Abdominal Pain in St. Louis, MO
Ready to Consult a GI Physician?Find a Provider
What is abdominal pain?
People often have a hard time characterizing abdominal pain. It is sometimes described as lower abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, pain in the upper stomach, generalized pain in the stomach, etc. Abdominal pain can manifest as any form of discomfort in the area between the pelvis and the chest. It can be vague and difficult to define. A lot of the time, pain in your abdomen can be a relatively insignificant issue, but it is essential to pay attention to your body and the signs that it is trying to send to you. There could be several possible conditions or contributing factors regarding why you may be experiencing stomach pain. If you have had frequent here-and-there stomach troubles, it may be time to meet with a provider who provides treatment for abdominal pain in St. Louis, MO. You can find a gastrointestinal provider in your area by contacting one of our Specialists in Gastroenterology locations.
What causes abdominal pain?
Stomach or abdominal pain can be the result of many benign concerns. These usually include:
- Difficulty with digestion (dyspepsia)
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Pain often occurs and develops in the lower abdomen but can be anywhere in the abdomen. Pain may intensify soon after eating.
- A potential stomach virus: This could be the stomach flu or another virus.
- Difficulty passing hard stool
- Allergies to foods, such as gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance. Common food allergies include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, and milk.
- Poisoning from food: A foodborne illness due to toxins in food from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Symptoms include abdominal cramps.
Other potentially more serious conditions that cause abdominal pain are:
- Decreased supply of blood to the intestines (intestinal ischemia): This might be due to a blocked blood vessel and may affect intestinal efficiency.
- Colon cancer: Symptoms could include extreme and long-lasting pain in the abdomen, and/or change in bowel habits.
- Diverticulitis: Infection/inflammation of the colon. This may progress to bowel obstruction and abdominal inflammation.
- Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix. This could feel like a dull pain in one's abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Pain is felt from the upper abdomen, radiating to the back.
- Ulcers: Sores in the stomach lining which can present with abdominal pain.
- Ulcerative colitis: Inflammatory bowel disease that can result in abdominal and rectal cramping and pain.
- Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder that presents as severe discomfort in the center or upper right of the abdomen.
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis): Symptoms present with severe pain in one's back and side from the groin to the lower abdomen.
- Cancer of the stomach: Symptoms might include pain and unusual “fullness” in one's upper abdomen.
- Crohn’s disease: An inflammatory disease of the intestines that results in frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- Bowel obstruction or blockage: Inability of digested waste to pass through the intestine.
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease): Occurs when stomach acid regurgitates back into the esophagus. Symptoms may involve recurring heartburn.
What are the causes of lower abdominal pain?
At times, abdominal pain can be isolated to the lower portion of the abdomen. Some common causes of pain in the lower abdomen include:
- Hernia: When another part of the body or organ forces its way into the abdominal wall.
- Stomach flu: Infection of the intestines. Could present with fever, cramping, or nausea.
- IBD (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis): A term describing any chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
- Gas: Presents as the sensation of pressure in your abdomen and could include flatulence and burping.
- Bowel obstruction: The stoppage of digested material from passing through the bowel.
- Constipation: The inability to pass and/or difficulty passing stool.
- Appendicitis: Swelling of the appendix. This can feel like a dull pain in the abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen and becomes worse.
- Lactose intolerance: The adverse reaction to lactose (found in dairy) due to an inability to digest it.
- Diverticulitis: Swelling or infection of the walls of the intestines.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Common disorder of the colon.
- Indigestion: Discomfort from indigestion in one's lower abdomen is rare and a result of a buildup of acid after eating.
- Celiac disease: Adverse reaction to gluten, found in rye, wheat, and barley.
When should I go to the hospital for abdominal pain?
If you are suffering from extreme, unrelenting pain in the abdomen accompanied by any of the following symptoms, emergency treatment could be needed. Abdominal pain should most certainly be reviewed by an emergency physician immediately if:
- Pain extends from the stomach to the back
- Your stomach is extremely tender to the touch
- Your abdominal pain is accompanied by a fever
- Bloody stool or bloody urine
- A difficult time breathing or pain in your chest
- Unable to eat without vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- Irregular heartbeat
The best advice is not to take any risks. If your stomach pain is recurring but not excruciating, meeting with your nearest GI provider could still be advisable. Our experienced professionals routinely provide treatment for individuals with abdominal pain in St. Louis, MO and would love to help you with your gastrointestinal concerns. Blood in your stool should always be assessed and addressed by a medical provider. If you have blood in your stool, we urge you to contact a Specialists in Gastroenterology location near you immediately.
Personalized treatment of abdominal pain
Due to the vast array of abdominal pain causes, the most effective way to treat abdominal pain is to get a professional opinion from a gastrointestinal specialist. The experienced group of gastroenterologists at a Specialists in Gastroenterology in your community aims to deliver the highest quality, patient-centered service. As leaders in digestive health, our providers are happy to perform a range of diagnostic tests and give treatment for a great number of conditions that are responsible for abdominal pain. To connect with a specialist who provides treatment for abdominal pain in St. Louis, MO, please call one of our locations to request a consultation.
Kind, thorough, efficient.
I received much needed care. Has really made a difference. Dr. Root was fantastic, as was David.
Entire staff, from front desk to nurses to doctor, was friendly, welcoming, and professional. 10/10 would have a colonoscopy again. Also, it said I could add photos, but why would I do that y'all don't need to see my colonoscopy pictures
Dr Banerjee and staff at Mo.baptist were excellent. Very helpful and caring. I felt well taken care of. Thanks
Outstanding performance of the colonoscopy. Dr. Thyssen showed care, compassion and competence. He is supported by an excellent , experienced staff throughout the process.