When Should I Be Concerned About Lower Abdominal Pain?

Reviewed on 2/16/2022

8 warning signs of abdominal pain

lower abdomen pain
Learn the eight warning signs of abdominal pain which may indicate a serious medical condition.

Lower abdominal pain can be caused by various factors. It can be mild enough to be overlooked at times, but it can be debilitating. In many cases, knowing where the pain is coming from can help you figure out what's causing it.

Here are eight danger signs concerning abdominal pain:

  1. Associated with more than three episodes of vomiting
  2. Associated with explosive diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
  3. Associated with black tarry stools
  4. Associated with loss of consciousness
  5. Severe pain that causes doubling over
  6. High fever with pain
  7. Presence of jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the eyes)
  8. Presence of rash over the body

Location of the abdominal pain

Sometimes, the site of pain helps pinpoint the etiology.

  • Generalized pain in the lower abdomen:
  • Pain in the lower abdomen:
    • Pain is usually sporadic and comes and goes with great intensity.
      • Pain caused by appendicitis in its later stages is one of the most common causes of lower abdominal pain.
      • Severe pain just above the center of the navel could indicate pancreatitis.
      • A burning sensation and severe cramps in the center of the stomach may indicate stomach ulcers that can lead to perforations, if not treated.
      • Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, angina, kidney infections, and spleen infection are some of the other causes of this type of pain.
      • Mild lower abdomen pain, whether localized or generalized, is often relieved by home remedies and does not necessitate medication.
      • However, if the pain is severe or occurs suddenly, you should see a doctor right away.
      • Another reason to see a doctor is if the pain lasts longer than 24 hours.
      • Lower abdominal pain that worsens with movement or is tender to touch should be reported to a doctor.
      • Other reasons to see a doctor include abdominal pain with persistent vomiting after meals, unexplained weight loss, and loss of appetite.

What causes lower abdominal pain?

Lower abdominal pain is a common symptom of a wide range of diagnoses, so it is critical to be evaluated by an experienced emergency room physician to determine what is causing your pain and receive appropriate treatment.

Possible causes of lower stomach pain that warrant treatment but do not necessitate emergency care include:

More serious causes of lower abdominal pain that should be diagnosed and treated in the emergency room include:

Furthermore, several potentially fatal conditions can cause lower abdominal pain and necessitate immediate diagnosis and treatment as an emergency case such as:

How to determine the causes of lower abdominal pain

To determine the cause of your stomach pain, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination.

Depending on what the doctor discovers during the assessment, they may advise you to undergo additional tests to determine the source of your pain.

Tests may consist of the following:

SLIDESHOW

Appendicitis: Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Appendectomy in Detail See Slideshow

What are the treatment options for lower abdominal pain?

Treatment of lower abdominal pain will be determined by the underlying cause. Mild lower abdominal pain may subside on its own after a few hours or days. Mild pain and related symptoms are frequently treated with over-the-counter medications.

Other than for period pain, you should not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to treat abdominal pain. These medications may cause or aggravate stomach or bowel issues.

Treating mild abdominal pain at home

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Avoid alcohol, tea, and coffee
  • Keep yourself well-rested
  • Apply a warm heat pack or hot water bottle to your abdomen
  • When you resume eating, eat bland foods or as directed by your doctor

Medication for abdominal pain

  • Antispasmodics
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Laxatives
  • Antinausea medicines
  • Antiflatulence medicines
  • Antacids
  • Antibiotics

There are numerous other causes of abdominal pain, and your doctor will advise you on the best treatment once they determine the cause. In some circumstances such as appendicitis or bowel obstruction, the individual may require emergency surgery.

How can you prevent abdominal pain?

You can attempt to prevent pain in your lower abdomen through the following tips:

  • Eating enough fiber and exercising regularly can help prevent constipation and keep your bowels in good working order, which can help prevent some types of abdominal pain. They will lower your long-term risk of certain diseases such as diverticular disease and bowel cancer.
  • Drinking plain water and avoiding carbonated or fizzy drinks will help you avoid bloating pain, while also keeping your body healthy.
  • A specific diet can help alleviate pain caused by lactose intolerance, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, trapped gas, or wind.

If you experience any of the following, you should see your doctor immediately:

  • Mild pain that self-limits but recurs frequently
  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Pain and bloating that lasts for more than two days
  • Burning or pain with urination
  • Dull pain that lasts for more than a week
  • Pain that causes poor appetite or weight loss

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References
Image Source: iStock Images

What’s Causing Your Lower Abdominal Pain? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/whats-causing-your-lower-abdominal-pain/

Lower Abdominal Pain: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27133242/

9 signs your stomach pain isn't normal: https://blog.providence.org/blog-2/9-signs-your-stomach-pain-isnt-normal

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