Abdominal pain occurs between your chest and groin area and is colloquially known as a stomachache. Your pain may manifest as cramps, aches, or sharp or dull pains that can be acute, chronic, or progressive.
Your organs located in your stomach region–the appendix, gallbladder, intestines, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and spleen, can cause abdominal pain.
Abdominal pain usually is not serious and can be caused by everyday things such as the food you have eaten or gas. Everyone has experienced abdominal pain in some form at some point in their life, but if your pain or symptoms become chronic, you should contact your medical professional. Some causes of pain may be benign, such as gas or constipation, but others may be more dangerous, such as colon cancer.
Prevention: Sometimes, the best way to treat abdominal pain is to prevent it from happening by making simple changes to your lifestyle habits:
Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drugs
Eat smaller portions
Drink beverages at room temperature
Drink more water
Don’t eat food you’re allergic to or that gives you gas or indigestion
Medication: Over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen, may relieve stomach pain. Pamprin or Midol can help relieve abdominal pain associated with menstruation. Medications such as Pepto Bismol or Gas-X can help relieve symptoms
Heat therapy can help relieve cramps or sore muscles
Natural remedies: mint tea or candies, yoga, or ginger
Surgery: For conditions such as appendicitis or cancer, you may need surgery to remove the affected organs
Pain in the abdomen
Because a myriad of sources can cause abdominal pain, your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam. They’ll inquire about your symptoms, what kind of pain you’re having, the duration of your symptoms, and what you’ve already tried to relieve the pain.
To better diagnose you, your doctor may order tests such as:
Stool, urine, or blood tests
Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or endoscopy
Imaging tests: X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan
Generalized: pain in more than half of your stomach
Localized: pain in one part of your stomach
Cramp-like: caused by diarrhea, bloating, gas, menstruation, constipation
Colicky: severe pain typically caused by kidney or gallstones
Allergies or intolerances to foods, such as lactose intolerance or Celiac Disease
Cramps associated with menstruation
Diseases affecting your organs located in your stomach, such as: