Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is any form of discomfort between the chest and the pelvis, and severe symptoms could be a sign of serious gastrointestinal trouble.

What is abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain refers to any kind of discomfort that you may feel in your stomach area, ranging from the upper to lower regions. It can be challenging to accurately describe abdominal pain as it can vary in intensity and location. Some people may experience pain in the upper abdomen, while others may feel it in the lower abdomen or throughout the entire stomach area. Abdominal pain can be a vague sensation that is difficult to pinpoint.

While abdominal pain can sometimes be a minor issue, it is essential to pay attention to your body and the signals it is sending you. There can be various causes or conditions that contribute to stomach pain. If you have been experiencing frequent or recurring stomach pain, it may be a good idea to consult with a gastroenterologist, who specializes in digestive system disorders. You can easily find a specialist near you by reaching out to The Gut Clinic UK for assistance.

What causes abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain can occur due to various reasons, some of which are less serious. Common causes include:

– Gas: Excess gas in the digestive system can lead to discomfort and abdominal pain.
– Constipation: Difficulty passing stool can cause abdominal pain and discomfort.
– Indigestion (dyspepsia): Discomfort or burning sensation in the upper abdomen after eating can result in abdominal pain.
– Stomach virus: Infections like stomach flu or other viruses can cause abdominal pain, along with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
– Food poisoning: Consuming contaminated food can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and cramps.
– Food allergies: Allergies to certain foods, such as lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance, can cause abdominal pain and discomfort.

However, there are also more serious conditions that can cause abdominal pain:
– Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix can cause sharp pain in the lower right abdomen.
– Intestinal ischemia: Decreased blood supply to the intestines can result from a blocked blood vessel and affect intestinal function.
– Kidney stones: Severe pain originating from the back and side, radiating from the lower abdomen to the groin, can be caused by kidney stones.
– Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas can cause upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the back.
– Bowel blockage or obstruction: When the passage of digested material is prevented in the bowel, it can lead to abdominal pain.
– Stomach or colon cancer: Abdominal pain, unusual fullness, and changes in bowel habits can be symptoms of these cancers.
– Other conditions: Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ulcers, and diverticulitis are among the conditions that can cause abdominal pain.

If you experience persistent or severe abdominal pain, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What causes lower abdominal pain?

Lower abdominal pain refers to discomfort or pain specifically in the lower part of the abdomen. Several common causes of lower abdominal pain include:

– Diverticulitis: Inflammation or infection of small pouches in the intestinal walls.
– Gas: Buildup of gas in the abdomen, leading to pressure, burping, and passing gas.
– Lactose intolerance: Inability to fully digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products.
– Celiac disease: An immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
– IBD (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis): Chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
– Indigestion: Rarely causes lower abdominal pain, but can occur as a result of acid buildup after eating.
– IBS (irritable bowel syndrome): A common disorder affecting the large intestine.
– Constipation: Difficulty or inability to pass stool.
– Hernia: When a body part or organ pushes through the abdominal wall.
– Bowel obstruction: Blockage preventing the passage of digested material through the bowel.
– Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, causing dull pain that moves to the lower right abdomen and becomes sharper.
– Stomach flu: Intestinal infection characterised by cramping, nausea, and fever.

These are some of the common causes of lower abdominal pain. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the exact cause and receive appropriate treatment.

When should I go to the hospital for abdominal pain?

If you are experiencing severe and continuous abdominal pain along with any of the following conditions, it is important to seek emergency care immediately:

– Pain extending from your stomach to your back.
– Extreme tenderness of your stomach when touched.
– Abdominal pain accompanied by a fever.
– Presence of bloody urine or bloody stool.
– Difficulty breathing or chest pain.
– Inability to eat without vomiting.
– Vomiting blood.
– Irregular heartbeat.

It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to abdominal pain. If you have frequent stomach pain that may not be severe but is concerning, it is advisable to consult with a nearby gastroenterologist. Remember, the presence of blood in your stool should never be ignored. If you notice blood in your stool, please visit the nearest location of The Gut Clinic UK for prompt medical attention.


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