What causes abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain may be because of a number of reasons viz.
Inflammatory conditions of the abdomen:
- Esophagitis (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Ulcer disease (duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer)
- Gastritis (irritation of the lining of the stomach)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Choledocholithiasis (bile duct stones)
- Cholelithiasis (stones in the gall bladder)
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder)
- Hepatitis (infection or inflammation of the liver)
- Colitis (infection or inflammation of the colon)
- Enteritis (infections of the small bowel, Crohn’s disease) Diverticulitis
(inflammation of pouches that form in the colon)
- Renal or ureteric calculi (stones in the kidney or ureter)
Functional problems of the abdomen:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (pain associated with bowel movements)
- Gastrointestinal Cancer:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
- Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct or gall bladder cancer)
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Lymphoma (cancer of the immune cells)
- Colon cancer
What are the red flag signs ?
Any individual who has symptoms of involuntary weight loss, recurrent vomiting, loss of appetite, blood in stools or vomit, black colour stools or vomiting with abdominal pain or night time l symptoms need to be investigated on an urgent basis to diagnose the cause of pain.
How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?
- Based on the patient’s history
- Whether the pain is sharp, dull, cramping, burning, twisting, tearing, penetrating,
- Location and relation to eating
- (CT) scan of the abdomen
- Treatment is done for the specific condition diagnosed. Treatment may be by prescribing
- medications, endoscopic therapy or occasionally surgery if the situation warrants.