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Abdominal Pain

Common Causes, Symptoms and Escalation

At some point in our lives, almost everyone will suffer from abdominal or stomach pain. A common term that is used to describe abdominal pain is stomach ache. In most cases, abdominal pain does not last for a long time and is not considered to be a serious condition, however, if the pain is agonizing and occurs suddenly, it may be a sign of an emergency that requires immediate medical care.

What is abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain may refer to cramps or an ache in the stomach, whether dull or sharp, irregular or consistent. It can be caused due to inflammation or a disease in one of the abdominal organs, including kidneys, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, appendix, small and large intestines, and adrenal glands.

What causes abdominal pain?

Although many conditions can cause pain in your abdomen, the most common causes are constipation or diarrhea, bowel obstruction, infection, inflammation, stomach flu, vomiting or reflux.

When bacteria enter the digestive tract due to an infection, it can affect your digestion and lead to diarrhea or constipation.

Also, the pain can be caused due to some diseases, such us: lactose intolerance, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

If the pain you experience is sudden and severe, it may be a sign of an emergency, such as a burst appendix or kidney stones.

What are the symptoms of abdominal pain?

Symptoms vary according to the cause of the pain. Symptoms of common causes may include:

  • Trapped wind: cramps and bloating.
  • Food poisoning: symptoms usually occur 8-12 hours after the meal and include nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Constipation: abdominal bloating and pain, few bowel movements.
  • Viral infection: diarrhea, vomiting, high fever or flu-like symptoms.
  • Lactose intolerance: unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and diarrhea that occur after consuming dairy products.
  • Gastric ulcer: burning sensation in the upper abdomen, usually after meals or at night.
  • Gallstones: severe pain in the upper right abdomen. If you suspect you may suffer from gallstones, contact your doctor.
  • Kidney stones: sharp pain, usually in one hip just below the rib cage. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, or frequent urination. If you suspect you may suffer from kidney stones, contact your doctor.

When should you visit our urgent care?

Usually, when the pain in the abdomen is mild it does not require any treatment. However, you should seek immediate medical care when a severe pain occurs suddenly. Visit Premier or call 911 If you are unable to stand still and must lie in a fetal position, or if you experience any of the following:

  • High fever
  • Vomiting blood
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing