pain is mild and will clear up without treatment in a few days. Severe or persistent pain, especially when your child has other symptoms, such as a fever, requires close monitoring and may need further medical assessment.
Treatment of abdominal pain
Treatment of abdominal pain depends on the cause. Contact your physician if you have abdominal pain.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Drink plenty of water each day.
- Eat small meals more frequently.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit foods that produce gas.
- Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables.