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Nearly everybody will experience abdominal pain at one point or another. In most cases, the cause of the pain is completely harmless and will usually resolve on its own without any medical intervention. In rare cases, there can be serious, life-threatening causes that require medical attention, such as a heart attack. That’s why it is important to recognise the symptoms of abdominal pain in order to identify the severity of the ailment. Find out the top 10 symptoms of abdominal pain.

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Bloating

Bloating is one of the most common symptoms of abdominal pain and refers to an expansion of the abdominal area. This is often accompanied by a feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdomen, leading to abdominal pain. Sometimes, patients can also feel increased stomach growling (or the lack of it). Most people experience bloating when they consume too much food, or when they consume a food that they are unable to properly digest. Gas is also a common cause of bloating. If you experience bloating, try waiting for a few hours to see if the diameter of the stomach returns to its normal state.

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Gas

One of the classical symptoms of abdominal pain is excessive gas. Nearly everyone experiences this symptom once in awhile, whether it be from eating a certain type of food or because of an allergy. Gas is an unfortunate reality for many people, and a source of anxiety. When you have gas, you may experience voluntary or involuntary passing of gas (belching or flatus). Gas is occasionally accompanied by sharp or jabbing pains in the abdomen, caused by the movement of gas along the digestive system. You may also feel extreme pain which may be mistaken for heart disease or appendicitis.

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Indigestion

Indigestion is constant pain in the upper abdomen caused by the acid of the stomach. When you consume food, your stomach produces acid to help breakdown and digest the food. Sometimes, the acid may be too powerful, causing a burning sensation in some parts of the digestive system, especially the upper part of the bowel (also known as the esophagus). Sometimes the pain is felt immediately after eating, while in other occasions there may be a delay between eating and indigestion. Besides a burning sensation in the esophagus, indigestion may also make you feel bloated full.

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Quadrant Pain

When you experience pain in the abdomen, it can generally be divided into different zones. Doctors have divided the abdomen into four quadrants: the right upper quadrant, containing the liver and gallbladder; the left upper quadrant, containing the stomach and duodenum; the right lower quadrant, containing the appendix; and the left lower quadrant, which contains a part of the colon. It is important to locate the source of the pain in order to make a precise diagnosis. For example, if you are experiencing pain in the lower quadrant, this could be caused by you appendix.

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Constipation

One of the telltale symptoms of abdominal pain is constipation. When you are constipated, it makes it difficult to have a bowel movement, which is often tough or infrequent. Constipation is very common, especially in contemporary society where junk food is abundant. Normally, people have a bowel movement once or twice a day. Some people only have a few every week. However, going longer than 3 days without a bowel movement is too long, and the feces become harder to pass. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, it may because you have not had a healthy bowel movement for sometime.

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GERD

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It refers to a digestive disorder that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter allows stomach acid to pass into the esophagus, causing a variety of symptoms, such as heartburn (a burning feeling after eating). Sometimes, this pain may be felt in the abdominal area, although it is often felt in the esophagus or chest. Certain people, such as pregnant women, are more likely to suffer from GERD. By making changes to your diet and your lifestyle, you can alleviate the symptoms of GERD. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat it.

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Heartburn

One of the most frequent symptoms of abdominal pain is heartburn. Heartburn is an unpleasant burning feeling in the upper chest or throat. Sometimes, the pain can also be felt in the upper abdomen. It is caused by acid entering your esophagus from your stomach. Some people are more likely than others to suffer from heartburn, including pregnant women. Certain food groups, alcohol, and medications may also contribute to heartburn. If you experience frequent heartburn, consider taking over-the-counter medicines. In rare cases, it may be necessary to perform surgery to correct the muscles responsible for heartburn.

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Chest Pain

Surprisingly, chest pain is a common symptom of abdominal pain. Many people who experience pain in the abdomen also report pain in the chest. Because abdominal pain can radiate outwards, people may also experience discomfort in the arms, legs, chest, or even the back. There are many causes of chest pain, ranging from heart attacks to acid reflux. If you experience unexplained chest pain and have a family history of heart disease, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor. Chest pain can also be a result of indigestion or heartburn; in such cases, it will often go away by itself.

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Chills

Even though it is not as common as other symptoms, some people report experiencing chills together with abdominal pain. This is often the result of an infectious disease of a bacterial or viral nature. If you happen to have a viral infection, you might also experience vomiting or night sweats. Some of the conditions often associated with abdominal pain and chills include appendicitis, viral gastroenteritis, or malaria. In rare instances, abdominal pain together with chills may be the result of a heart attack. In such cases, however, other symptoms would also be present.

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Tenderness

Tenderness in the abdomen is pain that occurs when your abdomen is pressed in a certain part. If the abdomen is tender this could be a sign of a problem with one or more organs in the affected area. These organs can include the kidney or the liver, for example. If you experience tenderness in the abdomen, it is recommended to consult your doctor as soon as possible. Other causes of tenderness include blocked organs, such as the fallopian tubes or even the colon. In some cases, abdominal tenderness may be considered a medical emergency as it may be caused by inflammation of the organs.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.