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When it comes to abdominal pain, there are several potential factors to consider that could be causing your symptoms. One of the first things that you must do when you notice abdominal pain is going to the emergency department to rule out a heart attack. Even if in most cases the pain would be felt around your chest and your jaw, dull pain can be felt throughout the body and can worsen with movement so it is important you check your heart to make sure this is not the cause of your discomfort. A heart attack is unlikely but it is serious so it is something that you do not want to delay treating. 

Another potential cause of abdominal pain that increases with movement could be from some type of a hernia. If patients have big bellies, ligaments that help stabilize your core muscles can weaken and hernia. These hernias can become worse when a patient is engaging their abdominal muscles like trying to sit up or they may have a hernia in their inguinal region. This will have similar symptoms of increased pain with movement but localized to around your groin. A simple physical examination should be able to diagnose a hernia and patients may find their hernia self-corrects on its own, or that a simple surgery implanting surgical mesh to support the weakened ligament can solve the problem. 

Intestinal gas can also cause discomfort when you are noticing pain with movement. Most people don't realize how high our intestinal tracts actually lie on our torso and many can confuse intestinal problems with the stomach. Eating gassy foods can manifest as upper abdominal pain. Along the same lines, so can any type of food poisoning. Patients may even feel the pain that is traveling around their intestines but this will pass with time. 

Pancreatitis is another potential cause of abdominal pain that increases with movement. Due to the positioning of the pancreas, any movement can lead to worsening pain, especially if the pancreas is inflamed. Medications, trauma or stones are some of the lesser common reasons why you may have pancreatitis but the most common reason by far would be excessive alcohol consumption. Even occasional binge drinking (having a few beers with friends on a Friday night) can lead to pancreatitis. Patients diagnosed with pancreatitis will need to stop drinking to give the pancreas time to heal and must also eat low-fat foods to prevent overworking the pancreas. Inflammation can be diagnosed with an ultrasound examination and simple blood tests. 

Problems with your gallbladder will be the last condition I'll highlight. This could also be associated with abdominal pain that increases with movement. The gallbladder is located on your right side just under your last ribs and gallbladder stones are potential reasons you may have pain. Eating fatty foods, being overweight or in a woman's case, having multiple children can predispose you to have gallbladder stones. An ultrasound examination will be needed to diagnose the presence of stones and patients may be given medications or require an operation to remove their gallbladder. [1]


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