There are typically two different ways that abdominal pain can occur. It can be sudden and acute, or long-lasting and chronic. There are different reasons, however, as to why abdominal pain might happen.
In this article, Vancouver physician Dr. Ali Ghahary is going to explain some of the common causes of abdominal pain, and what you can do to not only relieve symptoms but also how you can prevent abdominal pain from happening in the future.
One of the most common causes of abdominal pain is the flu. If you have the flu, it is not uncommon to develop abdominal pain along with other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. While you can take certain precautions to avoid developing the flu – such as making sure you wash your hands regularly, avoiding sick people, or by getting the flu shot – it is, unfortunately, something that usually just has to take its course. Taking these precautions also do not guarantee that you won’t develop the flu at some point. While there is no course of treatment for the flu, Dr. Ali Ghahary can prescribe patients with medications to help relieve symptoms associated with the flu – such as anti-emetics to help with nausea and vomiting), and ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce fever and relief pain. When you have the flu it is also important to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Another common cause of abdominal pain is a condition known as IBS, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Along with abdominal pain, symptoms of IBS include bloating, belching, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and more.
You may also develop abdominal pain as a result of a kidney infection. While pain that is caused by kidney infections is usually felt most in the middle to lower back, it can also cause something known as “referred” pain which makes it feel like other areas of the body – such as the abdomen – are also affected.
If you are experiencing persisting abdominal pain, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends seeing your family physician, who may send you for additional medical imaging (such as an ultrasound or CT scan) to rule out any underlying causes. If the pain is severe, it is recommended that you go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible, as some cases of abdominal pain may require immediate medical attention.