Everyone experiences abdominal pain at some point in their lives. There are many causes of abdominal pain, and the reason behind the pain varies. In some cases, the pain is not serious, even if it is extremely uncomfortable. Other times abdominal pain leads to hospital visits. So, what are the different types of abdominal pain, and how do you know the difference?
Stomach Cramps With Bloating
If you feel bloated and your stomach starts cramping, it is likely due to trapped air in your body. While this leads to pain and discomfort, it is usually not a serious problem. You can take over-the-counter medications, such as Gas-X, to help relieve trapped gas.
Stomach Cramps With Diarrhea
Stomach cramps combined with diarrhea are likely due to a viral or bacterial infection, otherwise known as a stomach bug. You can contract these bugs if you come in contact with someone who is already sick or if you eat contaminated food. These infections generally resolve within a few days; however, if you have gone several days without relief, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor.
If you have sudden, severe pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, it is possible that you have appendicitis. This is a localized pain that is often so severe that it takes your breath away. However, in as many as half of all cases the pain is not that severe. If you have localized sudden pain in the right side of your abdomen, it’s a good idea to go to an emergency room and get checked for appendicitis. This can be a life-threatening problem if not taken care of immediately.
Kidney stones can develop in one or both kidneys and develop from crystals of waste that form in the kidneys. If you don’t drink enough fluids, take certain medications, or have other medical conditions, you are more susceptible to kidney stones. When kidney stones move through your body, they can cause severe abdominal pain. Pain might also manifest in the groin, or the urinary system might be blocked. If you’re concerned about a kidney stone, it’s best to go to the hospital, as some kidney stones are too large to pass naturally.
The swelling of the gallbladder is called acute cholecystitis. This is a serious problem that needs to be treated immediately. If you’re experiencing sudden, sharp pain in the upper right side of your abdomen that spreads toward your right shoulder, this is a sign of acute cholecystitis. The pain is persistent and usually won’t go away without treatment. Other symptoms you might experience with this inflammation include a high fever, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and jaundice.
While not all abdominal pain is worth a trip to the emergency room, some pains need immediate treatment. If you’re having trouble discerning whether your pain needs treatment, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Getting proper treatment helps you stay healthier and allows you to continue on with your life.