Abdominal pain is a common symptom that almost everyone experiences at one time or another. And, as many of us know, the causes and severity of such pain can very greatly. That’s why it is so important to determine the source of your abdominal pain. An excellent way to do this is to contact an expert at LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition for an assessment of your symptoms.
Abdominal Pain Common Causes
Abdominal pain can occur in a variety of forms, from a mild ache to stabbing pain and cramping. It may be generalized throughout the entire stomach or localized to one specific area. The most commons causes of abdominal pain include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Food poisoning
- Food allergies
- Bowel obstruction
- Crohn’s disease
- Strained or pulled muscle
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peritonitis (infection of abdominal lining)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Kidney stones
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
If your abdominal pain is severe and accompanied by certain other symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. These symptoms include:
- Pain to the touch
- Pain lasting several days
- Pain from injury
- Inability to pass stool
- Inability to keep down food
- Painful or frequent urination
Diagnosis and Treatment of Abdominal Pain
At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we offer a number of innovative and effective ways to diagnose your abdominal pain. Because abdominal pain can come from so many different sources, reaching an accurate diagnosis is crucial to treating the pain effectively.
One way that we work to identify your abdominal pain is with a capsule endoscopy. This imaging test requires the patient to swallow a small capsule. The capsule then takes between 50,000 and 60,000 images of the small intestine. Common reasons for ordering a capsule endoscopy are to diagnose the following:
- Unexplained bleeding
- Unexplained iron deficiency
- Unexplained abdominal pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
Another method we use at Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition is the SIBO breath test. This is a non-invasive, office-based procedure that lets us measure the gases produced by your intestinal bacteria. By gauging the amount of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide that appear in the breath, our doctors can determine what kind of bacteria is living in the small intestine and whether or not SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is the source of your pain.
Finally, the Heidelberg pH test is used to measure the amount of stomach acid a patient is producing. This state-of-the-art test is used at only a few medical centers around the country. By measuring the amount of stomach acid, we can determine if you have either hypochlorhydria (reduced stomach acid output) or achlorhydria (lack of stomach acid). Both of these conditions are associated with abdominal pain, and diagnosis of one or the other will provide a valuable step toward treatment and healing.
Abdominal Pain Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When should I see a doctor about my abdominal pain?
A: If you have any of the symptoms listed above, such as fever or inability to keep down food, you should see a doctor right away. You may also choose to see a doctor if your abdominal pain is less severe but has a negative impact on your health and happiness.
Q: What can I do to reduce abdominal pain?
A: An excellent way to reduce abdominal pain is to see a doctor who specializes in treating the condition. You can also try sipping water, as well as taking antacids or over-the-counter painkillers.
Q: Is my abdominal pain actually gas and/or bloating?
A: At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we also specialize in treating gas and bloating. The best way to determine if this is the cause of your pain is to schedule a consultation.
Consult an Expert Integrative Medicine Doctor
If you find yourself experiencing frequent and unexplained abdominal pain, don’t hesitate to contact LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition. We are experts in all areas of gastroenterology and pioneers in using the “whole-person” approach to heal gastrointestinal problems.
Next, learn about GERD.