Abdominal Pain

abdominal painAbdominal pain is very common. In fact, everyone has had abdominal pain or stomach pain at some point. Most of the time, the cause is not serious and can be diagnosed and treated very easily. In the field of Gastroenterology, abdominal pain can sometimes be a symptom of a serious gastrointestinal problem or illness. If you experience persistent abdominal pain and over-the-counter medications do not help, it might be time to talk to your primary care physician or even a GI doctor.

Symptoms to Watch Out For With Abdominal Pain

If you experience severe abdominal pain along with any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible for these symptoms might be caused by a serious gastrointestinal condition:

  • Abdomen is tender to the touch or in pain for several days
  • Bloody or difficult to pass stools
  • Difficulty breathing or even fever
  • Inability to pass stools
  • Pain from a recent injury to the abdomen
  • Painful or frequent urination
  • Vomiting blood or vomiting over a period of several days

Causes of Chronic Abdominal Pain

  • Urinary tract infection Recurrent UTI’s
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cyst/cancer
  • Kidney stones
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Chronic appendicitis
  • Chronic cholecystitis
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Gastric (stomach) cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Parasitic infections
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Post-operative adhesive bands
  • Lead poisoning (uncommon)
  • Abdominal migraine
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBD)
  • Functional bowel disorders
  • Food allergies
  • Porphyria (uncommon)
  • Familial Mediterranean fever (uncommon)
  • Sickle cell disease (uncommon)

Causes of Acute Abdominal Pain

The causes of acute abdominal pain are categorized by region: right upper quadrant (RUQ), epigastrum, left upper quadrant (LUQ), mid abdomen (near the belly button), right lower quadrant (RLQ), sub-umbilical (below the belly button), and right lower quadrant (RLQ):

  • RUQ – cholecystitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis
  • Epigastrum – pancreatitis, cholecystitis, esophagitis, MI aneurysm
  • LUQ – PUD, splenic infarct, pancreatitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis
  • Mid Abdomen – appendicitis (early), small bowel obstruction (SBO), mesenteric ischemia, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
  • RLQ – appendicitis (late), irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), pyelonephritis, hernia
  • Sub-Umbilical – IBD, diverticulitis, UTI
  • LLQ – pyelonephritis, diverticulitis, hernia

Diagnostic Tests for Abdominal Pain

Since there are many possible causes of abdominal pain, a gastroenterologist would perform a thorough physical examination, discuss the symptoms, and perform some tests to help diagnose the pain. These tests may or may not include an endoscopic exam, blood test, stool test, urine test, X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. Dr. Nowain performs three state-of-the-art endoscopic diagnostic procedures for gastrointestinal patients:

How Is Abdominal Pain Treated?

Once your gastroenterologist determines the cause of your abdominal pain, he or she can begin your treatment. Abdominal pain treatments can range from anti-inflammatory medications, to antibiotics for infections to changes in personal behavior or diet. In some cases, surgery might be necessary.

Contact a Beverly Hills Gastroenterologist

Dr. Ari Nowain and his staff provide high quality medical care that is accessible to every patient. If you experience severe or chronic abdominal pain along with any of the above symptoms, contact a GI doctor at the Beverly Hills Center for GI Health today at 310.657.4444.