The abdomen is the area between the chest and the pelvic. The pain that happens on the abdomen can be sharp, dull, intermittent, or radiating (starting at one part and moving to another part). It is called a stomach ache at times.
The cause of abdominal pain is mainly due to inflammatory conditions that affect the organs located in the abdomen. The organs found in the abdomen from right to left and from top to bottom.
- Gall bladder
- Intestines (small and large)
ARE THERE TYPES OF ABDOMINAL PAIN?
Doctors like to classify abdominal pain based on:
The type of sensation felt on the abdomen:
- that’s if it is throbbing or increasing in intensity or like a cramp
- It could be the kind that wax and wanes or is colicky.
its location on the abdomen.
BASED ON THE SENSATION FELT ON THE ABDOMEN
Throbbing abdominal pain
This type of pain has been described as cramp-like. The intensity increases over time. It is felt in diarrhea- when passing loose watery stool, when we are constipated when we are bloated. This type of pain is also associated with menstrual pain, reproductive complications like miscarriages, and others. The pain usually comes and goes always without any medication.
Waxing and waning
This can be described as a pain that comes and goes or is colicky. Some conditions that lead to this type of pain is when there are crystal stones in the gall bladder or if the crystal stones are in the kidney. The pain comes all of a sudden and feels like a spasm.
BASED ON ITS LOCATION ON THE ABDOMEN
The pain in the abdomen can be in a particular area. As Doctors, we usually ask if the patient can localize the pain with a finger. We ask like this, “Can you point at it with a finger?”. A very common cause of localized pain is a Gastric ulcer (a sore in the inner membrane of the stomach) and it is usually localized to the upper abdomen, close to the region of the chest.
Generalized abdominal pain
When the abdominal pain is not centralized to any part of the abdomen it is described as generalized. This type of pain is usually as a result of an inflamed appendix or Crohn’s disease-an an inflammatory bowel disease, or from a traumatic injury such as a punch to the abdomen or a bullet injury, or from the flu.
Pain concentrated on the lower abdomen
Lower abdominal pain can happen if the appendix is inflamed, or the intestine is obstructed, or when a pregnancy occurs outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy), pain coming from the reproductive organs of a woman also are felt in the lower abdomen.
Pain caused by the reproductive organs in women includes very severe menstrual pain, a cyst in the ovary, a miscarriage, or a uterine fibroid, Endometriosis, severe inflammation of the uterus, or an ectopic pregnancy.
Pain concentrated on the upper abdomen
Pain arising from the upper abdomen might be a result of stony crystals in the gall bladder, a heart attack, an inflammation of the liver, and inflammation of the lung (pneumonia)
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
When abdominal pain is mild it would go away without treatment. Some cases that are more severe may need medical attention.
If abdominal pain is severe and as a result of trauma or accident that involved the abdomen or chest, you might need immediate medical attention.
If the abdominal pain comes with bloody stools, or a fever higher than 38°C, vomiting of blood, nausea, and vomiting that is persistent, jaundice (yellowish coloration of the eye and skin), painfulness of the abdomen to touch or discomfort breathing or if you have abdominal pain 24 hours after it started or pain for discomfort on urination. You have been losing weight while having abdominal pain.
Pregnant women or women breastfeeding should in case they experience abdominal pain report to the hospital.
HOW DO DOCTORS KNOW WHAT'S WRONG?
The confirmatory diagnosis for abdominal pain can be found through tests. The doctor will need to do a physical examination on you to find if there is a mass growing in the abdomen of there are any other signs that can point to disease, For example, if a doctor listens to the abdomen with a stethoscope he or she can be able to tell if there are abnormal sounds coming from the liver and that can point to liver cancer.
All the information about the pain, in general, can point to the disease such as its location and the additional symptoms such as vomiting.
The test usually carried out are ultrasound, Magnetic resonance imaging. an X-ray or a colonoscopy. Functional tests can be done such as liver function tests, urine samples can be analyzed for urinary tract affectation.
CAN YOU PREVENT ABDOMINAL PAIN?
Abdominal pain may be caused by so many things but here are some helpful tips that can prevent abdominal pains:
Drinking the right amount of water
Making healthy food choices
For diseases like Crohn’s the doctor, instructions should be followed to reduce pain. If you have Gastroesophageal Reflux disease, it is helpful not to eat 2 hours before bedtime.
Lying down immediately after eating can cause a heartburn, you should lie down about 2 hours after eating.
NATURAL MEDICINE/HOME REMEDIES
Ginger is a common natural remedy for an upset stomach and indigestion.
Ginger is usually used to handle stomach aches, especially indigestion.
The effective chemical believed to work for the purpose of alleviating stomach aches are gingerols and shogaols which increase contractions in the stomach. Moving the food past the stomach very fast.
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea can also be managed with ginger.
Ginger can be added to food or tea or other drinks. Ginger lemon ales are good for this exact purpose.
Abdominal Pain is caused by numerous conditions that affect abdominal organs. Some conditions may cause severe pain that limits daily activity. The person should present to the hospital especially if the pain is very severe.