Differential Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain is the reason of almost 4% of emergency departmental visits. Though it is just a symptom, however it can be a life threating condition. The causes of abdominal pain can be serious or even non serious. There are a number of diagnoses of abdominal pain in different parts of abdomen.

What is Abdominal Pain?

Between the pelvic region and chest, abdominal pain occurs. It can be achy, cramp-like, sharp or even dull. There are different organs in abdomen like kidneys, spleen, liver, appendix, stomach and more. When these organs are affected by inflammation, it causes pain. This pain is also known as “Stomachache.”

Types of Abdominal Pain

There are different types of abdominal pain that can be described as colicky, cramp like or even localized.

  • Colicky Pain: This pain is the symptom if severe conditions like kidney stones or even gallstones. The pain starts suddenly as well as this pain may feel like a painful muscle spasm.
  • Cramp Like Pain: The main causes of this pain can be diarrhea, flatulence, constipation as well as bloating. This pain does not last very long. It comes well as goes suddenly. It may completely subside without treatment.
  • Localized Pain: The characteristic of this pain is that it is limited to only one abdomen area. Any problem of any particular organ may cause this pain. Stomach ulcer is the most common cause of the localized pain.

Causes of Abdominal Pain

abdominal pain causes

A number of different reasons are responsible for abdominal pain. However; the major causes are abnormal growth, infection, intestinal disorder as well as inflammation. Infection in the intestines, blood and throat can cause bacteria to enter into the digestive tract and its results pain.

Some other common causes include diarrhea, stress, vomiting, constipation, kidney infection and acid reflux. Some diseases are also responsible for chronic abdominal pain like gastro esophageal reflux disease, Crohn’s disease, gastroenteritis and more.

Location of Abdominal Pain With Causes

The location pain can be a clue of causes of the pain. Following are the location with the possible causes of the pain.

Abdominal pain diagnosis

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How to Diagnosis Abdominal Pain

If the cause of the pain cannot be ascertained, different types of laboratory diagnostic methods can be used to detect the actual cause. The normal diagnostic tests include the electrolytes assessment, BUN and creatinine level in blood, blood counts, renal as well as liver function tests and more. Abdominal ultrasound is another commonest noninvasive technique to find out the actual cause of the abdominal pathology. Stool as well as urine examination is also prescribed to detect the actual cause. Other tests include ECG (Electrocardiography) and ABG (Arterial Blood gas analysis).

A series of tests can also help to diagnosis the abdominal pain. Some physical examination or tests are required before tests. These examination generally include softly pressuring down on different parts of the abdomen. It helps to check for swelling as well as tenderness. The information of each physical examination, location of the pain as well as severity of the pain will help you doctor to determine the tests to order.

Imaging tests like X-Rays, Ultra sound, MRI scan are used to view different tissues, organs as well as other structures in detail. These tests are very helpful to diagnose ruptures, inflammation, fracture as well as tumor.

  • Colonoscopy: It is basically used to look inside the intestines as well as colon. A small tube is inserted through the intestines as well into the colon. The tube includes a small fiber optic camera. This camera allows the doctor to see the details of the colon. This test is specially used to detect the inflammation, abdominal growth as well as blockages in the intestines and colon.
  • Endoscopy: This is used to detect the abnormalities as well as inflammation in the stomach and esophagus. A small tube is used for this procedure to fed down the throat as well as into esophagus. Through the tube a microscope (very tiny) is threaded. It allows the doctor to see inside the stomach as well as esophagus.
  • Upper GI: This X-Ray is very special type of X-Ray. It uses the contrast dye to check the presence of ulcers, blockage, growth, abnormalities as well as inflammation in the stomach. You need to drink a solution for this procedure. This solution will contain contrast dye. After ingesting this solution, the patient will be given a X-Ray of abdominal.

Is It Possible To Prevent Abdominal Pain?

Yes, it is possible to prevent the abdominal pain, but not all type of abdominal pain is preventable. However; it is possible to minimize the risk of developing this type of abdominal pain. You have to maintain the following rules if you want to minimize the risk of abdominal pain:

  • Drink more water
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Exercise regularly

If you are suffering from intestinal disorder like Crohn’s disease, you need to follow your diet plan that is given by your personal doctor. It will help you to maximize your discomfort. If you are suffering from gastro esophageal reflux, you should not take any food just before bedtime. If you go to sleep just after eating, it may cause your heartburn or even abdominal pain.


The reasons of abdominal pain can vary person to person. It can be common or even uncommon. Abdominal pain can turn to serious diseases. Follow the command of your personal doctor and try to prevent your abdominal pain if you want to lead a healthy life.

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