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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be one of the symptoms associated with transient disorders or serious disease. Most frequently the cause may be a benign and self-limited condition but a more serious cause may require urgent intervention.


Most common causes are


  • Gastroenteritis
  • Appendicitis
  • Gastritis
  • Gall stones
  • Hepatitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Hernia
  • Kidney stones
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Menstrual disorders


The location of the pain gives the clue to diagnosis

  • Appendicitis typically causes pain in the right lower abdomen, then radiating to umbilicus
  • Diverticulitis typically causes pain in the left lower abdomen
  • Gallbladder pains are (cholecystitis) typically is felt in the right upper abdomen where the gallbladder is located
  • Acute pancreatitis typically causes severe, unrelenting, steady pain in the upper abdomen and upper back


Associated signs and symptoms

The presence of fever suggests inflammation.

Diarrhea or rectal bleeding suggests an intestinal cause of the pain.



The cause of abdominal pain diagnosed is diagnosed by

  • Characteristics of the pain
  • Findings on physical examination
  • Laboratory, radiological, and endoscopic testing
  • Surgery




  • Complete blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Liver enzymes
  • Urea
  • Serum Creatinine
  • USG abdomen
  • Endoscopy and colonoscopy
  • Imaging studies like X-ray, CT scan, and MRI of the abdomen
  • E.C.G to rule out a heart attack which can occasionally present as abdominal pain


 When to seek medical advice

  •  Abdominal pain that lasts more than six hours or is getting worse
  • Pain accompanied by vomiting more than three or four times and fever
  • Pain that wakes the patient up at night
  • Pain radiating to testicles
  • Pain worsens with fatty foods, movements, coughing



Reducing the pain is not the main criteria, identifying the underlying cause and treat the cause.

Avoid Aspirin, Ibuprofen tablets as it can worsen the pain