Acute Abdominal Pain Causes
Abdominal pain is common, but when it takes an acute form, it could be a warning of some underlying problem or an intra-abdominal disease. The pain may set off suddenly and be so severe that requires the patient to seek medical advice. In most cases, severe abdominal pain may indicate gangrene and perforation of the gut.
Causes of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain could be a cause for serious concern in young children or old people and those taking immune-suppressant medications. Those suffering from HIV infection may also experience severe abdominal pain. Other causes may include:
- Intestinal obstruction
- Viral gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu
- Inflammation of the gallbladder
- Inflammation of small pouches in the large intestine
- Inflammation of the bile duct due to a bacterial infection or gallstone
- Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach lining caused by excessive alcohol use or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Sickle cell anemia
- Bladder, kidney, or urinary tract infection
- Stones in the kidney
- Inflammatory of the intestines
- Ulcerative colitis
- Extremely high acidic levels in the blood
- Infectious diarrhea
- Ruptured or leaking abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Blocked blood supply to the abdomen
- Peptic ulcer
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease/heartburn
- Heart attack
Besides these causes, women may experience abdominal pain from:
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Menstrual cramps
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Inflammation around the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes
Infants may suffer from acute abdominal pain in different conditions, including:
- Volvulus— This condition involves bending of the colon around itself, which causes severe pain in kids.
- Intussusception —In this medical condition, one part of the intestine folds into another, resulting in bowel obstruction, which blocks blood flow.
- Hirschsprung’s disease—A birth disorder, congenital megacolon is the blockage of the large intestine.
- The child may experience abdominal pain from other congenital defects.
Symptoms of Acute Abdomen
While persistent, severe pain is the prime symptom of an abdominal problem, it may be accompanied by a feeling of tenderness in the abdomen. This could cause contraction of abdominal muscles, making them rigid. Sometimes the patient may suffer from fever from acute abdominal pain.
Blood tests and urine analysis are done to diagnose the root cause of the problem. When a patient suffers from extreme pain in the abdomen, the doctor may require a deeper analysis of the different structures in and around the abdomen. This may be performed with the help of an ultrasound, MRI scan, CT scan, angiography, bladder, kidney, and ureter X-rays, and endoscopy.
Treatment of Acture Abdomen will depend on the underlying cause of the problem. It is best to avoid taking any over-the-counter painkillers when you experience acute abdominal pain without consulting your doctor.