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Abdominal Pain - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2021

What is Abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain is characterized by immense pain and discomfort on and around the abdominal area. Abdominal pain on its own is not fatal or life threatening but can be an underlying symptom of a serious illness.

What are the three types of Abdominal Pain?

Depending on the cause due to which your abdominal region contracts and cause pain here are three types of Abdominal Pain that one may experience:

  • Burning sensation and pain: Some of the common reasons for the pain are an excessive amount of acid in your body causing excess gas and discomfort. One may feel sharp pain with a stuffy feeling in your chest and stomach or in some cases lower abdomen.
  • Bloating or inflammation: Swelling due to external pathogens in your body can cause pain in the abdominal region. Some of the things like kidney or gallbladder stones may cause inflammation in your abdomen region causing intense pain and discomfort.
  • Pinching and sharp sensations: Things like accidents can cause internal or external injuries making the muscles and tissues fragile and damaged. This causes sudden, sharp pain which may be very discomforting.
Summary: Abdominal Pain can be categorized into three types depending on the root cause and its sensation for the patient. Majorly the type of pain is divided into three categories.

What causes abdominal pain?

What are the symptoms of Abdominal Pain?

  • Fever
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Inability to pass feces
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • The tender sensation on the abdomen

Where is Abdominal Pain located?

As the name suggests, Abdominal Pain is located within the abdomen region which is under your chest; above your genitals. This area not only includes your stomach but also includes other bodily organs like the liver, pancreas, intestine, appendix, etc. The duration, intestines, and type of pain merely depend on the cause.

Summary: As the name suggests, the location of Abdominal Pain is generally experienced within the abdominal region. It includes the upper, middle, side, and lower abdominal.

Diagnosis of Abdominal pain

It is vital to seek medical help if you are experiencing abdominal pain. The specialist usually performs tests such as CT scan, ultrasound, X-ray, endoscopy, enemas, blood tests, urine test and stool test. The doctor will also ask questions related to the type of pain, the area where the pain persists, the intensity of the pain, the intervals at which the pain occurs, your menstruation cycle (if you are a girl), food products which you have consumed, the time span of this pain, if you are pregnant or not and recent injuries you have experienced.

Treatment for abdominal pain

Treatment usually depends on the root cause of the pain. It can range from consuming antibiotics prescribed for ulcers, GERD and inflammation. In some cases, if the abdominal pain is caused due to hernia and appendicitis, surgery can be performed. It is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible if you experience difficulty breathing, acute tenderness in and around the abdomen, swelling of the abdomen, yellowness of the eyes or skin, vomiting, persistent nausea, hematemesis (vomiting blood), high fever, loss of appetite, unexplainable loss of weight, burning sensation while urinating and bloody stools.

Key Highlights

  • Treatable by medical professional
  • Usually self diagnosable
  • Lab test not required
  • Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
  • Non communicable

When should I worry about abdomen pain?

Abdominal Pain is quite common and most of the time does not give you any signs that may result in serious medical conditions. However, if the pain is accompanied by the following symptoms it may lead to a worrisome situation:

  • High fever
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting, especially with blood traces
  • Pain rooting towards your upper or lower body
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal stool in terms of color, texture, and consistency
  • You may also feel the abdomen region tender, stiff, or hard to touch

Alongside these symptoms, you may feel sudden, sharp, and unbearable intense pain which may last long until get treated.

Summary: In most cases, Abdominal Pain fades away. But in other cases, where the pain is accompanied by other symptoms, in that case, it can be a worrisome situation.

How long should Abdominal Pain last?

Abdominal Pain does not last long more than:

  • One week of mild pain.
  • 24-48 hours of escalating intense pain.
  • Bloating for more than two days.
  • Diarrhoea or constipation more than five days.

The symptoms may vary in each case but if you find yourself in the same situation contact your doctor immediately.

Summary: There are no specific guidelines that have been set to diagnose the serious on the basis of the duration of the pain. However, there are certain things that can be considered to avoid any serious medical complications.
Summary: Abdominal Pain is the unpleasant sensation caused by prolonged pain in the abdominal region. Abdominal Pain is located within the abdomen region which is under your chest; above your genitals. This area not only includes your stomach but also includes other bodily organs like the liver, pancreas, intestine, appendix, etc. The duration, intestines, and type of pain merely depend on the cause.


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Content Details
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Written ByDr. Sidharth Verma PDCC - Pain Management,MD - Anaesthesiology,DNB Anaesthesiology,MBBSOrthopaedics
Reviewed By
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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