The abdomen is an important part of the human body and it contains important organs like stomach, intestines, liver, and gallbladder. It is also known to be very sensitive, because most of the inside of the abdomen is covered by a mucus membrane.
Any problem in any of the abdominal organs usually results in abdominal pain and discomfort. Most of the diseases present with specific symptoms, however, there are some disorders that present vaguely and are hard to pick. Listed below are the most common conditions that result in constant abdominal pain and are usually hard to diagnose.
Ulcers In The Digestive Tract
Damage caused to the mucus membrane of the digestive tract causes it to break, resulting in the formation of ulcers. This could be a single ulcer or even multiple ulcers. The most common type of digestive tract ulcer is a "peptic ulcer". These ulcers are formed in the inner lining of the mucus membrane of the stomach. There are several reasons that may cause these ulcers. The most common causes are:
- Helicobater Pylori infection -- a type of bacteria that causes ulcers in the stomach (gastritis).
- Overuse of medicines -- painkillers are toxic to the stomach. Overuse of painkillers results in stomach ulcers.
- Stress and anxiety -- experts believe that stress and anxiety cause the body to secrete excessive acid in the stomach. This excess of acid damages the walls of stomach resulting in the development of ulcers.
There are many other possibilities of developing ulcers and in many cases these possibilities remain a mystery.
Some Other Disorders
There are some other conditions that may cause constant abdominal pain. These include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) -- One of the most common abdominal disorders that is found in young adults. It usually presents with abdominal pain along with episodes of diarrhea alternating constipation.
- Gallstones -- stones may develop within the gallbladder, causing constant abdominal pain. Tiny stones do not usually cause aggressive symptoms. Rather, they present as vague abdominal pain. They can be easily spotted on an ultrasound.
- Parasitic infections -- certain parasites may infect the digestive tract, which causes generalized abdominal pain. Pain caused by parasitic infections can be continuous or sometimes intermittent.
- Indigestion -- this is also one of the disorders that cause abdominal pain, yet people are unaware of the actual cause. Indigestion can be caused by several factors like fever, flu, certain infections, overeating, obesity, overuse of medicines, and quite a few other factors.
- Endometriosis -- only in females.
- Previous surgery
- Long intervals between meals
- Sedentary life style
- Lactose intolerance
- Celiac disease
Finding Out The Cause Of Abdominal Pain
Doctors usually start with general physical examination followed by abdominal examination. Further testing depends on the finding on examination and history of symptoms. Listed below are the tests that may be performed depending upon the circumstances:
- Complete blood count -- CBC
- Liver function tests
- Urease breath test -- used to detect the presence of H.Pylori
- H. Pylori antibodies
- Routine stool examination
- Ultrasound of the abdomen
- Abdominal X-ray
- CT/MRI -- depending upon the condition
Gastroscopy is the gold standard test for the detection of ulcers. A camera is inserted into the stomach of the patient via mouth. With this procedure a doctor can visualize ulcers or any other abnormalities that may be causing the abdominal pain.
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