Depending on the severity, abdominal pain can be either acute in onset (lasts for short duration) or chronic (lasts for long duration).
Abdomen pain can be caused due to various factors such as
- Acute appendicitis (Infection in the appendix)
- Acute pancreatitis (Infection in the pancreas)
- Perforation of peptic ulcer
- Cholecystitis due to gall bladder stone (Inflammation of gall bladder)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Intestinal perforation
- Mesentric vascular ischemia
- Renal and ureteric stones
- Metabolic disorders such as diabetic ketoacidosis, uremia, porphyria
- Gynecological factors including ectopic pregnancy, ovarian tumors and abortion
Causes of chronic abdominal pain:
- Indigestion and bloating
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Chronic cholecystitis
- Peptic ulcer
- Small or large intestine ulceration
- Abdominal tuberculosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease including Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Fluid accumulation in peritoneal cavity (as a result of tuberculosis, pancreatitis or malignancy)
- Tumor in pancreas, stomach, intestine, and liver
Pain management depends on correct identification of pain. Patients with severe pain should receive immediate attention and proper medications.
The exact diagnosis should be established based on the laboratory results and investigation.
Chronic abdominal pain is commonly a result of irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. These can be diagnosed once the organic factors are ruled out after thorough investigation.