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How to Treat & Prevent Abdominal Pain

Learn how to treat and prevent abdominal pain from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about stomach problems.


So if you have abdominal pain, trying to treat it and trying to prevent it are very difficult questions to ask. So it's important to understand where the pain's coming from in order to treat it, in order to prevent it. So if you're having pain, say, in the right upper quadrant that may be going up to your shoulder, and it's more of a cramping pain, that could be gallbladder disease or a gallstone or something of that region. It would be important to see your doctor, because they may order some tests to take a look at your gallbladder to see if the gallbladder is inflames or if there's a stone that's stuck in the duct or some sort of abnormality there.

If you're having epigastric pain that's associated with heartburn or pain after eating, you may have gastritis or a peptic ulcer or something of that region. The doctor may ask you to see a gatroenterologist to do an endoscopy to take a look inside your stomach to see if you have an ulcer.

if you have right lower quadrant pain, the most common cause of pain in that area is appendicitis. So you may have to go to the doctor to have that evaluated to make sure you don't have appendicitis. If you do, that's considered a medical and surgical emergency. Your doctor may order a CAT scan in order to take a look at that region of your digestive tract and order the appropriate tests. If surgery is required for the appendix, he'll call a surgeon to do an appendectomy.

Again, if you have pain on the left lower quadrant, diverticular pain, or diverticulitis is probably one of the most common causes of pain in that region. Again, the doctor may order some tests or a CT scan in order to investigate that. Now based on their investigation and the tests that they've ordered, they'll recommend different therapies. Depending on the cause, they're going to have special medications, such as antibiotics or if it's a surgical abdomen, you'll have to be referred to a surgeon to have surgery done. So it's a very difficult question to ask, but understanding where the pain is coming from helps to manage it.

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