Lower stomach pain
Pain in the lower stomach is a problem experienced by many people and can be a result of many different things.
Lower stomach pain is something of a misnomer; typically a patient complaining of lower stomach pain will actually be experiencing pain lower down in the abdomen – the location of nearly all the major organs. Pain in this region is a common complaint and can be the result of many problems including digestive disorders or panic attacks.
Appendicitis is probably the condition most closely associated with lower stomach pain and it is indeed an extremely painful condition. The pain is caused by inflammation of the appendix which is the result of an infection – there is no known cause or risk factor for appendicitis and it can affect anybody at any time during their lifetime. Pain associated with appendicitis often begins around the belly-button and then moves to the lower right side of the abdomen. Appendicitis is generally accompanied by fever and vomiting – anyone experiencing these symptoms for a period of longer than four hours should seek medical advice.
A woman complaining of lower stomach pain may be experiencing pain caused by a gynecological issue. Uterine pain generally occurs in the pelvic region and may radiate to the belly button. Causes of this type of pain may include -
- Beginning of the period
- Early pregnancy implantation
If the pain is more serious and causing the woman distress it may be due to a medical condition which needs urgent attention such as:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Any women experiencing lower stomach pain when pregnant or if the pain lasts for longer than a week or is accompanied by a searing sensation should seek medical advice.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a fairly common, long term condition that often causes lower stomach pain along with diarrhea or constipation. Medical attention is necessary for anyone experiencing the symptoms of IBS in order that a treatment plan can be put in place.
Anyone who experiences lower stomach pain and who has also been travelling should consider a possible parasite infestation which would also cause diarrhea and bloating in the patient. Giardia and gastroenteritis are the most common parasitic infections contracted from eating bad food or water in under developed countries. A parasitic infection needs to be dealt with promptly as it can cause a form of malnutrition as it consumes the bodys nutrients. Symptoms of parasitic infection, as well lower stomach pain and diarrhea, include fever, headache, body aches and pains and an overall feeling of being unwell.
Other possible causes of lower stomach pain
Generally speaking lower stomach pain is not caused by one of the severe conditions outlined above; the cause is generally something fairly minor which should give no cause for concern to the patient or their doctor. These common causes include:
- Gas pain
- Pain due to constipation
- Muscle strain
- Urinary tract infection
- Pain due to diarrhea
- The flu
- Food allergies
These conditions are all easily resolved by the use of over the counter medication or will pass with time.
Very occasionally lower stomach pain may be indicative of something more serious such as colon cancer, intestinal ulcers, polyps, food poisoning or stones of the bladder or kidney. Any persistent, severe, long term pain should be reported to your medical practitioner.
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