Abdominal Pain in Louisiana
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What is abdominal pain?
Patients commonly have a difficult time articulating or describing their abdominal pain because it can be a vague symptom. It's sometimes characterized as lower or upper abdominal pain, upper stomach pain, or generalized pain in the stomach. Abdominal pain can present as any type of discomfort between the pelvis and the chest. Many times, pain in your abdomen can be a small issue, but it is still important to listen to your body and the signals that it is trying to send. The exact reason for your stomach pain can differ based on various GI symptoms and conditions. If you struggle with consistent stomach troubles, it may be time to consult with a doctor who offers treatment for abdominal pain in Louisiana. You can request a gastrointestinal physician in your area by calling GastroGroup & Endocenter for a consultation.
What are the causes of abdominal pain?
Abdominal or stomach pain may be the result of numerous issues ranging from the type of food you eat to an illness. Some of the common issues include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Pain commonly develops in the lower abdomen but can be in any part of the abdomen. Pain may worsen soon after eating.
- Poisoning from food: A foodborne illness due to toxins in food from parasites, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms include abdominal cramps.
- A potential stomach virus: This could be a stomach flu or other virus.
- Difficulty with digestion (dyspepsia)
- Food allergies (such as gluten or lactose intolerance). Common food allergies include tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, milk, and eggs.
Other potentially more serious conditions causing abdominal pain can include:
- Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder that can present as severe pain in the center or upper right of the abdomen.
- Pancreatitis: Swelling of the pancreas. Pain is often experienced in the upper abdomen, radiating to the back.
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease): Occurs when stomach acid pushes back into the esophagus. Symptoms might involve frequent heartburn.
- Cancer of the stomach: Symptoms could include pain and an unusual feeling of “fullness” in one's upper abdomen.
- Colon cancer: Symptoms may include extreme and long-lasting pain in the abdomen, and/or change in bowel habits.
- Crohn’s disease: An inflammatory disease of the intestines that presents with frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- Insufficient blood supply to the intestines (intestinal ischemia): This could be the result of a blocked blood vessel and may affect intestinal operation.
- Ulcerative colitis: Inflammatory bowel disease which can manifest in rectal and abdominal cramps and extreme discomfort.
- Bowel obstruction or blockage: Prevention of digested material to pass through the intestine.
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis): Symptoms present with severe pain in the back and side from the groin to the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis: Inflammation in the appendix. This could feel like a dull pain in the abdomen that transfers to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper.
- Diverticulitis: Infection/inflammation of the colon. This may progress to bowel obstruction and abdominal inflammation.
- Ulcers: Sores in the lining of the stomach.
What are the causes of lower abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain can be localized to the lower portion of the abdomen. Some of the most common causes of lower abdominal pain include:
- Indigestion: Pain caused by indigestion in the lower abdomen is rare and a result of a buildup of acid after eating.
- Constipation: The inability to pass and/or difficulty passing stool.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Common disorder affecting the large intestine.
- Hernia: When another part of the body or organ pushes into the wall of the abdomen.
- Celiac disease (celiac sprue): Triggered response of the body to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye.
- Appendicitis: Swelling of one's appendix. This may feel like a dull pain in the abdomen that travels to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper/intensifies.
- Flu (stomach flu): Infection of the intestines. May present with cramping, nausea, and fever.
- Diverticulitis: Inflammation or infection of the intestinal wall.
- Lactose intolerance: The adverse reaction to lactose (found in dairy) due to an inability to digest it.
- Gas: Presents as the sensation of pressure in the abdomen and might include flatulence and burping.
- Irritable bowel disorder (Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease): The term for any chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
- Bowel blockage: The prevention of digested waste from making its way through the intestine.
When should I go to the hospital for abdominal pain?
If you are suffering from intense unrelenting pain in the abdomen in conjunction with any of the following conditions, emergency care may be necessary. Abdominal pain should be evaluated by an emergency physician without delay if:
- Pain extends from the stomach to your back
- Your stomach is unusually tender to the touch
- Your abdominal pain is accompanied by a fever
- Bloody urine or bloody stool
- A difficult time breathing or pain in your chest
- Inability to eat without vomiting
- Blood in your vomit
- Atypical heartbeat
The rule of thumb is that it is better to be safe than sorry. If your stomach pain is recurring and not excruciating, meeting with your nearest gastrointestinal doctor might still be warranted. Our skilled specialists routinely provide care for people with abdominal pain throughout Louisiana and can help you with your GI concerns. Blood in the stool should always be addressed. In the event that you have blood in your stool, we ask you to get in touch with GastroGroup & Endocenter as soon as possible.
Treatment for abdominal pain
Abdominal pain can have many causes. The most effective and efficient method for treating abdominal pain is to seek a diagnosis from a GI physician. The physician-led team of gastroenterologists at GastroGroup & Endocenter strives to provide the best in patient-centered care for those throughout Louisiana. As experts in GI health, our physicians can perform an array of diagnostic tests and administer treatment for pain. To consult with a GI specialist, please call our location in Louisiana to request an appointment.
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