Abdominal Pain

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What is Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal Pain can be pain inside the abdomen or the outer muscle wall. Pain can vary from mild and temporary to severe and constant. Indigestion or menstrual cramps could cause mild pain, while appendicitis or pancreatitis could cause severe pain.

Types of Abdominal Pain:
Abdominal pain can be a dull ache, a sharp twang, a nauseous feeling, pressure, and sometimes heartburn that can come all the way up to the throat. Abdominal pain occurs from the bottom of your rib cage to your pelvic area. The complexity of the digestive system can become damaged very easily. Being aware of how the abdomen reacts during the course of the day will enable a healthy gut so there is no type of abdominal pain to experience.

Causes of Abdominal Pain:

  • Bloating: abdomen filled with fluid or gas
  • Indigestion: Uncomfortable or burning sensation in the upper abdomen causing abdominal pain.
  • Constipation: Difficulty in releasing bowels, usually due to hardening feces. Prolonged without release can cause severe abdominal pain
  • GERD: (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) this is a chronic digestive disease that can cause your stomach acid or stomach contents to flow back
  • into you esophagus. This is serious and would need to be treated by a doctor.
  • Food: dairy foods, carbonated drinks, beans and legumes, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, apples, and sugar-free foods.
  • Heredity: pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, some ulcers, hernias, colitis, menstrual cramps, and under developed sphincters.

Avoiding Abdominal Pain:
Abdominal pain can be avoided by eating foods that agree with you and:

  • Eat slowly to allow your body time to digest
  • Get you daily amount of fiber (at least 30 grams a day)
  • Avoid stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Over the counter medications: anti-acids in chewable, liquid, or pill form (ask physician or pharmacist which would work best for the specific type of abdominal pain being experienced)

Treatment of Abdominal Pain:
There are several over the counter medications for heart burn and indigestion that can cause abdominal pain. Anti-acids are the most common and you can purchase these in chewable, liquid, or pill form and it would be suggested that you either ask your doctor or pharmacist which brand would work best for your type of pain.

Please note that if your abdominal pain is accompanied with vomiting, severe constipation, or diarrhea, go to your doctor to make sure the problem is not more serious. Depending on what is causing your abdominal pain, would vary in what your doctor would prescribe.

Should your abdominal pain be from an extreme serious condition, your doctor might refer you to a gastro-intestinal doctor. He might suggest you have surgery to repair the problem or give you a stricter diet to see if that would alleviate the abdominal pain.

Everyone experiences abdominal pain sometime if not many times in their lives. The very young and very old have delicate digestive systems. Mainly it is just common sense to avoid indigestion but sometime it is a bigger problem that needs to be determined by a skilled physician.

If you are experiencing chronic or severe abdominal pain, call our physicians to make an appointment.

General Surgeons

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