Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is pain that occurs between the chest and the pelvic regions. Abdominal pain can be crampy, achy, dull, or sharp. It’s also commonly referred to as a stomach ache. 

Abdominal pain has many causes, and it may require an appointment with a trusted gastroenterologist. If you’re experiencing abdominal pain in Manhattan or throughout New York City, book an appointment with one of our trusted NYC Qwell gastroenterological GI doctors

 

Symptoms

Abdominal pain is a symptom. It may mean that the person has a medical problem that needs treatment.

Abdominal pain may go along with other symptoms. Characteristics of the pain (for example, sharp, cramping, radiating), the location of the pain within the abdominal area, and its relation to eating, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea are all factors associated with symptoms.

Keep track of your symptoms because this will help the doctor find the cause of your pain. Make a special note if there is a sudden abdominal pain, severe abdominal pain after eating, or abdominal pain with diarrhea.

Causes

Abdominal pain can be acute and sudden in onset, or the pain can be chronic and longstanding. Abdominal pain may be minor and of no great significance, or it can reflect a major problem involving one of the organs in the abdomen. The characteristics of the pain — location, timing, duration, etc. are important in diagnosing its cause. Persisting abdominal pain should be evaluated by a physician.

Various causes of abdominal pain include, but are not limited to, indigestion indigestion after eating, gallstones and gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), pregnancygasinflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), appendicitis, ulcersgastritisgastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)pancreatitisgastroenteritis (viral or bacterial), parasite infection, endometriosiskidney stones (nephrolithiasis), abdominal muscle injury, abdominal hernialactose intolerancegluten intolerance (celiac disease), food poisoningmenstrual cramps, peritonitis, serositis, ischemic bowel disease, vasculitis, abdominal aneurysm, abdominal organ injury from trauma, and constipation.

Diagnosis

When you come in to see one of our NYC gastroenterologists, they will examine you on various characteristics including a physical examination. Our providers are likely to ask you a series of questions about the characteristics of the pain, the patterns and persistence of pain, and whether you have any underlying physical or mental conditions that could be contributing to your abdominal pain.

Diagnosis for abdominal pain may involve:

  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory tests — complete blood count (CBC), liver enzymes, pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase), pregnancy, and urinalysis tests
  • Plain X-rays of the abdomen
  • Radiographic studies
  • Ultrasound
  • Computerized tomography (CT) of the abdomen (this includes all organs and the intestines)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Barium X-rays
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Endoscopic procedures, including esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and Upper Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)

Treatment

The treatment for abdominal pain depends on its cause. Treatments can range from medications for inflammation, GERD, or ulcers, to antibiotics for infections, to changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages. In some cases, such as appendicitis and hernia, diagnostic tests, such as analyses of blood, urine, and stool samples, CT scans, and endoscopy, may be required to rule out or confirm a specific diagnosis, and surgery may be needed.

Treatment options include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Prescription medications for inflammation, GERDulcers, or general pain
  • Antibiotics
  • Low-dose antidepressants
  • Changes in behavior, including elimination of certain foods or beverages that may be contributing to abdominal pain
  • Surgery to remove intestinal blockages, hernia, or infected organs.

Why Qwell? 

Qwell gastroenterologists are highly trusted providers based in New York City. Each provider has been recommended by other Qwell providers, providing you the ease of mind of finding a specialist and booking online. To learn more about your GI condition and treatment plans from our Qwell providers, please schedule an appointment with one of our providers throughout New York City with the button below. 

Additional Sources for Patients:

Abdominal Pain – Mt. Sinai 

Abdominal Pain – Medline Plus (US National Library of Medicine)

Abdominal & Stomach Pain – Cleveland Clinic

*** IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The content herein is provided for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. Always consult your doctor before starting or changing treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 immediately.