Most people experience abdominal pain at some point or another. Sometimes, it can be due to overeating, gas, soreness from exercise, or simply being bloated. Other times it can be a sign of a more serious condition. What are the most common causes of this type of discomfort and how can you tell the difference between a simple stomach ache and a legitimate reason to go to the emergency room?
What are the Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain?
It’s important to note that most cases or abdominal pain are not due to life-threatening conditions. In fact, some of the illnesses that cause the most damage usually show very mild or no symptoms during its beginning stages, such as colon cancer.
Some of the less serious reasons for abdominal pain include:
- Food allergy
- Food poisoning
- Being lactose intolerant
- Viral Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
- Menstrual Cramps
If you’re experiencing abdominal pain due to any of the reasons listed above, the pain will usually resolve on its own.
Signs You Should Go to the ER for Abdominal Pain
Now, there are also plenty of instances when you should listen to your body and seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is because there are many other organs located in the abdominal area, such as the stomach, intestines, the appendix, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and your symptoms may be a sign that there’s something wrong with any of them.
You may also have an undiagnosed chronic condition, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, or Endometriosis. If that’s the case, you’ll want confirmation from a doctor so that you can learn how to manage it.
Signs that you should go to the ER due to abdominal pain include:
- Pain that lasts longer than 24 hours.
- Chronic pain
- Intense pain
- High fever
- Diarrhea that continues for over 24 hours
- Repeated vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood in your stools
- Anal bleeding
- The abdomen is sensitive to the touch
- Pain that radiates to the chest
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately, since they may be signs of a serious health condition.
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