Causes & Treatment for Abdominal Pain
Do I need to see a doctor for abdominal pain?
While pain in the abdomen is a very common condition, in some instances it could be the sign of a serious gastrointestinal problem. Severe abdominal pain or stomach pain that is associated with certain red flags, including vomiting or nausea, blood in stools, tenderness in the abdominal or pelvic region, and abdominal swelling, should be discussed with a physician immediately. Some abdominal pain may warrant a visit to an urgent care facility or an emergency room, depending on your symptoms and the severity of your pain.
How is abdominal pain diagnosed?
A doctor can make a diagnosis of your abdominal pain after conducting a thorough evaluation of the area causing discomfort, speaking with you about your symptoms, and obtaining a medical history report. In some cases, you may need to have diagnostic testing done to make an exact diagnosis. This may include:
- Upper endoscopy
- Stool samples
- Blood testing
- Urine testing
- Small bowel endoscopy
What does the location of my abdominal pain mean?
The location of stomach pain could indicate certain internal problems. However, a certified physician is the only person who can make an accurate diagnosis, after evaluating your condition thoroughly.
Upper Right Abdomen
Discomfort and pain in the upper right abdomen might indicate a gallbladder problem. In other cases, it might also signify swelling of the colon, pancreas, or duodenum. In less serious cases, it could also mean that gas has collected in the colon, just below the liver.
Upper Left Abdomen
This is an atypical area to experience pain, but it could indicate that gas has collected in the colon, just below the spleen.
Lower Right Abdomen
Right lower abdominal pain may be a sign of appendicitis or Crohn’s disease. For women, it could also be a symptom of an ovarian cyst or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Lower Left Abdomen
Pain in the lower abdomen is often a sign of an issue in the lower colon. Some of the problems that could cause this sort of pain include diverticulitis, extreme constipation, or Crohn’s disease. For women, pain in this location could also indicate the rupturing of an ovarian cyst or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Upper Middle Abdomen
Known as the epigastric portion of the stomach, pain in this location may be in pain due to ulcers of the stomach or gastritis. Additionally, some gallbladder or pancreas problems can also be associated with discomfort in this region.
Lower Middle Abdomen
Pain in this area could be a symptom of kidney stones or a urinary infection. In addition, pain that begins beneath the belly button and spreads to either side could be a sign that you have a colon disorder. For women, this kind of pain might also indicate pelvic inflammatory disease.
Pain that occurs near the bellybutton might indicate a problem with the small intestine or inflammation in the appendix, known as appendicitis.