Almost everyone has abdominal pain occasionally. In most cases, your discomfort passes quickly, but chronic or severe abdominal pain can be a sign of a more serious health problem. At Ulster Gastroenterology in Kingston, New York, board-certified gastroenterologist Reham El-Shaer, MD, and her team diagnose the condition causing your abdominal pain and provide personalized treatment plans to relieve your pain and heal your body.
Your body has many organs packed into your abdominal cavity, and problems with any of them can lead to abdominal pain. Your pain could be due to stress or eating something that didn’t agree with you. The most prevalent medical causes of abdominal pain include:
Your abdominal pain could also be due to a more severe issue such as an organ rupture (a burst appendix, for example), ulcers, gallstones, kidney stones, a kidney infection, diverticulitis, colon polyps, or colon cancer.
Most minor issues that cause abdominal pain pass on their own within a few days. You should make an appointment at Ulster Gastroenterology if your pain persists for more than a week or prevents you from going to work, school, or social activities.
Signs that indicate a more serious issue that needs medical attention include:
The team at Ulster Gastroenterology has state-of-the-art, in-office diagnostic tools to identify the cause of your abdominal pain and the best treatment for your needs.
The Ulster Gastroenterology team begins with a physical exam. After reviewing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, your provider feels your abdomen for signs of swelling, stiffness, or tissue rigidity.
The team may also order lab tests, including blood, urine, and fecal analysis. When necessary, they may also suggest an endoscopy or colonoscopy to examine the inside of your digestive tract in more detail.
Both endoscopy and colonoscopy use small cameras on the tips of thin, flexible surgical tubes. An endoscope enters your digestive tract through your mouth and examines your upper tract. A colonoscope enters your body through your rectum to examine your lower digestive organs.
The treatments for abdominal pain depend on the condition causing it. For example, if your exam and tests reveal Crohn’s disease or IBS, your provider suggests dietary changes to reduce irritation within your digestive tract and medication to ease your symptoms.
Call Ulster Gastroenterology today or make an appointment online if you have severe or persistent abdominal pain that disrupts your life.