Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment) (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Definition of abdominal pain
- What are the ways to describe abdominal pain?
- What are the causes of abdominal pain?
- What are the less serious causes of abdominal pain?
- What are more serious causes of abdominal pain?
- When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?
- What are the methods used to diagnose abdominal pain?
- What are the home remedies for certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What medications can be used to treat certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What lifestyle choices can I make to prevent abdominal pain?
- Pictures of Abdominal Pain - Slideshow
- Pictures of What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain - Slideshow
- Pictures of Appendicitis & Appendectomy - Slideshow
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are the "more serious" causes of abdominal pain?
Unfortunately, the more serious causes can be almost any cause, including most of the ones listed above as "less serious" causes. Consequently, the subjective requirements that most doctors consider as serious causes of abdominal pain are any causes that may generate at least one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
- Penetration (injury) of an object into the abdomen or back
- Blunt object injury to the abdomen or back
- Intractable nausea and vomiting
- Bloody or tar-like stools
- Abrupt cessation of bowel movements
- Abdominal and/or pelvic or flank tenderness to hand pressure
- Increased pain when hand pressure is quickly taken off the abdomen (rebound tenderness)
- Severe abdominal pains (can't move without pain)
- Moderate to severe pains lasting for days
- No urination or bloody, painful urination
Your doctor will help determine the cause of such symptoms.
When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?
Some doctors suggest that if you have a "less serious" cause of abdominal pain (see above section on topic), especially if it is likely food poisoning (viral or bacterial) and you have had discomfort but are not dehydrated, you will likely not need medical care as the symptoms should resolve in about 24 to 48 hours. If you have a chronic problem that occasionally causes abdominal pain, most doctors suggest you contact the person treating you for the ailment for an appointment or prescription (refill). However, if you have any of the problems or symptoms listed in the "serious abdominal pain "section above, you should seek immediate medical care.
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