Abdominal pain, which is also known as stomach ache occurs between the thoracic (chest) and pelvic regions of the body. Abdominal pain can be crampy, painful, or sharp. There are many organs located in the abdomen. The infection, disease, or inflammation of these organs can cause abdominal pain, however, sometimes the pain is due to viral or bacterial infection.
What causes abdominal pain?
Many factors contribute to abdominal pain, but the most common reasons for abdominal pain include:
- Infection of a certain abdominal part
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Blockage of certain passages
- Stones in kidney or gall bladder
- Food poisoning
- Food allergies
- Urinary tract infection
- Infection of kidneys
These are not the only causes of abdominal pain. It can be due to severe inflammatory disease or infection of any abdominal organ.
What are the types of abdominal pain?
There are many types of abdominal pain depending upon its duration, location, and how quickly it starts.
Acute pain lasts for many hours or days. There may be other symptoms. This pain comes and goes even without treatment, like cramps during menstruation in women. In case of acute pain, there is no need to get worried about it.
Chronic pain usually lasts for weeks and months. It may be due to some gastrointestinal problems or cancer.
It may come with other symptoms and get worst over time. This one can be severe and get more detrimental if left untreated.
It is limited to only a certain part of the abdomen or internal organ. This pain is due to an infection of a particular organ or region.
When to see a doctor?
If your pain lasts for only a few hours, then there is no need to get worried about it. However, if your pain doesn’t go away, then you need to call a doctor. You need to immediately seek medical care if you are feeling the pain that is putting pressure on your chest or if the pain started just after an accident, trauma, or injury.
Immediately seek medical care if you face any of these problems along with abdominal pain:
- High fever
- Blood in stool or vomiting
- Swelling of abdomen
- Difficulty in breathing
- Continued constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Where is abdominal pain located?
The location of the pain may tell its cause. If the pain is not localized, then it may indicate appendicitis, injury, or any sort of urinary tract infection.
If the pain is in the lower abdominal part, it may indicate any type of intestinal blockage, kidney infection, ovarian cyst, menstrual pain, fibroids, or endometriosis.
Pain in the upper abdomen can be an indication of gall stones, liver inflammation, or heart attack.
How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?
Before performing any kind of test: your doctor may ask you a few questions about the time, duration, location, and severity of the pain. After that, your health care provider will suggest you a test. Some common tests your doctor will recommend you include:
- MRI scans
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Stool test
- CT scan
The samples of blood, urine, and stool are collected to check any kind of bacterial or viral infection in the patients. Other tests are performed to diagnose the injuries, infection, inflammation, blockage, growth, or abnormalities of any of the internal organs.
How to avoid abdominal pain?
There is no perfect rule to avoid stomach ache: however, you can adopt different measures to prevent it.
- Follow a healthy and plant-based diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Do exercise regularly
- Do not sleep immediately after eating
- Eat smaller food portions
- Chew food properly
- Limit alcohol and fizzy beverages
- Avoid foods that cause bloating or indigestion
Home remedies for abdominal pain
The treatment varies and depends upon its type. It may range from taking pain killers to surgery of the various organs. Do not take any medication without the recommendation of your doctor.
Here are few home remedies that may help you lower the pain.
Use a warm water bottle or heated rice or wheat bag and place it on your stomach to soothe the pain.
Take a warm shower
Get plenty of rest
Take mint and fennel seeds tea to soothe the abdominal pain
Avoid oily, creamy, and junk foods
If your abdominal pain is due to indigestion, then taking lemonade without sugar will also benefit you.
In case of mild pain, it takes only a few hours to a day to get a full recovery. People with severe and persistent pain should immediately seek the advice of their doctors to avoid serious complications.