Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain Treatment Questions and Answers

Abdominal pain can be serious if left untreated, reach out to our team of experienced medical professionals at Houston Medical ER today. Houston Medical ER is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we are equipped to provide both emergency and non-emergency care! Call us today for more information. We have convenient locations to serve you in Houston TX, and Spring TX.

Abdominal Pain

What is abdominal pain?

Pain or discomfort, anywhere from your pelvis to the bottom of your rib cage, is considered abdominal pain. Almost all of us, at one time or another, have experienced a stomach ache, even though the cause of the pain could be from a number of other internal organs, besides the stomach. A brief episode of abdominal pain is referred to as acute, meaning ‘of recent onset.’ For example, appendicitis is almost always an acute condition. If abdominal pain last 3 months or longer, the condition is considered chronic, as is the case with irritable bowel syndrome which can result in chronic cramping that can last years, or longer. The term abdominal pain is subjective, in that it describes symptoms that cannot be accurately measured by doctors. The level of pain is what you say you are feeling, in an area of the body that encompasses many different organs. Abdominal pain comes in different forms, like stabbing, sudden or sharp pain, to constant or throbbing pain. Mild to moderate abdominal pain could be an early sign of a possible serious condition, giving good reason to have your healthcare provider monitor changes in your conditions.

What causes abdominal pains?

Most abdominal pains are not serious, and generally fade on their own, and your doctor can quickly diagnose and treat the most common conditions, however, abdominal pain can be serious, and accounts for 5% of emergency room visits in the United States.

Of the many causes of abdominal pain, the primary causes are from:

  • Infections
  • Abnormal growths
  • Inflammation
  • Blockage (obstruction)
  • Intestinal disorders

Infections in other parts of the body, like the intestines, the throat or in the blood, like can lead to bacteria entering the digestive tract causing, abdominal pain.

Examples of common causes of acute abdominal pain include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastroenteritis (Stomach flu)
  • Vomiting
  • Stress
  • Acid reflux
  • Appendicitis
  • Food poisoning

Some chronic disease that effects the digestive system, and also causes of chronic pain include:

  • Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the bowels)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Severe abdominal pain can be caused by:

  • Organ rupture (burst appendix or appendicitis)
  • Gallbladder stones (also called gallstones)
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney infection

Localized abdominal pain is often the result of problems with a specific organ, and commonly stomach ulcer is a cause of pain, as are open sores on the stomach lining.

Generalized pain, that feels like it’s throughout the abdomen rather than a specific area may indicate one of the following:

  • Appendicitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Traumatic injury
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • The flu

When should I be concerned about abdominal pain?

The following symptoms of abdominal pain should raise cause for concern:

  • Fever and vomiting (inability to keep food down for several days)
  • Blood in stool
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting blood
  • Pain during pregnancy
  • Abdomen is tender to the touch
  • Pain is from a recent injury to abdominal area
  • Pain lasting longer than 3 days

When to See a doctor for abdominal pain?

The above symptoms may indicate an infection, internal inflammation, or bleeding that requires treatment as soon as possible. Though far less common, some of the above listed symptoms could also be caused by more serious conditions, such as colorectal, ovarian or abdominal cancer. More often than not, abdominal pain doesn’t require treatment, and will dissipate reasonably quickly on its own with proper home care. However, given abdominal pain can be cause for concern of a possible serious condition, medical attention, and in some cases urgent medical attention, may be necessary.

At both locations of Houston Medical ER, our team of highly skilled, board certified physicians and ER trained RNs, take great pride in providing our patients with timely and accurate assessments, and effective treatments for abdominal pain. Houston Medical ER is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we are equipped to provide both emergency and non-emergency care. Call either our Houston or Spring locations for more information, or visit our website for directions to our ER medical centers. We serve patients from Houston TX, Spring TX, North Houston TX, The Woodlands TX, Humble TX, Heights TX, Downtown Houston TX, Northwest Houston TX, Northeast Houston TX, Conroe TX, Willis TX, Tomball TX, Cypress TX, and Memorial City TX.

For any medical procedure, patients respond to treatment differently, hence each patient's results may vary.
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