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Treat Every Abdominal Pain Seriously: Do not ignore!

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Abdominal Pain

Treat Every Abdominal Pain Seriously: Do not ignore!

Dr. Neeraj Goel
Oncology / Cancer Care, Surgical Gastroenterology, Surgical Oncology
Oncology / Cancer Care, Surgical Gastroenterology, Surgical Oncology
Consultant - GI Oncology & GI Surgery

Abdominal pain is not an uncommon problem which strikes almost every one of us now or then. Most of the pains are simple and not related to serious problems but sometimes these pains can be harbinger for serious ailments. So DO NOT IGNORE ANY PAIN.

Should I treat every pain with suspicion?

Yes, especially if the pain is very severe, intolerable and is affecting your daily routine.

Central Abdominal Pain: Pain in the central abdomen is mostly due to hyperacidity, which is burning kind of pain. Sometimes even a HEART Attack may present with such a pain. In this case the pain is very severe and may radiate to your left arm. This pain can be the pain of ACUTE PANCREATITIS also which usually radiates to the back and may be associated with vomiting. If the pain is not subsiding with antacids, it is time to visit your doctor. Beware before self medicating, even CANCER OF THE STOMACH may have the same presentation as simple hyperacidity.

Right Upper abdominal pain: Pain here can be severe, radiating to back and associated with vomiting. This kind of pain signifies GALLSTONES which may require that you visit your surgeon immediately for management, which is surgical removal of gallbladder. Pain associated with jaundice and fever is a serious problem of biliary infection for which one should rush to the gastroenterologist or a GI Surgeon without delay. CANCER OF GALLBLADDER AND PANCREAS AND BILE DUCTS can happen in a similar  way. Right upper abdomen pain may also be related to liver or duodenal ulcer. Pain from right kidney stones radiates down and may be associated with burning urination.

Left Upper abdominal pain: Pain here usually arises due to presence kidney stones. This kind of pain is severe, spasmodic and radiates downwards often associated with burning of urine and vomiting. Large intestine infections can also present with spasmodic pain with diarrhoea.

Lower abdominal pain: Pain in the right lower abdomen with vomiting and fever may represent ACUTE APPENDICITIS which is an emergency surgical disease. Lower abdominal pain in females is necessary to be assessed for any gynaecologic disorders arising from uterus and ovary. In females lower abdominal pain which is spasmodic or associated with bleeding or vaginal discharge should be thoroughly investigated as it may be the first sign of CANCER.

Spasmodic pain with non-passage of stools and gas with abdominal distension with or without vomiting requires immediate attention. It may be intestinal obstruction which may sometimes be due to CANCER. Severe pain and distension could be due to intestinal perforation.

What should I do?

In cases, as described, you should visit your gastroenterologist or gastrosurgeon immediately. Your doctor will investigate you with clinical examination, blood investigations and/ or ultrasound/CTScan as the need may be. It is very important that serious ailments like CANCER and HEART ATTACK should be diagnosed at the earliest so that the best treatment is provided.