My Belly Hurts! What's It All About?

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What does "abdominal pain" refer to and what could be the cause?

My Belly Hurts! What's It All About?

Abdominal pain refers to pain or discomfort in the area extending from the rib cage to the pelvis, also known as the abdominal cavity. The organs housed within this cavity may be the source of the pain, and they include the:

  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine or colon
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Gallbladder
  • Appendix
  • Pancreas
  • Female reproductive organs
Abdominal pain causes can range from a simple stomach upset to a life-threatening vascular rupture. Typically, however, abdominal pain results from a problem in or around one of the abdominal organs, irritation or hypersensitivity of the wall or muscles of the abdominal cavity, or a disruption or dysfunction of a vessel supplying an intra-abdominal structure. Achieving abdominal pain relief hinges on knowing what structure is involved and choosing the appropriate course of action to deal with it. The easiest course of action may be an over-the-counter form of relief, or possibly a tried and true family remedy. If that doesn't help, consult with your physician. Prescription medication may be the best way of treating abdominal pain in this case, or further medical testing could be indicated.

   

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