Is your abdominal pain life-threatening?

Everyone has abdominal pain from time to time, which can happen as a result of gas, constipation or...

Everyone has abdominal pain from time to time, which can happen as a result of gas, constipation or as a result of your menstrual cycle, if you are a woman. However, sometimes abdominal pain can have more sinister causes and can even be a symptom of a life-threatening condition. It can seem difficult to know whether you should rush out to your Atlanta-based doctor, or whether you should just blame that intestinal pain on your lunch.

Certain foods and beverages can cause abdominal pain because they create gas in your body. Those foods and drinks include, but are not limited to, onions, cabbage, carbonated beverages, brussels sprouts, beans, legumes and dairy products. If you think that your abdominal pain may be related to the foods you eat, try eliminating gas-triggering foods to see if your pain goes away.

You may also experience belly pain due to constipation, which can happen if you are dehydrated. If you are not drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day, constipation might be causing your pain. It can be easy to forget to drink water, so try carrying a water bottle with you to sip on throughout the day. Remember that drinking large amounts of coffee or caffeinated tea can act as a diuretic, which can further cause dehydration, so drink these beverages sparingly.

Certain symptoms should not be overlooked or shrugged off, and if you find that you are having belly pain combined with these symptoms you should seek medical help right away. These symptoms include

  • bleeding from the rectum
  • bleeding from the vagina that is not related to your menstrual cycle
  • sharp, stabbing pain
  • pain in the lower, right quadrant (where your appentix is)
  • vomiting
  • fluctuations of diarrhea and constipation
  • dizziness or faintness
  • fever
  • back pain

These symptoms could indicate a severe condition, such as appendicitis, kidney problems, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal adhesions or even an abdominal blockage. Do not wait until it is too late. Get help right away from your Atlanta doctor if you have severe or chronic abdominal pain.

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