Abdominal pain in adults

Abdominal pain is usually caused by a variety of conditions, as many organs are found in that area. It can be directly related to a specific organ in that area or it can be non specific. The most common type of abdominal comes from the digestive system.

When trying to find out the cause of the pain, the exact location and type of pain are key to a proper diagnose. Some of the general characteristics of abdominal pain are:

Character of pain: sharp, dull, stabbing, cramp-like, knifelike, twisting, or piercing.

Duration of pain: the pain can be short or last for a few hours, while it comes on strong and lessens afterwards

Triggering events: things such as sitting down, eating, bowel movement can affect the condition of the pain

Abdominal pain causes

Many short and long term diseases can cause abdominal pain such as: appendicitis, gallbladder disease, duodenal and gastric ulcers, infections, and pregnancy-associated problems.

Certain conditions can also cause abdominal pain: ruptured blood vessels, heart attack, liver and pancreas inflammation, kidney stones, problems with the blood circulation to the intestine, diverticulitis, and other diseases.

Abdominal pain can also be a side effect from other problems in the body such as heart attacks, pneumonias, diseases of the pelvis or groin, certain skins rashes can give the sensation of abdominal pain.

Because there are so many causes for abdominal pain, its hard to tell whether it’s related to the abdomen itself or coming from other parts of the body.

Generally, abdominal pain is not a disease in it self but a rather a symptom for something else. Because of this you should seek medical care in one of the following cases:

1. the pain lasts for more than six hours and gets worse with time

2. the pain does not allow you to eat

3. the pain is accompanied by vomiting

4. the pain gets worse as you move around

5. the pain starts all over then settles in a specific area

6. the pain is accompanied by high fever

If the symptoms evolve into one of the following you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room:

1. the pain is extremely severe

2. the pain causes the person to pass out

3. the pain causes the person to vomit blood

4. no bowel movement for more than three days

5. the person cannot move because of the pain

6. the person thinks the pain might be coming from their chest


Abdominal pain is one of the hardest things to diagnose because it has so many sources and it’s quite hard to find the right one. Its can be as simple as a stomach ache or as serious as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, duodenal and gastric ulcers, or infections.

Therefore the treatment for abdominal pain depends on the cause that is determined by the doctor. Sometimes surgery is necessary in the case of an infection, ruptured organ or appendicitis.

Abdominal pain without any serious symptoms such as fever, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, passing out, chest pain gets better with time and no treatment. There are certain things you can do to alleviate the pain such as:

1. A heating pad or soaking in a hot tub of water may alleviate the pain

2. Over the counter medicine such as Tums, Maalox or Pepto-Bismol can take away certain types of abdominal pain.

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