FAQ’s on Abdominal Pain
Almost every individual will have abdominal pain at some point. The majority of the time, the cause isn’t serious and is readily treatable. Abdominal pain can be a sign of a serious complication. It is important to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment to avoid serious risk.
What are the causes of Abdominal Pain?
There are numerous causes that will produce pain in the abdomen. These include:
- Menstrual Cramps
- A Hernia
- Kidney Stones
- Endometrial growth
- Indigestion or Constipation
- Stomach Virus
What are the symptoms of Abdominal Pain?
Pain in the abdomen is the primary symptom, but it may be accompanied by any number of secondary symptoms based on the source. Secondary symptoms include:
- Painful or frequent urination
- Muscular cramping
- Difficulty passing stool
Serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:
- Black stool, or stool with blood in it
- Pain radiating into the torso
- Chest pain
Chest pain in particular is a serious concern for patients, and should be investigated immediately by one of our physicians.
How is Abdominal Pain diagnosed?
Diagnosis will be achieved with by investigating potential causes of the symptoms with imaging techniques, such as an X-ray to view physical causes and an MRI or CT scan to examine the soft tissue. Bloodwork may also be performed to investigate for infection.
What are the treatment options for Abdominal Pain?
Medication: Medication may be given to provide symptomatic relief and to assist in ridding a patient of their source of pain. Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibiotics (in cases where pain is the result of an infection present in the abdomen) are all used to provide relief. Patients with chronic pain might be prescribed stronger medications to provide extended relief (Pain: Oxytocin analogues have potential in relieving chronic abdominal pain, 2014).
Behavioral Modification: Patients experiencing abdominal pain due to specific foods or beverages that are part of their regular diet will have dietary suggestions provided that will best relieve occurrences of pain. This can be especially beneficial to patients suffering pain from sensitivity to certain types of food or beverage, such as with patients who are lactose intolerant.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be an effective means of treatment for
patients experiencing abdominal pain due to irritable bowel syndrome. With irritable bowel syndrome affecting between 5% and 20% of the general population, having an effective means of conservative treatment is very beneficial to patients who are not responding well to other pharmacological treatments (Cognitive-behavioral therapy for the management of irritable bowel syndrome, 2013).
Patients who are experiencing pain due to a more serious complication, such as appendicitis or from a hernia, will require more than conservative treatment to obtain their desired relief. For these patients, surgical correction of the source of pain is typically necessary.
Injections: Direct injections of pain relievers into tissue that is causing pain can provide relief for patients. Feelings of abdominal fullness, and pain related to certain types of cancers, can potentially have relief provided to it by a thoracic epidural analgesia injection (Three successful cases of relieved abdominal fullness by thoracic epidural analgesia, 2013).
Surgical Removal of Tissue: In cases where pain caused by tissue is a chronic symptom, the problematic tissue may be removed. This is particularly effective for patients with pain due to endometrial growth, the presence of cysts, or for patients who have tissue adhesion to their abdominal wall (Endometriosis: pathogenesis and treatment).
Pain that is the result of kidney stones will require unique treatment methods based on the size of the stone and on what symptoms they are causing. Some patients may require surgery to remove the stone if they are posing a serious risk.