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The abdomen is the body cavity present between the chest and pelvic region. It contains some essential organs such as the stomach and intestines.
Pain that occurs in the lower region of the abdomen (above the pelvis) is called lower abdominal pain and can occur due to a variety of reasons. Diarrhea, constipation, gastrointestinal tract infections, indigestion, etc., are some of the many causes of this pain.
Continue reading to take a deeper look at some of the common symptoms, causes, and treatment for lower abdominal pain.
Types of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can be classified into:
- Acute pain: Abdominal pain that is present for a day or two
- Persistent pain: Abdominal pain that lasts longer than 2 days (for a week or two)
- Chronic pain: Abdominal pain that has been present for more than a couple of weeks
In cases of acute abdominal pain, a diagnosis can be readily established in most instances, whereas success is not so frequent in patients with chronic pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Lower Abdominal Pain?
Common symptoms associated with abdominal pain are:
What Are the Causes of Abdominal Pain?
Common causes of abdominal pain are:
What Are the Treatments for Lower Abdominal Pain?
Treatment for lower abdominal pain revolves around the diagnosis.
Your doctor may prescribe you some antacids and painkillers to manage the pain such as ondansetron and metoclopramide, or you can manage it by using some home remedies. (6) Ondansetron and metoclopramide are used to treat vomiting and nausea.
You may be given antibiotics to fight any infections of the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, etc.
Chronic pain caused by gall bladder inflammation, colon inflammation, etc., can be managed by medications initially but may require surgery in severe cases. (7)
Note: Ibuprofen cannot be given as it will mask pain and diagnosis of surgical emergencies such as appendicitis, and visceral pain does not respond to traditional painkillers available at home. Antispasmodics (medicines that can help to control gut spasms) are preferred as they do not mask pain.
How Is Lower Abdominal Pain Diagnosed?
Your doctor can diagnose lower abdominal pain by asking about your symptoms and medical history, and usually the diagnosis is clinical. Your doctor will also rule out surgical emergencies such as appendicitis.
They may perform a physical examination of your abdomen and ask you to undergo some diagnostic tests such as:
- CT scan
- Blood tests such as a CBP, liver function tests, and kidney function tests
- Complete urine analysis
- Stool culture test (8)
When to See a Doctor
Consult a doctor immediately if you experience:
- Severe abdominal pain that keeps increasing
- Severe pain that does not let you sleep or eat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain radiating to your chest and upper body
- Blood in your urine
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Severe diarrhea or constipation
- Severe vomiting
- Fever and swelling in the abdomen
- Symptoms of appendicitis
Abdominal pain can be caused by a number of reasons and is usually not serious. Mild or moderate pain can be managed with a few home remedies.
However, if you have severe pain, it may be best to consult a physician as soon as possible.