image description

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!

1.    Appendicitis

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.

2.    Diverticulitis

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 nightWhile  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.

4.    Pancreatitis

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.

5.    Hernia

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!