Handling Abdominal Discomfort
All about Abdominal Discomfort
Are you curious about abdominal discomfort? Find out what you need to know about this irritating and sometimes incapacitating condition, including its possible causes and applicable self-treatment.
You will also find out when it is a must to go and visit a doctor instead of relieving your pain by yourself.
Abdominal discomfort is characterized by discomfort or pain in the abdominal area, where the internal organs of the digestive system are located. Sometimes, however, abdominal discomfort may arise due to non-digestive reasons. As complicated as it is, one needs to be educated about the possible causes of the discomfort and what they can do about it.
Reasons for Abdominal Discomfort
With the multitude of organs, muscles and tissues located in the digestive system alone, abdominal discomfort can be caused by any one of them. These reasons could be:
- Inflammation of any of the organs, including the appendix and liver (due to hepatitis)
- Transient gas
- Loss of blood supply
- Abnormal muscle movement, i.e., irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful sensations caused by hyper-sensitive nerve endings
At other times, conditions totally unrelated to the digestive system can cause abdominal pain. These conditions include flu, strep throat, as well as extreme cases like heart attacks and pneumonia.
Possible Treatments That Can Possibly Relieve Abdominal Discomfort
At some times, abdominal pain can be a sign of less extreme conditions like transient gas or indigestion, and loose bowel movement. In these cases, abdominal pain can be alleviated by simple drugs like antacids (for hyperacidity) or by simply using heat treatment to clear out the gas inside the stomach. Abnormal bowel movement can be alleviated by drugs that straighten out the contractions of the bowel muscles.
Care should be taken to avoid intake of drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as they will aggravate the pain. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as well.
When to Seek Medical Assistance
Some people are quick to dismiss abdominal pain as normal, and easily relieved. However, it pays to know when the normal becomes extreme, and would need specialized medical attention. Here are some “red flags” that would warrant a visit and diagnosis by your physician:
- Discomfort that lasts for a week or longer
- Visible inflammation in the stomach or intestine area, and lasts more than 2 days.
- Fever (a sign of infection)
- Prolonged diarrhea
- Tenderness of the skin in the abdominal area
- Weight loss despite good appetite, or prolonged loss of appetite
- Abnormal appearance of stools
- Pain that makes you unable to move or causes you to pass out
The presence of blood in any fluid or solid that you inject while experiencing abdominal discomfort are definite signals that you should go and have yourself checked by a doctor. Depending on what the results are, a doctor may recommend specific drugs and treatment, which may or may not include surgery and food therapy.