Abdominal or stomach pain is experienced by everyone at some point of their life. Starting from an infant to an aged adult, abdominal pain sure bugs everyone. Human abdominal area is large and everyone might experience pain at different regions. Sometimes the pain might be due to muscle strain, gastric issue, or simply because of an upset stomach.
The abdomen covers the area below the ribs and above the pelvis. Each type of abdominal pain has its unique associated symptoms in different regions of the abdomen and can be the result of different health conditions.
The most common stomach or abdominal pain comes roots from the stomach and the relat-ed organs responsible for digestion. It might happen due to over-eating or consumption of alcohol or effects of drugs. Stomach pains are very common, hence are overlooked most of the times. But it is important to identify the spot of the abdominal pain and the associated symptoms. Sometimes the pain gets severe and beyond control, it is advised to see a doctor then.
The reason of abdominal pain is identified on the basis of
- location of the pain
- intensity of the pain
- type of pain
Here are a few characteristics that help identify an abdominal pain
How does it feel like when you have pain?
Abdominal pains vary from being sharp and stabbing to dull. They may also feel like cramps, twisting, or piercing. Doctors will first ask you how the pain feels like when you go with a complaint.
How long does the pain last?
Is your pain brief and short-lived? Or is it a prolonged uncomforting pain? In some cases, the pain may last for hours while in others, the pain goes on and off. Also, at times, the pain might start with a very strong intensity diminishing gradually.
What triggers pain?
When you visit a doctor complaining abdominal pain, your doctor asks you if the pain comes randomly or after a particular event like having meals. Does it feel easy after bowel movement or puking? Does your pain feel better or worse after lying down? Do you feel the pain coming back after eating certain foods? Identifying the trigger of the pain helps in quick and accurate diagnosis of the problem and its treatment.
What is the location of the pain?
This is the most important of all the questions to understand what exactly the abdominal pain indicates? Is it a normal pain due to ill food habits and bowel movement or does it in-dicate an underlying health condition?
Your doctor will somewhat be able to answer your health condition based on the location of the pain.
Let us take a look at types of abdominal pains by location
Upper stomach pain
There are various conditions that might lead to upper stomach pain
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Oesophagus pain
- Bile duct pain
- Gallbladder pain, gallstones and gallbladder attack symptoms
- Kidney stones
- Pancreatic pain (left upper side)
- Heart pain (angina)
- Liver pain (hepatitis)
- Hiatal hernia, when the upper part of the stomach pushes through your diaphragm and into your chest
Lower Stomach pain
- Period cramps
- Egg release from ovary (ovulation)
- Pain in the uterus lining (endometriosis)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pregnancy in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
- Cramps during pregnancy, which should be checked by your doctor if they are severe
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Pancreatitis (may also feel like more central or lower pain)
- Diverticulitis (pouches in the colon)
- Prostate pain
- Inguinal Hernia
Left-side stomach pain
- Crohn’s disease
Some health conditions that are specific to abdominal pains
- Diverticulitis – In this condition, discomfort is caused in the lower left side of the abdomen where most part of the colonic diverticuli is located. This condition hap-pens when one or more pouched on the walls of the colon get inflamed. Diverticulitis usually does not exhibit any symptoms but if it gets infected, serious complications arise leading to hospitalisation.
- Hiatal Hernia – This is a condition where a part of the stomach pushes up the dia-phragm muscle. It has no symptoms, too, except occasional heartburn and abdominal discomfort. Medicinal treatment is the solution. When medicines fail to work, a surgery might be required.
- Gallstones – This is a common problem that affects many people. It may be negligi-ble, but in some cases, a mandatory surgery is required for removal of gallstones. There might be a sudden intensifying pain in the upper right side of your abdomen to central abdomen.
- Appendicitis – A sharp pain in the lower right side of the abdomen accompanied by mild fever and constipation or diarrhoea is identified by appendicitis pain. The pain increases when movement happens. An emergency abdominal surgery is a must.
- Kidney stones – This is one serious condition that is identified by severe pain in the right and left side of the abdomen accompanied by nausea.
- IBS – IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is characterised by an ongoing abdominal pain that varies from severe to mild accompanied by bloating and gassiness. This is a very common gastrointestinal condition that most people complain about.
- Ovarian cyst – These usually are devoid of symptoms but when they get persistent, symptoms are experienced on a severe level. The pain gets unbearable with menstrual irregularities, pain during intercourse or irregular bowel movements. When the cystic mass grows so as to rupture the ovary, an immediate surgery is required. The pain is sharp and stabbing in the lower abdomen.
For abdominal pains that are due to the result of bloating, irregular bowel movements or gassiness, some simple natural remedies can be adopted.
- Keep a check on your diet
- Exercise for proper digestion which will reduce gas and bloating
- Avoid foods you are allergic to
- Keep a check on stress levels
- Consume a high-fiber diet to regularize your bowels
Depending on the severity of the pain and the seriousness of the symptoms associated, consult a gastroenterologist to confirm your health condition. It is advisable to never ignore an abdominal pain, as pain in different regions have a different story to tell.
Find a gastroenterologist near you and discuss matters that might bother you.
Priyanka Singha is an ardent reader and a passionate content writer, She keeps herself up-dated with the trending technology in healthcare industry through magazines and online journals. A health & wellness writer at her present enterprise, she has also proved her writ-ing skills in beauty, fashion and lifestyle at her previous companies. She uses writing as a tool to connect to readers with info on digital healthcare developments and healthy lifestyle options.