Abdominal pain is a common problem that just about anybody at one time will experience. It is discomfort or sensation between your chest and groin: the stomach region or belly. You may experience Anchorage abdominal pain due to different reasons, but its causes aren’t reasons to worry about most of the time. However, it is still essential to seek medical attention since sometimes, it may be a sign of a severe illness such as colon cancer or appendicitis.
Types and patterns of abdominal pain
If you have abdominal discomfort, the pain may be generalized, meaning you feel it in most of your belly. Generalized pain is typical of a stomach virus, gas, or indigestion. Sometimes the pain may become severe due to a blockage of the intestines. You can also experience abdominal pain in a specific part of your belly (localized pain). It is more likely to indicate an organ problem such as the gallbladder or appendix.
Cramp-like pain is often not severe and could be due to gas and bloating and is usually followed by diarrhea. However, you may need to see your doctor if pain occurs more often or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever. Colicky pain comes in waves and often starts and ends immediately. The pain is usually severe and primarily due to gallstones and kidney stones.
What causes abdominal pain?
Whether your pain is mild or severe, abdominal pain can have many causes. For instance, women may experience abdominal pain due to menstrual cramps. Sometimes the pain may be constipation, indigestion, or a stomach virus. Other causes of abdominal pain include Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infection, food poisoning, food allergies, and abdominal muscle strain or pull. If you have ulcers or pelvic inflammatory disease, you may also have abdominal pain. Other health problems associated with abdominal pain include:
- Kidney stones
- Ovarian cancer
- Bowel blockage or obstruction
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Inflammation of the gallbladder
Diagnosing abdominal pain
Establishing the cause of your abdominal pain requires a thorough physical exam since there are many possible causes. Your provider may ask you about your symptoms, and you will need to describe what it feels like. For example, you may need to define if the pain is a dull ache or a stabbing sensation. Other questions that your health provider may ask you include:
- How often does your abdomen hurt, particularly in the morning or at night?
- Is the pain throughout your abdomen or in one specific location?
- How long does the pain last each time it comes?
- Do you experience pain after eating certain foods or drinks, such as alcohol?
- For how long have you had abdominal pain?
- Does your pain improve with activities such as lying on one side or eating?
- Does the pain radiate to other body parts, including your lower back, groin, or buttocks?
After the physical examination, your provider may conduct tests to determine the cause of your abdominal pain. These tests may include endoscopy, x-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, blood and urine tests, and barium swallows.
If you have abdominal pain, visit your doctor at Pioneer GI Clinic for diagnosis to establish the cause of your discomfort.