Abdominal pain is a very common condition that everybody encounters at one time or another. It is usually an uncomfortable or disturbing sensations that one experiences in the abdominal region.

Abdominal pain can be sometimes not be the reason to worry because it occurs mostly as a common problem. If you see a specialist doctor, he or she can easily diagnose the cause and give treatment. Persistent, intermittent or episodic abdominal pain and sometimes chronic pain can be a sign of serious underlying health issue that needs prompt and immediate medical help.

Types of abdominal pain

Abdominal pain can be of different types depending on the intensity, severity and timing of pain and the manner in which it starts, progresses and how long it lasts.

Acute abdominal pain: It starts within a few hours and may persists for a few days and may be associated with other symptoms.

Chronic abdominal pain can be troublesome as it may last for a few weeks to months and may be intermittent.

Progressive abdominal pain can be severe, and may get worse over a period of time and is often associated with other symptoms.

Causes of Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain can be due to several reason whether it is mild, moderate or severe and the causes may differ in men and women. In general, irrespective of gender, abdominal pain can be mostly due to mild to severe infection, food poisoning, stomach virus, abdominal migraine or indigestion or constipation. For instance, a woman can have abdominal pain due to gynaecological issues such as uterine problems, uterine fibroids, polyps, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, menstrual issues, Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cramps or may be due to serious health issues such as ovarian or cervical cancer.

The other possible causes of abdominal pain may include gas, food allergies, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infection, abdominal muscle pull or strain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). You may get abdominal pain if you have ulcers or if you are lactose intolerant.

Are there any other causes of abdominal pain?

Yes, there are many other causes of abdominal pain. Inflammation of the gallbladder (Cholecystitis); inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis); bowel obstruction or blockage; abdominal aortic aneurysm (swelling in the abdominal main artery); diverticulitis; appendicitis; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); endometriosis; kidney stones; Gallstones; hernia; blocked blood vessel that causes low blood flow to the intestines; ovarian cysts or ovarian cancer in women and also ectopic pregnancy in women.

When should you consult your gastroenterologist for stomach pain?

You should consult your gastroenterologist as early as possible if you have fever and vomiting; if you feel very thirsty; have dark-coloured urine and you can’t have bowel movement.

You must seek immediate medical help or treatment as soon as possible or take medical care right away if you have severe abdominal pain associated with the following symptoms: swelling in the belly; constant vomiting; trouble breathing; black, bloody and tarry bowel movements; have yellow skin and have unexplained weight loss.

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