Abdomen and Stomach are medical terms used synonymously by many common men. But there exists a difference between the two, technically speaking. Abdomen is a major part of the body that is constituted by all the parts between the chest and the pelvic region. But stomach is a part of abdomen and aids in digestion.
Abdomen pain can be due to several reasons. For example, causes like pulled muscle, gas pains, stomach cramps with bloating or with diarrhea, indigestion, constipation etc aren’t much of concern. But if the pain becomes severe and unbearable, it requires medical attention.
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One of the important clues to the abdominal pain is its location. Sometimes, the pain can be in different locations and patterns and difficult to diagnose. But if you know the location of the pain, its useful in recommending a remedy.
Some of the symptoms of a generalized abdominal pain which aren’t focused in one area are –
- Lead poisoning
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm
- Urinary tract infection
- Viral gastroenteritis etc.
But some of the below are the causes for lower right abdominal pain.
- 1 Appendicitis –
- 2 Cancer –
- 3 Cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation) –
- 4 Diverticulitis –
- 5 Problems with the cervix, such as a cervical infection, inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix –
- 6 Endometriosis –
- 7 Inguinal hernia –
- 8 Injury –
- 9 Intestinal obstruction –
- 10 Kidney infection –
- 11 Kidney stones –
- 12 Mittelschmerz (pain associated with ovulation) –
- 13 Ovarian cysts –
- 14 Salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes) –
- 15 Seminal vesiculitis (inflammation of the seminal vesicles) –
- 16 Thoracic aortic aneurysm –
- 17 Tuboovarian abscess (pus-filled pocket involving a fallopian tube and an ovary) –
- 18 Viral gastroenteritis (stomach inflammation) –
The first indications of appendicitis come out with minor pain around the umbilicus and the belly button followed by progressing pain to the lower right side of the abdomen.
There can be additional symptoms like high fever, vomiting and reduced appetite which will accompany this condition which is a medical emergency.
There are stomach aches and then there are stomach aches. They can range from harmless indigestion to serious organ issues. The difference is in the details.
“One of the most important parts of identifying abdominal pain is really eliciting patient history. And that’s where you have to determine location, location, location. Because that’s what it’s all about,” says Arlene Wright, a nurse practitioner with Lee Memorial Health System.
Abdominal pain is a common cause for medical visits. Diagnosing the cause can be tricky.
“Right side, lower abdominal pain can be indicative of appendicitis. Left lower quadrant pain could be diverticulitis, upper right quadrant pain could be gall bladder problems. The epigastria area could be peptic ulcer disease or it could be worsening GERD,” says Wright.
Most times stomach pain is not serious, once diagnosed it can be easily treated. But experts say to look out for alarm symptoms: like sudden weight loss, severe vomiting with or without blood, bloody diarrhea, fever, when the abdomen is tender to the touch and pain that last for several days.
“It all depends once again, on their presentation because that is going to elicit what you do, if it is something that will have diagnostic testing such as an ultra sound. Is it something more severe and possibly warrants having a cat scan?”
The golden rule: when in doubt, check it out. Finding the cause of your tummy trouble can alleviate your pain and set your mind at ease.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.
When a cancerous tumor blocks the pancreatic duct, acid backs up and eats away the pancreas, which causes abdominal pain that can often radiate down the back.
The symptoms of stomach cancer may include discomfort and/or pain in the stomach, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, vomiting blood, blood in the stool, and feeling full or bloated after a small meal.
Cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation) –
Acute cholecystitis is swelling (inflammation) of the gallbladder. It is a potentially serious condition that usually needs to be treated in hospital. The main symptom of acute cholecystitis is a sudden sharp pain in the upper right side of your tummy (abdomen) that spreads towards your right shoulder. The causes of acute cholecystitis can be grouped into two main categories: calculous cholecystitis and acalculous cholecystitis.
When a diverticulum ruptures and infection sets in around the diverticulum, the condition is called diverticulitis. An individual suffering from diverticulitis often has abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, colonic obstruction and fever. In some cases, one or more diverticula become infected to cause diverticulitis.
This can cause severe tummy (abdominal) pain and high temperature (fever). A course of medicines called antibiotics may be required. Complications caused by diverticulitis, such as a collection of pus (abscess) or a perforated bowel, are uncommon, but are serious.
Problems with the cervix, such as a cervical infection, inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix –
A cervical infection occurs when the cervix becomes infected by bacteria or a virus. Infections of the cervix may be due to a sexually transmitted disease, or may be the result of an irritation to the area. Pelvic or abdominal pain or fever, in rare cases can also be the cause of pain in lower right abdomen.
A condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain. Endometriosis is usually found in the lower abdomen, or pelvis, but can appear anywhere in the body.
