5 TYPES OF TUMMY ACHES THAT WARRANT A DOCTOR’S VISIT IMMEDIATELY
We’ve all had the occasional tummy ache or have endured some form of ‘abdominal pain’, like the doctor would put it. Abdominal pain occurs between the chest and pelvic region. It can be crampy, dull, a sharp shooting or stabbing pain, or come in intervals or pulses. In other words, there are several types of tummy aches and that’s probably why a stomach ache is one of the toughest things to figure out. Most of the time it’s pretty straight forward and is quick to resolve on its own. However, sometimes a more intense stomach pain warrants a deeper look.
How common is abdominal pain?
Statistics suggest that a stomach ache is a symptom that leads to millions of outpatient clinic visits, perhaps even more than chest pain. In fact, according to the Annals of Translational Medicine 2016, acute abdominal pain or stomach aches that occur suddenly account for 7-10% of all Emergency Department visits.
The following graph shows emergency department visits for chest pain and abdominal pain in adults in the United States over a span of 10 years.
The green bars are for abdominal pain and the blue ones for chest pain. It’s easy to tell that the percentage of abdominal pain is consistently higher throughout over the span of nine years.
What are the different types of abdominal pain?
Let’s have a look at the different types of abdominal pain and learn more about them. The abdomen is divided into 9 areas or zones that represent the basic arrangement of organs and structures within the abdomen. This makes it easier for doctors to diagnose the pain depending upon the organ in that zone. The first and most obvious question your doctor is likely to ask is where it hurts. You can localize the pain on your own too. All you have to do point a finger at where it hurts. That’s the first step indiagnosing and treating a tummy ache because it is most likely to indicate where the pain is coming from. Here is a picture that shows where different abdominal organs are located.
As complicated as it may seem, compartmentalizing internal organs makes a doctor’s job much easier!
5 tummy troubles that are more common than you think!
Most people associate appendicitis with children. Well, here’s some news for you! In the United States, in 20 people will get appendicitis, most commonly between the age of 10 and 30. Although the appendix lies in the lower right part of the abdomen, the pain initially begins in the center or around the belly button area. Most cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies and require surgery.
This condition affects the large intestine or the lower part of the gut i.e. the colon. Diverticula are small pouches that are formed in the walls of your digestive system. Constipation or straining during bowel movements may facilitate diverticula formation. If the diverticula become infected or inflamed, it is called diverticulitis. Diverticulosis is quite common and occurs in 10% of people over age 40 and in 50% of people over age 60. Typically characterized by pain in lower left abdomen, some individuals complain of generalized lower stomach pain.
3. Acute Cholecystitis
One of the most common complaints is that of stomach pain after eating or stomach pain at night. While there is a long list of causes, acute cholecystitis is among the more common ones and should be ruled out. It affects 10-20% of the population. Gallstones is the most common cause of inflammation of the gallbladder. The pain usually occurs in the upper right region of the abdomen but can move to the back and shoulder as well.
Inflammation of the pancreas can cause a sharp stabbing pain right in the middle of your abdomen. It usually occurs suddenly and constantly hurts at the same place. It is prevalent in males as compared to females with a 3:1 ratio. Excessive alcohol consumption and gallstones are the leading causes of pancreatitis.
A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through a part of the abdominal wall that holds it in place. For instance, umbilical hernias occur in the umbilical or belly-button region and inguinal hernias in the groin area. Hernias can be painful and frequently appear as abdominal swellings. Statistics suggest that hernias affect 15 out of 1000 individuals.
So, the next time you encounter a belly ache, you might be able to work things out in your mind before reaching a doctor. For expert medical advice you can reach out to an online doctor and book an online appointment with doctor by downloading an app to find a doctor on your smartphone. My Live Doctors is one of the best medical apps for patients that is FREE! After registering with the online doctor app you can look up your doctor and book your doctor appointment online within minutes! Getting an online medical consultation for a tummy ache has never been easier! Engage with your online doctor in a video visit and get treated at home. All you need to do is point to the pain and go from there. A doctor’s consultation is always your safest bet so do not attempt to self-diagnose or self-treat.
So contact top-notch online doctors at www.mylivedoctors.com and share your concerns with them. If further investigation is advised, book a local appointment right there and then. It will not only save precious time but money too!