What are the signs of abdominal problems?

Abdominal symptoms are sensations and conditions that seem to originate in the belly or belly wall. The digestive tract occupies a large portion of the abdomen and is often the source of abdominal symptoms, although they can also be due to conditions of the body wall, skin, blood vessels, or urinary tract. Occasionally, conditions related to the reproductive organs or the chest can create symptoms in the abdomen.

Digestive Problems Spotlight

Conditions of the digestive track are known to cause discomfort, nausea, vomiting, gas, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, changes in stool color or consistency, and bloating. Pain from the digestive tract can be severe or mild, constant or periodic, and may be generalized or located in one specific area. Pain or tenderness that is localized may be due to an underlying organ such as the appendix, gall bladder, spleen, or stomach, whereas generalized pain is more common with gas, indigestion or infection. Serious conditions of the digestive tract, such as intestinal obstruction, intestinal perforation, or ruptured appendix, may cause difficulties with passing stool or severe pain with abdominal rigidity.

Abdominal symptoms that are severe, persistent or worsening, or that are accompanied by other serious symptoms tend to be the most worrisome.

Abdominal symptoms can be related to a variety of conditions ranging from minor to serious. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for severe pain that comes on suddenly, the inability to have bowel movements, bloody stool, vomiting blood, abdominal rigidity, breathing difficulties, or pain in the neck, chest, shoulders, or between the shoulders. You should also seek immediate care if you have cancer or if you might be pregnant and have the sudden onset of vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.

If your abdominal symptoms are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care, particularly if you have pain that is worsening instead of improving. If you have bladder symptoms, a fever, decreased appetite, or unexplained weight loss, you should also seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with abdominal symptoms?

Abdominal symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Abdominal symptoms are often related to the digestive tract, but they may also involve other body systems.... Read more about abdominal symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes abdominal symptoms?

Abdominal symptoms often originate in the digestive tract, although they can also be due to disorders of the circulatory system, urinary tract, reproductive system, respiratory system, or the body wall.... Read more about abdominal symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System


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