Table of Contents
- Abdominal pain facts
- What is abdominal pain?
- What causes abdominal pain?
- When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?
- How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?
- Signs and symptoms associated with abdominal pain
- Signs and symptoms associated with abdominal pain (Part 2)
- Signs and symptoms associated with abdominal pain (Part 3)
- Physical examination to diagnose abdominal pain
- Exams and tests to diagnose abdominal pain
- Exams and tests to diagnose abdominal pain (Part 2)
- Exams and tests to diagnose abdominal pain (Part 3)
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and diagnosing abdominal pain
- Why can diagnosis of the cause of abdominal pain be difficult?
- What are home remedies for certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What medications can be used to treat certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What lifestyle choices can I make to prevent abdominal pain?
Quick GuideWhat's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?
Signs and symptoms associated with abdominal pain
The following information, obtained by taking a patient's history, is important in helping doctors determine the cause of pain:
- The way the pain begins. Abdominal pain that comes on suddenly suggests an acute event, for example, the interruption of the supply of blood to the colon (ischemia) or obstruction of the bile duct by a gallstone (biliary colic).
- The location of the pain.
- Appendicitis typically causes pain in the middle of the abdomen, and then moves to the right lower abdomen, the usual location of the appendix.
- Diverticulitis typically causes pain in the left lower abdomen where most colonic diverticuli are located.
- Pain from the gallbladder (biliary colic or cholecystitis) typically is felt in the middle, upper abdomen or the right upper abdomen near where the gallbladder is located.
Fauci, Anthony S. et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Time.com. Why Belly Pain Is Such a Headache for ER Doctors.
UpToDate.com. Differential diagnosis of abdominal pain in adults.
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