The causes of endometriosis are not fully known, but there are several theories. The most widely accepted theory is that the womb lining does not leave the body properly during a period and embeds itself on the organs of the pelvis.
Doctors refer to this as retrograde menstruation.
Inguinal hernia –
An inguinal hernia (say “IN-gwuh-nul HER-nee-uh”) occurs when tissue pushes through a weak spot in your groin muscle. This causes a bulge in the groin or scrotum. The bulge may hurt or burn. An inguinal hernia happens when contents of the abdomen—usually fat or part of the small intestine—bulge through a weak area in the lower abdominal wall.
A defect in the abdominal wall that is present at birth causes an indirect inguinal hernia.Sometimes the lining of the abdomen does not close as it should, leaving an opening in the abdominal wall at the upper part of the inguinal canal.
Fat or part of the small intestine may slide into the inguinal canal through this opening, causing a hernia. In females, the ovaries may also slide into the inguinal canal and cause a hernia.
Intestinal obstruction –
This is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine(colon). The majority (75%) of small bowel obstructions are attributed to intra-abdominal adhesions from prior operations.
Strangulated hernia is also another cause-part of your small intestine protrudes through your abdominal wall. Paralytic ileus – usually happens after abdominal surgery; your intestine temporarily ceases contracting and moving its contents along.
Kidney infection –
A kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a painful and unpleasant illness caused by bacteria travelling from your bladder into one or both of your kidneys. You may have other symptoms if you also have cystitis or urethritis (an infection of the urethra).
Waves of sharp pain in your back and side or lower abdomen. The pain may move toward the groin or testicles.
Kidney stones –
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances that are normally found in the urine become highly concentrated. A stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract. Kidney stones vary in size.
A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, these signs and symptoms may occur: Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin.
Mittelschmerz (pain associated with ovulation) –
This (pronounced MITT-ul-shmurz) is a German word that means middle pain. This pain occurs during ovulation-the midpoint between menstrual periods, about 2 weeks before a period may begin.
The discomfort can appear on either side of the lower abdomen depending on which ovary is producing the ovum (egg). The pain of ovulation can range from a mild twinge to severe discomfort and usually lasts from minutes to hours.
Ovarian cysts –
A large ovarian cyst can cause abdominal discomfort. If a large cyst presses on your bladder, you may feel the need to urinate more frequently because bladder capacity is reduced. Some women may experience pain and discomfort in the abdomen after sex. Bloating, swelling, or heaviness in the abdomen can also be an indication of ovarian cyst.
Salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes) –
Salpingitis is an acute inflammation of the fallopian tubes, most commonly caused by sexually transmitted micro-organisms in adolescent and adult women.
The main symptom of acute salpingitis is severe pain in the abdomen.When it starts, it may be all over the tummy, but within a few hours it moves to the lower right corner or lower left corner of the belly, because that is where the tubes are located. It’s often one-sided, but it can be on both sides.
Seminal vesiculitis (inflammation of the seminal vesicles) –
Inflammation of the seminal vesicles is known as seminal vesiculitis. Seminal vesiculitis commonly occurs secondary to prostatitis; however, it can occur independently too.
In acute seminal vesiculitis, pain is present in the lower abdomen, perineum area and groin. Lower abdominal pain is typical, the pain can spread locally in pelvic area to perineum area or the groins. Dull pain in upper pubis with perineum
Thoracic aortic aneurysm –
An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of the aorta, the body’s largest artery (the blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood). This artery extends from the heart down through the chest and abdominal region, where it divides into a blood vessel that supplies each leg.
Although an aneurysm can develop anywhere along your aorta, most occur in the section running through your abdomen (abdominal aneurysms).
Tuboovarian abscess (pus-filled pocket involving a fallopian tube and an ovary) –
A tubo-ovarian abscess is one type of pelvic abscess which is found in women of reproductive age, and may be a complication of pelvic inflammatory disease. In this case it is an inflammatory mass which involves the ovary and Fallopian tube.
However, if a tubo-ovarian abscess breaks, it can spread infection throughout the abdomen. This is called peritonitis and requires emergency surgery.
Viral gastroenteritis (stomach inflammation) –
In gastroenteritis, your stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed. The cause is typically a viral or bacterial infection. Most people occasionally experience occasional abdominal pain and diarrhea for short periods. Dietary changes, consuming too much alcohol, and indigestion may cause these symptoms.
Common causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea include:
- viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
- bacterial gastroenteritis (food poisoning)
- food allergies
- lactose intolerance
- parasites (for example, giardiasis, hookworm, or amebiasis)
- bacterial infection (for example, shigellosis or e. coli)
- irritable bowel syndrome.