Abdominal Pain Causes

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Abdominal pain is pain or discomfort that a person feels anywhere between the lower chest to the distal groin. Some health care professionals include the diaphragm, pelvis (and genitals) and the retroperitoneal space. Chest and abdominal pain are the two top reasons why people go to emergency rooms, according to the CDC.

What are the ways to describe abdominal pain?

There are three general categories that are often used to describe abdominal pain:

  1. The location of pain,
  2. The quality or type of pain and
  3. The intensity of the pain.

Other qualifiers and questions are often used to describe these features:

  • Does the pain radiate anywhere?
  • Does the pain come and go?
  • What makes the pain better or worse?

The health-care professional will ask the patient many other questions about the abdominal pain they are experiencing.

Abdominal pain is common, and a person can help their doctor diagnose the source of abdominal discomfort or pain by simply focusing on the location, type, and intensity of pain. Moreover, there are a variety of the reasons why some causes of abdominal pain are often difficult to diagnose initially. It is important to understand that although many times abdominal pain does not represent a serious problem, at other times the pain indicates a medical emergency. Discerning the difference between serious and non-serious causes of abdominal pain is sometimes a difficult challenge that you and your doctors face.

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/12/2013