Abdominal pain is any pain or discomfort that occurs anywhere between your chest and groin. It is rarely caused by a serious medical problem, but can be a sign of a serious illness. Abdominal pain is a symptom of various conditions, such as indigestion, constipation, food poisoning, food allergies, gallstones, inflammation, appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcer, nerve entrapments, and cancer. Abdominal pain can also be caused by other problems such as heart attack, muscle strain, menstrual cramps, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.
To determine the cause of your abdominal pain your doctor will ask you several questions about the pain you are experiencing and perform a thorough physical examination.
Certain tests may be ordered to assist in determining the diagnosis. These include:
- Laboratory tests
- Radiographic studies such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan and Barium X-rays and capsule endoscopy, a procedure that uses a swallowed tiny camera to take pictures of your small bowel
- Endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures
Several treatment options include: neuropathic medications, anti-inflammatories, ultrasound or fluroscopically guided injections, or potentially surgery.