To deal with abdominal pain, we have to learn what it means and what causes it. Some ailments and external injuries can be easily recognized but others are internal which are hard to notice and diagnose. Most of them are intense and painful, and abdominal pain is one of those.
In this blog, our pain management experts shed some light on various aspects of abdominal pain and different ways of treating it.
What Is Abdominal Pain?
The abdomen is made from various organs such as the pancreas, liver, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. If there is a painful sensation occurring below the ribs to your pelvis, then the pain is called abdominal pain. If any of these abdominal organs show breakage, bleeding, injury, swelling, or any other kinds of irregularities, then you must take the required steps to get rid of the pain.
Pregnancy and appendicitis are also responsible for some severe discomfort in your stomach. No matter what is causing the pain, you need reputable medical assistance for all such cases. You have to understand that pain in the abdomen can be confusing as most symptoms mimic each other and make it difficult to evaluate the exact cause. This pain can be constant or intermittent, making life tough to deal with and abstaining us from most of the day-to-day life activities.
Symptoms of Belly Pain
Just like any other ailment, belly pain has its symptoms – it ranges from mild to severe level. Let us first take a look at some of the most common and mild symptoms of abdominal pain.
- Discomfort beneath ribs and above pelvis
- Feeling uneasiness and discomfort in the chest area
- Belching (also known as burping)
The serious symptoms relating to abdominal pain are mentioned below:
- The sensation of pain during urination
- The sudden halt in bowel movements
- Urine deficiency
- Bloody stools
- Dark or tarry stools
What Causes The Severe Abdominal Pain?
Some ailments and irregularities which lead to severe abdominal pain are mentioned below:
- Peptic ulcers
- Infection in the bladder also known as Urinary Tract Infections(UTIs)
- Organ cancer
- Parasitic infections
- Blocking of the bile duct by gallstones
- Loss of blood supply to an organ
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Understanding The Source Of Pain
Pain sources may help you find out the type and cause of the abdominal pain. If the pain is in the top left portion of your belly, then it might be due to spleen growth. On the other hand, gallbladder and hepatitis can be responsible for the pain in the right portion of the stomach.
Ovarian cysts are the reason behind the pain in the bottom left of the stomach, whereas pain in the bottom right of the belly could be due to ailments such as appendicitis and hernia. Gastric ulcer, pneumonia, gastritis, and pancreatitis can be the cause of pain in the upper abdomen.
Pain in the lower abdomen can be caused by endometriosis, menstrual pain, pregnancy, cancer, gynecological problems, or some other urinary infections. UTIs, irritable bowel movement or any severe injury can lead to general abdomen pain.
Types Of Abdominal Pain
This form of pain is more severe compared to generalized pain. The origin of the pain remains unrecognized in most visceral pain cases. It comes in the form of muscle spasms and cramps. The intensity of pain is pretty higher in this type and it may lead to nausea, sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Sufferers may find it arduous to adjust themselves as sitting or positioning properly gets tough with it.
Somatic pain is more intense than visceral pain. In the case of somatic pain, it’s easy to locate the origin of the pain as it mostly originates from muscles and skin in the abdomen. Unlike visceral pain, internal organs are not involved in this type of pain. With this, patients experience sharp pain in the right lower quadrant of the stomach.
This kind of pain is much sharper and more intense than both somatic and visceral. It occurs due to injured internal organs. As this pain affects the deeper tissues, it can be felt on the skin.
This kind of pain is less severe and more manageable. It can be caused by menstrual cramps, urinary tract infections, constipation, or diarrhea. In most cases, patients usually feel relaxed with the help of basic self-care techniques or over the counter medications.
How Severe The Abdominal Pain Can Be?
The intensity of pain or the location of it cannot tell us about the severity of the pain. In the case of gastroenteritis, the intensity of pain is high. In the case of early appendicitis or colon cancer, the pain is pretty mild. If you feel sudden bouts of pain in the abdomen before or after a meal then you must consult a physician as it can be a sign of some serious illness.
If one feels sudden cramps in the belly with diarrhea, it might be an indication of gastroenteritis and can be caused by food poisoning.
Cramps or noises in the belly can indicate various health conditions such as fever, irritable bowel movements, or bleeding in the small or large intestine. In conditions such as ischemia, kidney stones, appendicitis, or bleeding in the belly, patients may require surgery to get rid of the problem in the most effective way.
Self-Care Techniques To Treat Abdominal Pain
With the help of home and herbal remedies, you can be your own doctor. Here are some tips to follow for relief from pain:
- Keep yourself hydrated. Water absorbs and digests the nutrients from your meal. It helps to get rid of all the toxins from your body and maintains normal blood flow. An average man must drink 3.7 liters of water each day whereas a woman must drink 2.7 liters of water each day. The person with diarrhea needs to stay hydrated as it causes loss of water from the body. You can get rid of many digestive ailments simply by drinking water at the right time.
- Ginger, mint, and menthol can be a much more efficient remedy for people dealing with indigestion, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Have it with your tea for the best results.
- Vomiting is essential when one needs to get rid of the acids that are causing pain to your belly.
- Avoid having greasy, fried, salty, creamy, and fatty food.
- If you are suffering from diarrhea, then you can have starchy food, which is rich in magnesium and potassium content. Bananas, toast, and rice fall in this category and they help you get rid of abnormal stools.
- Just like bananas, coconut water is also rich in magnesium and potassium. It is low in sugar and calories and most importantly, it is not acidic. This makes it an excellent remedy for abdominal pain as it deals with muscle spasms effectively and gets rid of cramps and other bowel issues. It keeps you rehydrated and soothes the stomach pain.
Treating Abdominal Pain With Medication
Medicines such as Gas – X, and Mylanta contain simethicone, which helps to get rid of the pain to some extent. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause heartburn. In such cases, it would be appropriate to try antacids like ZANTAC 75 and PEPCID AC.
People dealing with constipation can feel discomfort when it comes to stools. Most pain doctors recommend taking a laxative or stool softener to get things back to normal. Diarrhea can cause heavy cramps and in such cases, medicines that contain loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol, Imodium, Kaopectate) must be preferred to get rid of your pain. You can use acetaminophen (Panadol, Liquiprin, and Tylenol ) for other kinds of pain in the abdomen.
When Is The Right Time To See A Doctor?
If you notice one or more symptoms mentioned below, we suggest seeking immediate medical help:
- Feeling extreme discomfort while urinating
- If pain arrives days after you have injured your belly
- When you faint
- If the heartburn you are dealing with stays for more than two weeks
- When you get bloody stools (bleeding in the vagina)
- When the abdominal pain you are feeling is much severe and lasts longer
- If you are having excessive vomiting
- When you have an intense fever accompanied by intermittent pain
- In case you are having difficulty while breathing
- If you are feeling nauseated
- Yellowing of eyes or skin
- Back, neck, chest, or shoulder pain
Abdominal pain can be devastating for our lives, but with the help of appropriate treatment and care one can tackle this pain. Little patience and family support can be good for your healing and well-being.
With proper diet and exercise, you can get over your belly pain. Keep nicotine and caffeine away. Enough rest is necessary while dealing with suffering. keep the stress at the bay, eat healthily and live joyfully to ensure the best quality of life. Remember, chronic pain can be defeated. All you have to do is to seek the right help.