Abdominal pain is pain that occurs between the chest and pelvic regions. Abdominal pain can be crampy, achy, dull, intermittent or sharp. It’s also called a stomachache. Dr. Mehul Choksi also provides Abdominal Pain Treatment in Mumbai.
What causes abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain is caused by irritation of the nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract due an underlying inflammatory cause or the pain can be functional (without inflammation).
Abdominal or chest wall pain:
- Shingles (herpes zoster infection)
- Costochondritis (inflammation of the rib cartilages)
- Injury (blunt trauma, muscle pulls)
- Nerve irritation (neuropathy)
- Hernias (protrusions of structures through the abdominal wall)
Inflammatory conditions of the abdomen:
- Ulcer disease (duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer)
- Esophagitis (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Gastritis (irritation of the lining of the stomach)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Cholelithiasis (gall bladder stones)
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder)
- Choledocholithiasis (bile duct stones)
- Hepatitis (infection or inflammation of the liver)
- Colitis (infection or inflammation of the colon)
- Enteritis (infections of the small bowel, Crohn’s disease)
- Diverticulitis (inflammation of pouches that form in the colon)Appendicitis
- Mesenteric vascular insufficiency (blocked arteries or veins)
- Renal or ureteric calculi (stones in the kidney or ureter)
Functional problems of the abdomen:
- Non-ulcer dyspepsia (discomfort after eating not due to ulcers)
- Functional abdominal pain (pain without clear cause)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (pain associated with bowel movements)
- Gastrointestinal Cancer:
Hepatoma (liver cancer)
- Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct or gall bladder cancer)
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Lymphoma (cancer of the immune cells)
- Colon cancer
What are the red flag signs in abdominal pain?
Any individual with who has symptoms of weight loss, vomiting, appetite loss, blood in stools or vomit, black colour stools or vomit with abdominal pain or nocturnal symptoms need to be investigated on an urgent basis to diagnose cause of pain.
How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed and managed?
The patient’s history provides the most helpful information that a doctor uses to determine the cause of abdominal pain. The characteristics of the pain (sharp, dull, cramping, burning, twisting, tearing, penetrating), its location and relation to eating or to having a bowel movement are important clues.
Furthermore based on the clinical findings confirmatory blood tests and imaging tests like an ultrasonography or computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen are ordered. The doctor may decide to do an upper or lower gastrointestinal endoscopy based on your symptoms, findings and/or blood/imaging reports.
Treatment is done for the specific condition diagnosed. Treatment may be by prescribing medications, endoscopic therapy or occasionally surgery if the situation warrants.
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