Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)
Table of Contents
- Abdominal pain definition and facts
- What is abdominal pain?
- What causes abdominal pain?
- Signs, symptoms, locations, types, and severity of abdominal pain
- How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?
- What exams and tests help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain?
- How does IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) cause abdominal pain?
- Foods, natural remedies, and OTC treatments for certain causes of abdominal pain
- Why can diagnosis of the cause of abdominal pain be difficult?
- What medications can be used to treat certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What lifestyle choices can I make to prevent abdominal pain?
- When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?
What medications can be used to treat certain causes of abdominal pain?
Medications that are used for the treatment of underlying cause(s) of the pain are the medications of choice. For example, medications are not needed for the treatment of simple viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu or stomach bug), while surgery and/or chemotherapy may be the best approach to treat certain cancers in the abdomen. Other causes may require antispasmodics, antimicrobials, H2 blockers, or even nitrates or morphine. The diagnosed cause usually narrows the choice of medications. A few causes can only be treated by surgery (for example incarcerated hernia, abdominal adhesions from previous surgeries, and certain abdominal injuries), although some medications may be used (for example, morphine) while the person is waiting to have surgery.
What lifestyle choices can I make to prevent abdominal pain?
Lifestyle changes really depend on the cause of the pain.
- Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption to reduce the chances that you will experience certain causes.
- Good hygiene, especially hand washing and avoiding materials and foods contaminated with viruses and bacteria will reduce your chances of developing illness from many infectious causes.
When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?
Some doctors suggest that if you have a "less serious" cause of abdominal pain you likely won’t need to see a doctor if the symptoms resolve in about 24 to 48 hours. For example, if you have viral or bacterial food poisoning, have had discomfort, but aren’t dehydrated.
If you have a chronic problem that occasionally causes abdominal discomfort, 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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