Posts for tag: Abdominal Pain
Wondering why you're dealing with abdominal pain?
Everyone deals with a stomachache from time to time. Typically, it will go away on its own, and it’s nothing to worry about; however, certain symptoms may warrant having a gastroenterologist take a closer look. Here’s what you should know about abdominal pain.
What causes abdominal pain?
There is a laundry list of conditions, infections, and diseases that can cause sharp, aching, stabbing, or cramping pain in the abdomen. Some causes are minor and will go away on their own, while others will require urgent medical attention. Common causes include,
- Food poisoning
- Food allergies (different than a food intolerance)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Gastroenteritis (referred to as a “stomach bug”)
For women, abdominal pain might not have anything to do with the digestive tract and may be due to menstruation, ovarian polyps or cysts, or other reproductive issues.
If your abdominal pain is minor and goes away in a couple of hours, it’s probably not something to worry about; however, severe abdominal pain is nothing to ignore. Severe abdominal pain, as well as worsening or persistent abdominal pain could be due to,
- Irritable bowel diseases (e.g., Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
- Stomach ulcers
- Gallstones or kidney stones
When should I see a gastroenterologist?
It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist if you are experiencing,
- Constant abdominal pain that lasts days
- Pain that keeps coming back
- Other symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation that also doesn’t go away after a few days
- Changes in bowel movements or urinary/bladder function
- Unexpected and sudden weight loss
If you are dealing with severe abdominal pain or abdominal pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, pain in the chest, or bloody stools, you must seek immediate medical attention.
What is your gut trying to tell you? If you are dealing with persistent abdominal pain or stomach pains that concern you, then these are reasons to turn to a gastroenterologist.
What Causes Abdominal Pain
All you have to do is perform a quick Google search and you’ll realize that there are tons of infections, disorders, diseases and even injuries that can lead to stomach pain and discomfort. Since it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing persistent or recurring abdominal pain, this is where a gastroenterologist can help shed some light. Common causes of abdominal pain include,
- Gastroenteritis (intestinal infection)
- Menstrual cramps
- Food allergies
- Food poisoning
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Appendicitis (sudden, sharp pain on the right side; requires immediate medical attention)
Since certain conditions such as Celiac disease or colon polyps can only be properly diagnosed through specific testing (e.g. endoscopy; colonoscopy) it’s important that you seek proper medical attention if your abdominal pain lasts for days or keeps returning.
When should I see a doctor?
It’s important to recognize when abdominal pain requires immediate or professional treatment. You should seek emergency medical care if you are experiencing symptoms of appendicitis, or if your abdominal pain is accompanied by fever, vomiting, a lack of bowel movements, yellowing skin or dehydration. While not considered an emergency, you should still call our office if your stomach is tender to the touch or if you experience abdominal pain that lasts hours.
If you find yourself dealing with recurring or regular bouts of abdominal pain, a gastroenterologist can help you find answers you’re looking for.