stomach/abdominal pain

overview

We all have stomachaches and abdominal pain from time to time. Causes can range from gas to a pulled muscle. But if you get stomachaches often, or they hurt a lot or don’t go away, you may need to see a doctor. Call your doctor if you have:

  • Abdominal discomfort no matter what position you’re in or persistent discomfort
  • Chest pain - requires prompt medical attention
  • Swelling in the belly
  • Pain as the result of an injury or accident
  • Bloody stools or dark stools
  • Vomiting blood or dark material
  • Change in bowel habit
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing

diagnosis

First, you’ll meet with your doctor for a thorough physical exam and to discuss your symptoms. This will help your doctor to find the cause and determine what to do about it:

  • General: possibly appendicitis, urinary tract infection, Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lower abdomen: possibly appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, diverticulitis or inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis)
  • Upper abdomen: possibly GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), gallstones, pancreatitis or heart attack
  • Middle abdomen: possibly appendicitis, a blockage in your intestines, pancreatitis or thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Lower left abdomen: possibly Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or kidney stones
  • Upper left abdomen: possibly shingles, spleen infection, heart attack or hiatal hernia
  • Lower right abdomen: possibly cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), ovarian cysts, appendicitis or stomach flu
  • Upper right abdomen: Possibly cholangitis (inflammation of the bile duct), hepatitis, fecal impaction (hardened stools) or peptic ulcer

Your doctor may order tests such as urine, blood and stool tests; X-rays; a CT scan (computed tomography scan), ultrasound, barium swallow, and endoscopy.

services & treatment

Treatment plans depend on the cause of your pain and may include medication, surgery or changes to your diet and activities. Our goal is to offer you the best care – to get you back to feeling your best.

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