The Four Classifications of Abdominal Pain: Which One Do You Have?

The Four Classifications of Abdominal Pain: Which One Do You Have?

Jan 10, 2020

Abdominal pain can be sudden and severe (acute) or chronic that causes less severe symptoms that last for long. The most common type of abdominal pain is acute which normally causes unbearable pain and requires emergency medication. Knowing what type of abdominal pain, you have can go a long way in addressing the symptom.Before you come to our emergency room in Harker Heights, it’s important to know the causes and symptoms. If you have ever been to an ER near you, then you know the importance of knowing and stating your symptoms clearly. Keep in mind the success of your ER visit depends on your preparedness and your ability to communicate what you are feeling. If you are incapacitated and are unable to talk, have a family member or close friend accompany you to the ER.

What Type of Abdominal Pain Do You Have?

When it comes to abdominal pain, we classify it into four categories depending on the location. This helps us to know the symptoms and the ideal treatment.

Your abdominal pain can be felt either on the right, left, upper, or lower abdomen—and all have different causes and symptoms.

  • Upper abdomen

The upper stomach houses several organs such as gallbladder, liver and pancreas and any problem with any of these organs will cause abdominal pain.

The upper abdominal pain can be mild, severe, or come in waves, and it is caused by a variety of conditions such as gas, gallstones, gastritis, and indigestion among others. The symptoms of these conditions are similar and can include nausea, vomiting, a burning feeling in the upper part, or intense cramping. Since it’s hard to know and distinguish the specific condition, you should visit our emergency room in Harker Heights for an assessment and treatment.

  • Lower abdomen

Lower abdominal pain is a sign of urinary tract infection, menstrual pain, or constipation. Constipation and menstrual pain is cramp-like pain that comes in waves and can be managed at home with pain-reliever, and hot water treatment.

You should, however, seek emergency treatment if you have pressure in your lower abdomen or back, frequent and burning feeling when urinating, fever or chills—these are symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection.

  • Right abdomen

The right abdomen houses part of the colon and the right ovary (women). Most pain in the right abdomen disappears in a day or two. However, if the pain persists more than that, then it’s time to see the doctor because it could be appendicitis (the most common cause). Besides severe abdominal pain, appendicitis can also cause swelling, constipation, vomiting, nausea, fever, diarrhea, and poor appetite.

Appendix inflammation is a medical emergency and should be responded to with urgency. Visit an ER near you when you have any of these symptoms. Also, don’t take enemas or laxatives if you are constipated as it could cause the appendix to burst.

  • Left abdomen

Left abdominal pain is a sign of kidney stones and diverticulitis. Remember your kidney is found on both sides of the abdomen, so the problems can either be on the left or right. Kidney stones are the buildup mineral in the kidney. Usually, they don’t cause pain until the stone starts to move around in the tube causing severe pain in your abdomen, lower back and below the ribs. You may also experience fever, chills, painful and frequent urination.

What to Do?

Most of the abdominal pain goes away on its own, but with self-care, you can alleviate the symptoms faster. You can use hot water on your abdomen, drink water, get plenty of rest, avoid coffee, take antacids, and mild pain killers. However, if you have severe pain that radiates through the abdomen or if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain lasting for several hours
  • Blood in your stool
  • You are pale and clammy
  • Fever and sweats
  • Unable to move bowels
  • Pain that spreads to the chest and shoulder

Come to our emergency room in 76548 for immediate treatment.


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