Abdominal Pain

What is Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be caused by many things. Often, abdominal pain is not serious and it gets better with no treatment or by being treated at home. However, sometimes abdominal pain is serious.

Your health care provider will do a medical history and a physical exam to try to determine the cause of your abdominal pain.

Follow these instructions at home:

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider. Do nottake a laxative unless told by your health care provider.
  • Drink enough fluid to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.
  • Watch your condition for any changes.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • Your abdominal pain changes or gets worse.
  • You are not hungry or you lose weight without trying.
  • You are constipated or have diarrhea for more than 2–3 days.
  • You have pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • Your abdominal pain wakes you up at night.
  • Your pain gets worse with meals, after eating, or with certain foods.
  • You are throwing up and cannot keep anything down.
  • You have a fever.

Get help right away if:

  • Your pain does not go away as soon as your health care provider told you to expect.
  • You cannot stop throwing up.
  • Your pain is only in areas of the abdomen, such as the right side or the left lower portion of the abdomen.
  • You have bloody or black stools, or stools that look like tar.
  • You have severe pain, cramping, or bloating in your abdomen.
  • You have signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Dark urine, very little urine, or no urine.
    • Cracked lips.
    • Dry mouth.
    • Sunken eyes.
    • Sleepiness.
    • Weakness.

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