Expert care in digestive health

Abdominal Pain

The abdominal pain is the pain that is described as coming from the abdomen or the abdominal wall. Although, having abdominal pain is abnormal, it is not always serious or a medical emergency. The pain that is mild and has been chronic needs to be evaluated by your physician as soon as possible. However, if the pain is severe or acute, you may need to be evaluated immediately.

What are the causes of abdominal pain?

Most often, the abdominal pain is caused by a problem with in the abdominal cavity. But there are several other causes that are outside the abdominal cavity.

Some of the common causes of the abdominal pain coming from the abdominal cavity include-

  • Peptic ulcer
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Acid reflux/GERD
  • Gastritis (infection or inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Diverticulitis
  • Pancreas problems
  • Colitis (infection or inflammation of the lining of the colon)
  • Cancer within the abdomen including colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, liver or bile duct cancer, ovarian cancer, etc.
  • Kidney stones

There are several non-abdominal causes where the pain messages sometimes can be perceived as coming from the abdomen.

  • Heart attack
  • Pneumonia or pleurisy (irritation of the lining around the lungs)
  • Clot in the lungs

When should I see my physician?

Any abdominal pain that is persistent needs to be evaluated. If you have any other symptoms with abdominal pain such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent constipation, blood in stool, weight loss, jaundice or swelling of the abdomen, then daily to see your physician as soon as possible.

What tests do I need to diagnose the problem?

Dr. Kethu will ask you several questions including the nature of the pain, any aggravating or relieving factors, duration of his symptoms, any associated symptoms, etc. and performs a physical examination before determining the best next step. Sometimes medications will be prescribed right away and sometimes further testing including blood work, endoscopy or colonoscopy, CT scan, etc., may be needed.

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