Abdominal aches are experienced by most at some time or other. Mostly the pain goes away after taking some home remedy, over-the-counter prescriptions, or by resting and is not a problem to worry about.
The abdomen does not just involve the digestive tract but also other vital organs such as large intestine, appendix, kidney, liver, and the gall bladder.
A abdominal ache or a pain localized on a certain part can be a sign of a problem with one particular organ(1). Also heartburn like pain radiating to the chest would not be a gastrointestinal issue but a heart attack. It is, therefore, important not to ignore these pains.
8 Types Of Abdominal Aches That Should Never Be Ignored
Below are listed 8 types of abdominal pains that if continues should not be ignored and brought to a doctor’s notice:
- Sudden Stomach Pain: If there is sudden stomach pain, around the navel accompanied by nausea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, stiffening of abdominal muscles, or pressure while having bowel movements, it would be due to appendicitis. Appendicitis should be treated immediately or else the appendix would rupture leaking the infected fluid into the other parts of the abdomen. Stiffening of abdominal muscles indicates that the infection has started spreading.
- Pain Around Navel with Gas: Pain around and below the navel accompanied by gas can be due to constipation or flatulence. It is a severe and piercing pain and can be treated with an over-the-counter laxative or an anti-gas medication. If the pain troubles beyond two weeks a doctor should be consulted for a proper diagnosis.
- Pain On The Right Side Of The Abdomen: Sometimes the pain occurs on the right side of the abdomen and radiates to the other parts or the back. Such abdominal aches occurs due to gall bladder inflammation. If the pain persists or worsens after eating greasy food, consult a doctor. The symptoms also point towards gall bladder cancer and therefore requires proper diagnosis.
- Sudden Pain Below The Navel: Sudden abdominal ache below the navel that radiates to either side can be due to colon disorder, urinary tract infection, or pelvic infection. If this type of pain worsens, a doctor should be called. He may recommend certain diagnostic tests to know the exact cause.
- Reoccurring Mild Pain and Discomfort: If the pains or aches in abdomen comes slowly and continues accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, the cause can be lactose intolerance, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, food intolerance, or celiac disease. Such abdominal pain should not be ignored and a doctor’s suggestion should be taken.
- Sudden Abdominal Pain With Blood: Pain in stomach accompanied by bloody diarrhea, blood in stool and vomiting, can be due to blockage in the bowel, a perforated appendix, or bleeding from a bowel. The symptoms are of internal bleeding and a doctor should be consulted immediately.
- Sudden Sharp Radiating Abdominal Pain: A sharp pain when arising suddenly near the lower ribs and radiates down the groin can be due to kidney stones. Such pain accompanies fever and kidney and bladder infection. In this condition, water intake should be increased and a doctor should be consulted for further advice. Kidney stones pass away on their own and only in rare cases surgery is required.
- Burning Sensation: Burning pain, below the breastbone, after a large meal, is a sign of heartburn. Over the counter, antacids can help ease such pain. Greasy meals should be avoided. If this pain persists for several weeks, a doctor should be consulted. Most of the time stomach pains are due to trapped wind or indigestion. But if it goes on for a while, it gets important to check on what you are eating, your posture, and activity levels.
It gets compulsory to consult a doctor if the pain in the stomach is accompanied by:
- Blood during stool
- Weight loss
- Black tarry stool
- Difficulty in passing wind or stool
- Persistent bloating
- Persistent vomiting
Abdominal pain can be as little as due to stomach virus or can be as serious as a ruptured aortic aneurysm(2). Never take a chance if something doesn’t seem right or feels different than the usual tummy ache. Never ignore it.