abdominal pain

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abdominal pain

acute or chronic, localized or diffuse pain in the abdominal cavity. Abdominal pain is a significant symptom because its cause may require immediate surgical or medical intervention. The most common causes of severe abdominal pain are inflammation, perforation of an intraabdominal structure, circulatory obstruction, intestinal or ureteral obstruction, intestinal cramping, or rupture of an organ located within the abdomen. Specific conditions include appendicitis, perforated peptic ulcer, strangulated hernia, superior mesenteric arterial thrombosis, diverticulitis, and small and large bowel obstruction. Differential diagnosis of the cause of acute abdominal pain requires its localization and characterization by means of light and deep palpation; auscultation; percussion; and abdominal, rectal, or pelvic examination. Direct physical examination may be supplemented by various laboratory and radiological examinations. Aspiration of peritoneal fluid (paracentesis) for bacteriological and chemical evaluation is sometimes indicated. Conditions producing acute abdominal pain that may require surgery include appendicitis, acute or severe and chronic diverticulitis, acute and chronic cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, acute pancreatitis, perforation of a peptic ulcer, intestinal obstructions, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and trauma affecting any of the abdominal organs. Gynecological causes that may require surgery include pelvic inflammatory disease, ruptured ovarian cyst, and ectopic pregnancy. Abdominal pain associated with pregnancy may be caused by the weight of the enlarged uterus; rotation, stretching, or compression of the round ligament; or squeezing or displacement of the bowel. In addition, uterine contractions associated with preterm labor may produce severe abdominal pain. Chronic abdominal pain may be functional or may result from overeating or aerophagy. When symptoms are recurrent, an organic cause is considered. Organic sources include peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, gastritis, chronic cholecystitis and cholelithiasis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic carcinoma, chronic diverticulitis, intermittent low-grade intestinal obstruction, and functional indigestion. Some systemic conditions may cause abdominal pain. Examples include systemic lupus erythematosus, lead poisoning, hypercalcemia, sickle cell anemia, diabetic acidosis, porphyria, tabes dorsalis, and black widow spider poisoning.

Abdominal Pain

A generic term for focal or general discomfort localised to the abdominal region.


pertaining to, affecting or originating in the abdomen. See also abdominal paracentesis, abdominal sounds.

abdominal binding
a wide bandage applied to the abdomen to raise intra-abdominal pressure. Its primary purposes are (1) to limit the displacement of the diaphragm during thoracic compression of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, thereby raising intrathoracic pressures achieved and improving forward blood flow, and (2) to maintain blood volume in the central circulation during hemorrhagic shock.
abdominal breathing
an abnormal form of respiratory movement in which the thorax is fixed and the inspiratory and expiratory movement of the lungs are carried out by the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles so that there are exaggerated movements of the abdominal wall.
abdominal cavity
the body cavity between the diaphragm and the pelvis; contains the abdominal organs.
abdominal enlargement
may result from fluid effusions (transudate, exudate or blood), enlargement of viscera (neoplasia, dilatation, engorgement or physiological phenomena, e.g. pregnancy), intra-abdominal masses or fat. Weakness of the abdominal wall usually results in a pendulous rather than enlarged abdomen.
abdominal lavage
see abdominal lavage.
abdominal muscle ischemia
an unexplained ischemic necrosis of the internal oblique muscle of ewes in late pregnancy which are carrying twins or triplets. Results in ventral hernia but often with little apparent effect on the ease of lambing.
abdominal muscles
the paired muscles of the flank and belly that surround and support the abdominal viscera.
abdominal pad
see abdominal pad.
abdominal pain
may arise from an abdominal organ, the peritoneum or be referred as from spinal nerves.
abdominal regions
arbitrary, descriptive subdivisions of the abdomen made up of three groups of three (like a noughts-and-crosses grid), three along the middle—xiphoid, umbilical and pubic, and three lateral pairs—hypochondriac, lateral abdominal and inguinal.
abdominal silhouette
the shape of the abdomen viewed from behind.
abdominal trier
see trier.
abdominal tunic
see tunica flava abdominis.
abdominal viscera
the organs contained within the abdominal cavity; they include the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, pancreas, and parts of the urinary and reproductive tracts.
abdominal wall
consists of the parietal peritoneum, the deep and superficial layers of fascia, the transverse abdominal, internal and external abdominal oblique muscles, the subcutaneous tissue and the skin. It contains the umbilicus, the cicatrix marking the entry point of the umbilical cord, and is traversed by the inguinal canal, and at its caudal extremity carries the prepubic tendon, the ventral attachment of the wall to the pubic bones.
abdominal wall rigidity
reflex response to pain of peritonitis, accompanied by pain on palpation or percussion.


