In primary care abdominal pain is a common problem dealt with physicians. Types of abdominal pain are labeled as acute, subacute and chronic abdominal pain. The acute is the mild form and chronic is the worse stage. There can be many causes for having this type of pain and it is not possible for physician’s to reach a definite diagnosis on their first investigation. It is more important to find out in what stage the patient is in. If the problem is life threatening then the patient must receive treatment immediately. Based on the preliminary diagnosis, physicians will decide how they will management the situation. They may choose to monitor the patient and find out more about the problem.
There are many things that can cause abdominal pain. It can surface due to medical conditions of the patient or from surgery performed for a different problem. Those who suffer from lower lobe pneumonia, hypercalcaemia, sickle cell crisis, myocardial infarction, hereditary angiodema or diabetic ketoacidosis are likely to suffer from abdominal pain. This pain can sometime be the cause of gynecological issues. Ectopic pregnancy sometimes offer diarrhea and shoulder tip pain. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome during assisted conception, heavy vaginal bleeding, placental abruptions and other pregnancy related complications can also cause abdominal pain. Surgical operations like aortic dissection or aneurism can also result in abdominal and back pain. Patients are also known to suffer from this type of pain for mesenteric infarction where pain might feel like it is out of proportions. An obstruction in the urinary system can be the result of an enlarged bladder and in time cause this type of pain. Other surgical operations like acute bowel obstruction, generalized peritonitis, testicular torsion, abscess etc. can also be the reason for this pain.
As said earlier, the physicians always try to find out how sick the patient is for this type of problem. If the patient is diagnosed with acute abdominal pain, then physicians start by checking the vital signs. It is an indication of serious illness if there are slight changes in the vital signs of the patient. The patient is given intravenous fluids if considered in a state of shock. Acute cases are monitored for blood pressure and given analgesia if needed. During the monitoring phase physicians try to find out urgent problems. If the patient is diagnosed with subacute or chronic form then alerting features like age above sixty years, history of bowel and ovarian cancer in the family, history of gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia, organomegaly, unexplained weight loss etc. are taken with extra care.
After careful examination physicians plan their next course of management. Symptoms and signs that was identified and likely to evolve over time. People who have learning difficulties may present late symptoms and have a chance of deteriorating. Patients usually have to go through tests like ECG, FBC, group blood, ESR, glucose, calcium, amylase, urine pregnancy test, CT scans etc. Abdominal pain can turn into something much worse if left ignored so you should contact your physician immediately upon suspicion.