dont just think since you ate some extra holiday food that its that..it could be more serious.. you could even be developing an ulcer....... hurry and get it checked... things like that should never be overlooked...
Just about everybody at one point or another will experience abdominal pain. Most of the causes of abdominal pain are not serious and can be readily diagnosed and treated. However, pain can also be a sign of a serious illness. It is important to be able to recognize symptoms that are severe and know when to call a doctor.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain?
Whether it is a mild stomach ache, sharp pain or stomach cramps, abdominal pain has numerous causes. These include:
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Urinary tract infection
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
What Symptoms of Abdominal Pain Are Cause for Concern?
If your abdominal pain is severe or if it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible:
Inability to keep food down for several days
Inability to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
Painful or unusually frequent urination
The pain occurs during pregnancy
The abdomen is tender to the touch
The pain is the result of an injury to the abdomen in the previous days
The pain lasts for several days
These symptoms can be an indication of an internal problem that requires treatment as soon as possible.
How Is the Cause of Abdominal Pain Determined?
Because there are so many potential causes of abdominal pain, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, discuss with you the type of symptoms you are experiencing, and ask you several related questions about the pain you are feeling. These questions may include:
What type of pain are you experiencing? Is the pain throughout your abdomen or is it confined to a particular area?
Where in your abdomen does the pain seem to be located?
What type of pain are you experiencing? Is it stabbing and severe? Is it a dull ache?
When does the pain occur? Always? More often in the morning or at night? If the pain comes and goes, about how long does it last each time? Does it occur after eating certain types of foods or after drinking alcohol? During menstruation?
How long have you had this pain?
Does the pain also radiate in your lower back, shoulder, groin or buttocks?
Are you currently taking any medications or herbal supplements?
Are you pregnant?
Does any activity such as eating or lying on one side relieve the pain?
Have you been injured recently?
Once an initial evaluation has been completed, your doctor may have you undergo some tests to help him or her diagnose your pain. These may include stool or urine tests, barium swallows or enemas, an endoscopy, x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan.
How Is Abdominal Pain Treated?
Treating abdominal pain depends on its cause. This can range from medications for inflammation, GERD or ulcers, to antibiotics for infections, to changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages. In some cases such as appendicitis and hernia, surgery is necessary.