a feeling of distress, suffering or agony, caused by stimulation of specialized nerve endings. Its purpose is chiefly protective; it acts as a warning that tissues are being damaged and induces the sufferer to remove or withdraw from the source.
All receptors for pain stimuli are free nerve endings of groups of myelinated or unmyelinated neural fibers abundantly distributed in the superficial layers of the skin and in certain deeper tissues such as the periosteum, surfaces of the joints, arterial walls, and the falx and tentorium of the cranial cavity. The distribution of pain receptors in the gastrointestinal mucosa apparently is similar to that in the skin; thus, the mucosa is quite sensitive to irritation and other painful stimuli. Although the parenchyma of the liver and the alveoli of the lungs are almost entirely insensitive to pain, the liver as an organ and the bile ducts are extremely sensitive, as are the bronchi, ureters, parietal pleura and peritoneum.
Some pain receptors are selective in their response to stimuli, but most are sensitive to more than one of the following types of excitation: (1) mechanical stress of trauma; (2) extremes of heat and cold; and (3) chemical substances, such as histamine, potassium ions, acids, prostaglandins, bradykinin and acetylcholine.
The conscious perception of pain probably takes place in the thalamus and lower centers; interpretation of the quality of pain is probably the role of the cerebral cortex.
There are some naturally occurring internal systems in the body that are known to control pain but none of them has been completely verified. One of the best known is the gate control system in which it is thought that pain impulses are mediated in the substantia gelatinosa of the spinal cord.

abdominal pain
pain occurring in the area between the thorax and pelvis. Manifestations vary between species. Identifiable syndromes include: (1) horse—pawing, flank watching, rolling, straddling as though to urinate, lying on the back; (2) cattle—may depress back and paddle with hindfeet but mostly arched back, grunting, immobility; (3) dogs and cats—arched back, grunting, depression, reluctance to move. Sometimes there is elevation of the hindquarters, with the chest and forelegs on the ground (the so-called 'praying dog' attitude).
Beagle pain syndrome
see beagle pain syndrome.
projected pain
pathology in one area can affect the nerve supply to a distant area in which pain is experienced.
pain receptors
free nerve endings of tufts of fine points or buttons.
referred pain
pain felt in an area distant from the site of pathology but not mediated through a common innervation. There is no evidence that referred pain occurs in animals but it seems likely on anatomical grounds.
pain threshold
the lowest level at which a stimulus can be applied and cause perceptible pain.
pain tolerance
the level of stimulation at which pain becomes intolerable.

Patient discussion about abdominal pain

Q. What Causes Specific Abdominal Pain? Everytime I go see a doctor when I have abdominal pains he tells me I probably have gastroenteritis. How does he know that it's not something else for instance, appendicitis, just by examining my abdomen?

A. whats the symptoms of ovarian cyst?

Q. I keep having this bad pain in my abdomin and I think something is wrong with me what could it be

A. it all depends on the symtoms,could be a number of things,if it persists go see a doctor,

Q. i have pains in the lower abdominal areas what is the couse these pain usually occar off and on besides the the abdomen in the lower areasand some times all over the abdomen

A. Is the pain worsened when you cough or lift heavy weight? It may suggest hernia (protrusion of gut loop through the abdomen wall, see here http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hernia.html ). However, it's virtually impossible to diagnose you through the net, so consulting a doctor would be wise.

Take care,

More discussions about abdominal pain
References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Abunada went on to explain that colorectal cancer symptoms may not be immediately apparent but can include a change in bowel habits, for example, diarrhoea or constipation, a change in stool consistency, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, persistent abdominal discomfort and belly pain, weakness and fatigue, and unintended weight loss.
Hesaid colorectal cancer symptoms may not be immediately apparent but caninclude a change in bowel habits, for example, diarrhoea orconstipation, a change in stool consistency, rectal bleeding or blood inthe stool, persistent abdominal discomfort and belly pain, weakness andfatigue, and unintended weight loss.
Aside from being lactose-free, Artisanal Curd has more probiotics than any other curd, and contains two strains of probiotics - Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria that reduce abdominal discomfort.
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.
Fermentation of food takes place in these and pockets and produces a lot of gas, abdominal discomfort, and alternating diarrhoea constipation.
Headache, sore throat, abdominal discomfort and constipation may also be evident.
Women are more likely than men to have signs and symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as: Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort Shortness of breath Nausea or vomiting Sweating Lightheadedness or dizziness Unusual fatigue These signs and symptoms are more subtle than the obvious crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks.
They often assume a "praying" position due to severe abdominal discomfort.
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection usually appear two to six weeks after exposure and include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.
had been suffering from irritation in the throat, sensation of lump in the throat, burping and upper abdominal discomfort - all that were responding poorly to treatments.
Symptoms of the cancer include long-term changes in bowel habits - such as diarrhoea or constipation - blood during a bowel movement, black, tar-like stool, persistent abdominal discomfort - like cramps, gas or pain - weakness and fatigue, and unexplained weight loss.
IBS is a collection of functional bowel disorders characterized by a change in bowel habits associated with abdominal discomfort, which is usually relieved by a bowel movement.