Abdominal pain is used to refer to a dull ache or cramping sensation in the abdomen. In most cases, it is short-lived or transitory and not an issue to worry about. As for severe abdominal pain, it can be an issue for concern. If the pain starts abruptly and unexpected, it must be considered as a medical emergency especially if the pain is focused in a particular region. Bring the individual to the nearest emergency department or call the doctor.
Abdominal pain with bloating
If the individual experiences abdominal pain with bloating, it is often due to trapped wind. This is a common issue that can be a cause for embarrassment but easy to deal with. There are medications that are available over-the-counter such as buscopan that can manage the issue.
Abrupt stomach pain with diarrhea
When abdominal pain just started along with diarrhea, it might be gastroenteritis. It simply means that it might be a viral or bacterial infection affecting the stomach and bowel but it eventually subsides without requiring treatment after a few days.
In case the individual has repeated episodes of stomach pain with diarrhea, it might indicate a long-standing condition such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Sudden and intense stomach pain
If the individual experiences abrupt and intense pain in one region of the stomach area, call a doctor or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department. This might be an indication of a serious health condition that can quickly worsen without treatment.
What are the serious causes of sudden and intense stomach pain?
- Appendicitis – this involves swelling of the appendix which triggers agonizing pain in the lower right side of the stomach and requires the removal of the appendix.
- Kidney stones – small-sized stones can pass out in the urine but the larger stones can block the kidney tubes. Treatment at the hospital is needed to break them up.
- Bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer – an open, bleeding sore in the stomach or intestinal lining
- Acute cholecystitis – involves inflammation of the gallbladder that is often due to gallstones. In most cases, it requires the removal of the gallbladder.
- Diverticulitis – involves inflammation of the small-sized pouches in the bowel that requires treatment using antibiotics in the hospital
Causes of long-term abdominal pain
A doctor should be consulted for persistent or repeated abdominal pain. The cause is often not serious and can be managed.
- Irritable bowel syndrome – this is a common condition that causes episodes of abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloating or constipation. The abdominal pain is often relieved after using the toilet.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – conditions that involves inflammation of the gut include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Menstrual pain – sore muscle cramps in women linked to the menstruation cycle
- Urinary tract infection that recurs – in such cases, it can occur along with a burning sensation while urinating
Other stomach-related issues such as acid reflux, ulcers, gastritis or heartburn are possible causes of long-term abdominal pain.