Mild abdominal pain can go away on its own. It may be that mild abdominal pain is due to gas or bloating.
In some cases, however, abdominal pain might warrant a visit to the doctor.
If your abdominal pain is severe or associated with trauma (an accident, injury), or pain in the chest, call 911.
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If you feel that the pain is too severe to be able to sit still, or you need to curl up into a ball for comfort, you should immediately seek medical attention.
- Fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.33degC).
- Hematemesis is the act of vomiting up blood.
- persistent nausea or vomiting
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Tenderness or swelling of the abdomen
- If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor.
- Abdominal pain that lasts more than 24 hours
- Constipation for a prolonged period
- Urinating can cause a burning sensation
- Appetite loss
Unexplained weight loss
If you have abdominal pain, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor immediately.
The Healthline FindCare tool is a great way to find a doctor in your area if you don’t have one.
Abdominal pain diagnosis
A series of tests and an honest conversation about your symptoms can help you determine the cause of abdominal pain. Your doctor will perform a physical exam before ordering any tests. To check for tenderness or swelling, your doctor will gently press on different areas of your abdomen.
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These questions will require you to be prepared:
- Which part of the body is causing you pain?
- Is the pain in one place or has it been moving?
- How severe is the pain?
- Are the waves of pain constant or intermittent?
- Are you experiencing pain that is so severe it interferes with your daily life?
- What did you do when the pain started?
- Is there ever a time when the pain is at its worst?
- What was the last time you had a bowel movement?
- Are you able to have regular bowel movements
- Are you noticing any changes in the quality of your urine?
- Are you making major diet changes?
Persons of reproductive age, who were given a female gender at birth, may be asked about their sexual and menstrual history.
This information can be used to help your doctor decide which tests to order, taking into account the severity and location of the pain.
To view the organs, tissues, or other structures of the abdomen in detail, imaging tests such as MRI scans and ultrasounds can be used. These tests are useful in diagnosing tumors, fractures and ruptures as well as inflammation.
There are also other tests:
- Coloscopy (to examine the colon and intestines).
- Endoscopy (to detect inflammation or abnormalities in the stomach and esophagus)
- Upper GI (a special Xray test that uses contrast dye in order to detect growths, ulcers and inflammation in the stomach)
- To look for signs of bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, blood, urine and stool samples can be taken.
Home remedies and treatment for abdominal pain
The diagnosis will determine how abdominal pain can be treated. Stomach pains caused by ulcers may be treated with medications that reduce inflammation.
Other conditions like kidney stones may need more intensive treatment such as shock wave lithotripsy. Gall bladder surgery may be required if there is inflammation.
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To relieve the pain, your doctor may prescribe pain-modifying drugs such as amitriptyline and trazodone. These drugs may alter the way your brain processes pain signals.
There are many home remedies that can provide relief if your doctor has determined that your abdominal pain is not caused by a serious medical condition. Here is a list of home remedies that may help:
- Bitters and soda
- Chamomile tea
- BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast)
- apple cider vinegar
- Heating pad
- Warm Bath
How can I avoid abdominal pain?
Some forms of abdominal pain can be prevented. You can reduce your risk of developing abdominal pain with these tips:
- Healthy eating habits
- Drink lots of water
- exercising regularly
- eating smaller meals
To minimize discomfort if you have Crohn’s disease or another intestinal disorder, you should follow the advice of your doctor. You should avoid eating within two hours of your bedtime if you have GERD.
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Lieing down too quickly after eating can cause stomach pain and heartburn. Before you lie down, wait at least two hours after you have eaten.