Abdominal Pain

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There are many causes for abdominal pain from simple to serious. 

Abdominal pain is so common that has affected just about everyone. Fortunately, most of the causes of the abdominal pain are not serious. But there are serious conditions which present with abdominal pain.

Common Causes include

Indigestion
Constipation
Stomach virus
Menstrual cramps
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Food poisoning
Food allergies
Gas
Lactose intolerance
Ulcers
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Hernia
Gallstones
Kidney stones
Endometriosis
Crohn’s disease
Urinary tract infection
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Appendicitis

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Abdominal pain should be carefully evaluated to not miss serious causes such as appendicitis. 

If your abdominal pain is severe or recurrent or if it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms,  we recommend evaluation by a physician:

Fever
Inability to keep food down for more than 2 days
Any signs of dehydration
Inability to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
Painful or unusually frequent urination
The abdomen is tender to the touch
The pain is the result of an injury to the abdomen
The pain lasts for more than a few hours

These symptoms can be an indication of an internal problem that requires treatment as soon as possible.

Seek immediate medical care for abdominal pain if you:

Vomit blood
Have bloody or black tarry stools
Have difficulty breathing
Have pain occurring during pregnancy

Dr.Paul’s Approach to Abdominal Pain: 

His initial goal of evaluation is to identify those patients with a serious etiology for their symptoms that may require urgent intervention.

The history of a patient with abdominal pain includes determining whether the pain is acute or chronic and a detailed description of the pain and associated symptoms.

All patients should have vital signs and an abdominal examination. Other physical examination will depend on the history. Patients with chronic abdominal pain should have a thorough physical examination.

Patients with unstable vital signs, signs of peritonitis on abdominal exam, or in whom there are concerns for life-threatening causes of abdominal pain (eg, acute bowel obstruction, acute mesenteric ischemia, perforation, acute myocardial infarction, ectopic pregnancy) should be hospitalized.

Most patients with chronic abdominal pain have a benign functional disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or functional dyspepsia. Initial workup is focused on differentiating benign functional illness from organic pathology.

At the conclusion of the initial workup, young patients with no evidence of organic disease can be treated symptomatically. However, a diagnosis of new-onset functional illness should be made only with great caution in patients over 50 years of age. These patients, by virtue of their increased risk of malignancy, will likely require abdominal imaging as their symptoms and signs dictate.

Specific populations of patients, including older adults and patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may present with unusual causes of abdominal pain or may have unusual presentations of common disorders.

If you are having abdominal pain, please consult Dr.Paul Kattupalli for further investigation of the problem. Call us 814 424 2095.

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