What Are Some of the Causes of Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal pain can be caused by stress, constipation, and gas, which in many cases may be easily treatable. But stomach pains also can indicate a serious underlying condition. Medical practitioners at Bergen Medical Associates take a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to determine what may be causing abdominal pain. Using up-to-date medical technologies and facilities, we can diagnose and treat patients with abdominal pain, whether related to infection, inflammation, disease process, growths, or obstructions.
Common abdominal complaints from patients are related to indigestion and stomach viruses. However, these pains also might be related to other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and acid reflux. The following describes three common issues that contribute to abdominal pain:
Indigestion refers to pain in the upper abdomen after eating. Experiences with indigestion differ depending on the patient, but common symptoms include feeling full for a longer period than usual after a meal, feeling full early on during a meal, a burning or bloating sensation in the upper abdomen, and nausea.
Many cases of indigestion occur because of lifestyle habits, such as eating too quickly or eating too much spicy and greasy food. Others may be indicative of conditions like gallstones, peptic ulcers, and intestinal blockage.
Gas can be a temporary issue that stems from swallowing too much air while eating or having a very acidic meal. However, for patients with chronic abdominal gas, there may be an underlying issue like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or food allergies. Symptoms of abdominal gas include burping, bloating, and heartburn.
Constipation happens when a person has fewer bowel movements than is usual for them. It occurs because the large intestine (colon) absorbs too much water from waste, making the stool dry and harder to push out the rectum. Certain medications and lifestyle habits, like not getting enough fiber or drinking too little water, can lead to constipation. In more serious cases, it can be a symptom of another condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome or colorectal cancer.
Abdominal pain is a symptom that patients experience in different ways. Some might have chronic, consistent pain. Others may have pains that come and go. Stomach pains may recur over weeks or months, while other types of pain get progressively worse.
Medical professionals consider any pains that occur in the body between the chest area and the groin region to be abdominal. The pain is considered acute if it occurs in a short amount of time, hours, or days. Other symptoms may occur at the same time as abdominal pains. Patients are encouraged to track and fully describe abdominal pain to help our doctors determine the root causes and appropriate treatments.
When Should a Doctor Be Consulted?
When abdominal pain keeps coming back or does not go away, it is time to see a doctor. When pain is severe or acute, do not delay making an appointment, especially if there has been a recent injury to the area.
Patients at our practice can make appointments at our office locations throughout northern New Jersey. Bergen Medical Associates features expanded office hours on weekday evenings. We also schedule patients for consultations and examinations on Saturdays.
How Are Abdominal Pain Conditions Diagnosed?
At your appointment with a medical practitioner at Bergen Medical Associates, we will carefully examine your medical history and ask targeted questions about your abdominal pain and other symptoms. Further testing may be required to determine the cause of the stomach pain. These tests include blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and similar modalities.
What Are the Treatment Options for Abdominal Pain?
Since there are so many possible conditions associated with abdominal pain, the options for treatment are varied. At Bergen Medical Associates, our practitioners will carefully review your symptoms, examine the area, and run any required tests.
Once the cause of the stomach pain has been determined, an individualized course of treatment is discussed with the patient. Doctors at Bergen Medical Associates work collaboratively across specialties to make sure that appropriate, effective treatments are implemented.
Consult with Gastroenterologists at Bergen Medical Associates
If you have abdominal pain that lasts more than 24 hours, or comes and goes for months, consult with a gastroenterologist at Bergen Medical Associates. Patients who have a fever, unexplained weight loss, or vomiting should call for a consultation right away. Visit one of our conveniently located offices and get the medical care you need. Contact us today.