Abdominal Pain Q & A
There are many causes for abdominal pain. It could be a simple case of constipation, the stomach flu, or a more serious bacterial infection. If your stomach pain is severe, it can’t always wait for a regular appointment. At Annandale Primary Care in Annandale, Virginia, urgent care services are available. Call or stop in at the office today for diagnosis and treatment.
What are common causes of abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain can occur in the intestines, kidneys, appendix, spleen, stomach, gallbladder, liver, or pancreas. This type of pain can have a very common cause, such as gas or indigestion, or it could be a pulled muscle. None of these are severe conditions.
Acute abdominal pain, however, can be severe and require immediate attention. The location and pain pattern gives a doctor important clues about what might be causing the pain.
Is something wrong with my intestines?
There are several disorders of the intestinal tract that can cause abdominal pain. For instance, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is most often known for heartburn symptoms or burning in the esophagus, but it can also cause stomach issues characterized by lower abdominal pain. Left untreated, GERD can lead to more serious health issues.
Many patients with abdominal pain have peptic ulcers, a sore in the stomach or intestinal lining caused by stomach acids eating away at the lining. Ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection of H. pylori, which is present in everyone. In some people, though, the bacteria produces excess acid that can lead to an ulcer.
An ulcer can cause internal bleeding without treatment. People of all ages can have ulcers, but your risk increases with age. Those who take aspirin or NSAID pain relievers over a prolonged period may develop ulcers because these medications interfere with chemicals that protect the lining of your stomach and intestines.
Do I have a kidney stone?
Kidney stones are hard mineral and salt deposits that form in your kidneys. They can be tricky to diagnose because they usually cause pain in areas other than the kidney and pain may only occur as the stone begins to move. However, if the stone passes into your ureter, you will likely experience severe pain below your ribs, on your side, or in your back. Sometimes the pain radiates into the groin or lower abdomen and usually comes in waves.
What if I have pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain usually manifests as either steady or fluctuating pain in the lower abdomen. You might feel a widespread dull pain or a very localized sharp, stabbing pain. Some women feel pelvic pain during their periods or intercourse. It’s important to remember that pelvic pain can be a sign of an issue in an organ like your uterus, ovaries, or cervix. Abdominal pain in males can be a sign of a prostate issue or infection. In all cases, it is essential to see a physician at Annandale Primary Care as soon as possible.
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Undiagnosed patients can unknowingly transmit the disease to others. Early diagnosis can help to prevent or stop an outbreak.