Abdominal Pain

Abdomen is said to be a Pandora’s box. There are multiple causes of abdominal pain.

Simple causes of abdominal pain includes gastritis or gastric upset, infection in intestines (acute gastro-enteritis), chronic constipation, IBS ( Irritable bowel disease)

More complex and severe pain is seen in

  • Diseases of pancreas, formerly known as pancreatitis (swelling of pancreas)
  • Swelling of appendix- appendicitis
  • Some liver diseases like hepatitis and liver abscess
  • Obstruction of intestines- acute or sub-acute intestinal obstruction
  • A tumor in any abdominal organ can cause pain in abdomen.

And many more reasons we find in our clinical practise.

You should consult the doctor- preferentially a gastro-enterologist for accurate diagnosis of abdominal pain. A careful history taking and thorough examination are important in localization of the cause of abdominal pain.

Sometime doctor may ask for some investigations for the diagnosis, which includes:

  • Blood tests ( done to check presence of infection, liver or pancreatic swelling etc.)
  • Ultrasound of abdomen
  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy (Know More)
  • Colonoscopy (Know More)

The treatment depends on the cause of the pain. While simple infections can be treated with a handful of oral medicines, some complex diseases may require hospitalization and surgery.

No. Every patient with long standing abdominal pain does not have cancer.

However, I recommend investigations for long standing cases, especially those with red flag sings.

Red flag sings include

  • Weigh loss
  • Black stools
  • Blood in stools
  • Swelling over the neck
  • Anemia ( low Hemoglobin)
  • Fatigue