We frequently refer to abdominal pain as “stomach pain” or “stomachache,” but the pain in the abdomen could be caused by organs other than the stomach.

Abdominal discomfort can manifest itself in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.

Symptoms:

  • Mild or severe.
  • Sharp or dull.
  • Aching or burning.
  • Colicky or crampy.
  • Continuous or intermittent.
  • Localized or generalized

What is the prevalence of stomach pain?

Each individual will suffer from abdominal pain at some point in their lives. Most of the time, it’s not serious and goes away on its own. It can, however, be a warning of a serious sickness or even an emergency. 5% of emergency room visits are due to abdominal pain.

Causes:

Digestive problems

  • Indigestion.
  • Gas and gas pain
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Food intolerances and allergies.
  • Poisoning from food.

Inflammation

  • Temporary inflammation can be caused by irritation or infection in the organs, such as:
  • Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) caused by the virus.
  • Peptic ulcer.
  • Acid reflux disease (GERD).
  • Urinary tract infection

Female reproductive cycle

  • Cramps during menstruation.
  • Ovulation discomfort.

Abdominal pain can sometimes suggest a significant medical problem that requires treatment. Pain in different regions of the abdomen areas could indicate the involvement of different organs:

Pain in upper right quadrant:

  • Hepatitis 
  • Gallstones.
  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).
  • Strictures in the bile duct.
  • Cancer of the gallbladder.
  • Cancer of the liver.
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Obstruction of the large bowel

Pain in upper left quadrant:

  • Ulcers in the stomach.
  • Bile reflux
  • Cancer of the stomach.
  • Infection of the kidneys.
  • Stone in the kidney.
  • Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation).
  • Cancer of the pancreas.
  • Splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen).
  • Gastritis.

 Pain in lower abdominal

  • Large or small bowel obstruction.
  • Small intestine cancer.
  • Mesenteric lymphadenitis.
  • Intestinal ischemic syndrome.
  • Hernia.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Functional dyspepsia.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Colon cancer.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Peritonitis.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis).

Consult the doctor if the pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever that does not go away.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Blood in feces, urine, or vomit.
  • Swelling and sensitivity to touch.
  • Jaundice characterized by the yellowing of the eyes and skin.
  • Shortness of breath or symptoms that worsen with physical exercise.
Dr. Giridhar Reddy
Consultant Gastroenterologist

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