Abdominal Pain- When to Worry

Posted June 27, 2012

Abdominal pain is a pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. This is often referred to as the stomach region or belly.

Pain in the abdomen can originate from any organs related to digestion -- the end of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, said Dr Wadah Aljoudi, General Surgeon, Zulekha Hospital, Dubai.

"However, the pain may start from somewhere else -- like your chest or pelvic area. You may also have a generalised infection such as the flu or sore throat that affects many parts of your body." In infants, prolonged unexplained crying (Colic) may be caused by abdominal pain that may end with the passage of gas or stool. Colic is often worse in the evening.

Abdominal pain may actually be caused by an organ in the chest like the lungs (for example pneumonia) or the heart (like a heart attack). Or, it may stem from a muscle strain in the abdomin.

Cancers of the colon and other gastrointestinal areas are serious but uncommon causes of abdominal pain. Other more unusual causes of abdominal pain include a type of emotional upset called somatization disorder, reflected as physical discomfort (including recurrent abdominal pain). Strep throat in children can cause abdominal pain.

More worrisome signs include pain that occurs more often, lasts longer (more than 24 hours), or has a fever with it. Kidney stones and gallstones are common causes of this type of belly pain.

For mild pains

--Sip water or other clear fluids --Avoid solid food for the first few hours. If you have been vomitting, wait six hours.

If the pain is high up in your abdomen and occurs after meals, antacids may provide some relief. Avoid citrus, high fat foods, fried or greasy foods, tomato products, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.

Call your healthcare provider if:

--You are currently being treated for cancer.

--You are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting.

--You are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool.

--You have chest, neck or shoulder pain.

--You have sudden sharp stomach pain.

--You have pain in or between your shoulder blades with nausea.

--Your belly is rigid, hard and tender to touch.

--You are having difficulty breathing.

news@khaleejtimes.com

©2012 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Visit the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) at www.khaleejtimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

 
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