Abdominal pain, regardless of the source, is uncomfortable. The pain can indicate anything from a mild gas or stomach cramp to a more severe, potentially fatal condition requiring immediate medical assistance.
Knowing the types of abdominal pain and common conditions that cause it will help you determine how best to treat it and when to seek medical care.
Types of abdominal pain
There are four main types of abdominal pain: generalized, localized, cramp-like, and colicky pain.
Generalized pain – This is when you feel abdominal pain and pressure in more than half of your stomach. It’s normal to have generalized pain when you have the stomach flu, indigestion, or gas. If it becomes severe, it may be because you have a blockage of your intestines. In this case, you’ll need to seek medical care as soon as possible.
Localized pain – When you have localized pain in one particular area of your abdomen, more likely than not, it’s because there is a problem with an organ, such as the appendix, gallbladder, or stomach. Any localized pain in the abdominal region is something that should be addressed promptly.
Cramp-like pain – Cramp-like pain frequently occurs during a woman’s monthly menstrual period and can usually be relieved with over-the-counter medications containing ibuprofen. Sometimes, cramp-like pain can result from gas, bloating, and diarrhea. If your pain lasts more than 24 hours or is accompanied by a fever, it could indicate something more serious which requires professional medical care.
Colicky pain – Colicky pain comes in waves. One second you may feel no pain at all, while the next second, you are in extreme pain. More often than not, kidney or gall stones are the most common causes of this type of belly pain. This type of pain is often severe and shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re experiencing colicky pain, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Causes of abdominal pain
The most common causes of abdominal pain include:
-Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
You can also experience abdominal pain if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or are lactose or gluten intolerant.
Some less common causes of abdominal pain are:
When to seek medical treatment
In many cases, abdominal pain, especially pain from indigestion, overeating, and gas, will resolve independently without treatment.
Over the counter medications and other remedies can help decrease the pain and the level of discomfort. Sometimes, however, abdominal pain is too severe and can signal a more severe condition.
If you are experiencing abdominal pain in conjunction with any of the following symptoms, they could be life-threatening, and you should have a medical professional evaluate your condition.
-Pain during pregnancy
-A fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
-Vomiting up blood
-Persistent nausea or vomiting
-Yellowing of the skin or eyes
-Swelling or severe tenderness of the abdomen
If you recently started experiencing pain within a week of any abdominal surgery or gastrointestinal procedure, even a diagnostic endoscopy, you should seek emergency care.
COVID-19 and abdominal pain
In some cases, a diagnosis of COVID-19 can begin with gastroenterology symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting, which could cause abdominal discomfort. If these symptoms are followed by the onset of fever, chills, body aches, and trouble breathing, you should be tested for COVID-19. Community First ER is offering rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing onsite.
Your health comes first at Community First ER
If you’re experiencing severe abdominal pain and are not sure of its origin, we are here for you. Our team of professionals will conduct a thorough diagnostic exam to determine the source of your pain and treat it appropriately. Here’s what you can expect from the professionals at Community First ER.
- No appointment required – If you need us, we’ll be here. You do not need to call ahead; walk-ins are welcome. We are open 24/7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- No wait times – Upon arrival, we will assess your symptoms and get you seen right away.
- Fast service and compassionate care – We realize you are coming to see us under stressful circumstances. Our caring staff will make you as comfortable as possible.
- Transportation to a hospital – Should your condition warrant a higher level of care we will make arrangements to transfer you via our ambulance or helipad services.
We’re taking above-level COVID-19 precautions
Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 prevent you from seeking life-saving medical care. Your apprehension is understandable; however, we want to assure you we maintain strict infection prevention measures and precautions above and beyond what is recommended by health officials so you can experience peace of mind at our facility. Our coronavirus prevention measures include mask-wearing, checking temperatures upon arrival, regular disinfecting, and creating social distance between patients.
Our commitment to you
At Community First Emergency Room, we are committed to providing you the best possible care now and always. We have both adult and pediatric emergency care available. We have a team of medical and surgical specialists that we consult with to help manage our patients and their medical emergencies. We form relationships with local doctors to ensure that our patients have access to the best specialists for their individual needs.
About Community First Emergency Room
Emergency health care, especially in the time of a pandemic, is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust, we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first.