Abdominal Pain in Illinois
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What is abdominal pain?
People often have difficulty describing abdominal pain. Sometimes abdominal pain can be described as pain in the lower abdomen, upper abdominal pain, upper stomach pain, generalized pain in the stomach, etc. Abdominal pain can present as any form of discomfort between the chest and the pelvis. It may seem vague and a struggle to define. Many times, pain in your abdomen can be something of a nonissue but it is imperative to listen to your body and the signs that it is sending you. There can be several possible conditions or contributing factors as to the root of your stomach pain. If you have had consistent off-and-on stomach troubles, it could be time to consult with a physician who can provide treatment for abdominal pain in Illinois. Call GI Alliance of Illinois to request a consultation with a gastroenterology specialist. At 22 locations across Illinois, we perform treatment for abdominal pain from Chicago, IL locations to Peoria, IL and Bloomington, IL.
What causes abdominal pain?
Stomach or abdominal pain can be caused by several less serious situations. These frequently include:
- Difficulty with digestion (dyspepsia)
- Difficulty passing hard stool
- Allergies to foods (such as lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance). Common food allergies include nuts, milk, fish, eggs, and shellfish.
- A potential stomach virus: This could be a stomach flu or other virus.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Pain often occurs in the lower abdomen but can be in any portion of the abdomen. Pain may increase soon after eating.
- Poisoning from food: A foodborne illness due to toxins in food from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
Alternate conditions that also result in abdominal pain are:
- Cholecystitis: Swelling of the gallbladder that can present as severe discomfort in the center or upper right of the abdomen.
- Crohn’s disease: An inflammatory disease of the intestines that results in abdominal pain and frequent diarrhea.
- Ulcers: Sores in the lining of the stomach that can cause pain in the abdomen.
- Bowel obstruction or blockage: Inability of digested material from passing through the intestine.
- Diverticulitis: Infection/inflammation of the colon. This might progress to bowel obstruction and abdominal swelling.
- Colon cancer: Symptoms may include severe and long-lasting abdominal pain, and/or change in bowel habits.
- Pancreatitis: Swelling in the pancreas. Pain is experienced in the upper abdomen, radiating to the back.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Experienced when stomach acid regurgitates back into the esophagus. Symptoms can include recurring heartburn.
- Appendicitis: Inflammation in the appendix. This could feel like a dull pain in the abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper.
- Ulcerative colitis: IBS that can manifest in abdominal and rectal cramping and pain.
- Stomach cancer: Symptoms can include pain and an unusual feeling of “fullness” in one's upper abdomen.
- Insufficient supply of blood to the intestines (intestinal ischemia): This may be due to a blocked blood vessel and may affect intestinal function.
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis): Symptoms manifest as extreme pain in the back and side from the lower abdomen to the groin.
These conditions can be indicators of a more serious problem that will need to be addressed by your local GI Alliance provider.
What is the cause of lower abdominal pain?
At times, pain can be localized to the lower portion of one's abdominal area. Some typical sources of lower abdominal pain include:
- Gas: Feels like pressure in your abdomen and can include flatulence and burping.
- Celiac disease (celiac sprue): Triggered response of the body to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye.
- Flu (stomach flu): Infection of the intestines. Might be characterized by fever, cramping, or nausea.
- Bowel blockage: The stoppage of digested material from traveling through the intestine.
- Lactose intolerance: The inability to fully digest lactose found in dairy.
- IBD (Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease): The term for any chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix. This may present like a dull pain in the abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper.
- Hernia: When another part of the body or organ pushes into the wall of the abdomen.
- IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome): Common disorder affecting the large intestine.
- Indigestion: Discomfort caused by indigestion in one's lower abdomen is unusual and a result of an accumulation of acid after eating.
- Constipation: The inability to pass and/or difficulty passing stool.
- Diverticulitis: Inflammation or infection of the walls of the intestines.
When should I go to the hospital for abdominal pain?
If you are experiencing intense unrelenting abdominal pain accompanied by any of the below-listed conditions, emergency assistance may be needed. Abdominal pain should most certainly be reviewed by an emergency provider if you have or are experiencing:
- Pain that travels from your stomach to the back
- A stomach that is extremely tender to the touch
- Abdominal pain accompanied by a fever
- Bloody stool or bloody urine
- A difficult time breathing or you are experiencing pain in your chest
- Unable to eat without vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- An unusual heartbeat
The best rule of thumb is to not take any risks. If your stomach pain is recurring but perhaps not excruciating, a meeting with your nearest gastrointestinal doctor might still be necessary. Our skilled providers commonly provide care for individuals with abdominal pain in Illinois and are ready to help you with your gastrointestinal needs. Blood in your stool should always be addressed and should be assessed by a medical provider. In the event that you have blood in your stool, we urge you to connect with GI Alliance of Illinois immediately.
Address abdominal pain in Illinois
Due to the multitude of sources that can cause abdominal pain, the most reliable and effective way to treat abdominal pain is to seek a diagnosis from a gastrointestinal provider. The physician-led team of gastroenterologists at GI Alliance of Illinois strives to deliver the highest quality, patient-focused service. As leaders in gastrointestinal health, our specialists are happy to perform an array of diagnostic tests and give treatment for a vast array of conditions that cause abdominal pain. To connect with a specialist who provides treatment for abdominal pain in Illinois, please contact our facility at your earliest convenience to make an appointment.
Saved my life in 2004 insisting "something terribly wrong " with this woman. I went ER with abdominal pain. Diagnosed with rare cancer. Have seen him since then with other gastro issues. Very patient, always listens, very knowledgeable.