About Abdominal Pain
Everyone experiences abdominal pain from time to time, but this does not mean that the debilitating symptom should go untreated or unchecked. Abdominal pain is typically a side effect that can result from a mild condition, such as constipation, or a more serious condition, like bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, or Crohn's disease. The root of your issue may not even be related to the colon — abdominal pain can also arise from complications with the spleen, gallbladder, or appendix. This type of pain often feels different from patient to patient, and its location can vary, depending on what underlying problem is causing your discomfort. To relieve the abdominal discomfort that's getting in the way of you living your best life, it's crucial to seek care as soon as possible. The skilled, board-certified team of surgeons at Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery sees patients regularly who experience abdominal pain. Using our advanced register of technology and colorectal expertise, our team will work with you to determine the cause of your abdominal pain and treat it accordingly. If you live in North Houston or West Houston, TX, contact our office and schedule your appointment with one of our credentialed colorectal specialists.
Types of Abdominal Pain
The sensation and location of your pain can often be a reliable indicator of the root cause of your discomfort. The three most common types of pain that patients experience are localized, cramp-like, and colicky. Localized pain that is limited to just one area of the abdomen typically suggests an issue with a particular organ, such as the large intestine or appendix. Cramp-like pain usually occurs on-and-off and can be traced back to mild conditions, such as constipation, diarrhea, or bloating. Unlike the others, colicky pain tends to feel more like a muscle spasm and generally occurs as a symptom of a more severe issue, like gallstones.
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Abdominal pain can be caused by any number of colorectal factors, ranging from mild to severe. The cause of your discomfort may not even be limited to a problem with the colon itself. To determine the root of your abdominal pain, our surgeons will assess the type of discomfort you're experiencing, as well as its focused location within your abdomen. One of the more mild conditions that can cause abdominal pain is constipation. Other issues that are more severe in nature and could lead to serious problems if left untreated are:
- Bowel obstruction
- Colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
- Perforated intestine or organ
Since the cause of your abdominal pain could be an effect of any number of moderate or severe issues, it's important to have your condition assessed by a professional as soon as possible. Leaving symptoms unchecked for an extended period could lead to extensive or even life-threatening later down the line so it's important to be proactive about maintaining your overall health.
What to Expect
When diagnosing the cause of your abdominal pain, our team will perform a physical evaluation to assess any areas of swelling or tenderness, ask you questions about the type of pain you're experiencing and where it's located, and run a series of diagnostic tests. Depending on the results of your physical examination and responses to our questions, our surgeons will order certain diagnostics. Digital imaging, like MRI scans, x-rays, and ultrasounds, can help detect instances of inflammation, cancerous or benign tumors, and ruptures. We may also perform a colonoscopy to look inside the colon for any possible issues. After all of your tests have been performed, it may take a few weeks for our office to receive the results. From there, we will go over your diagnostics with you and develop a course of treatment to resolve your abdominal pain and the condition that's causing it.
The treatment you receive for your abdominal pain will depend on the underlying issue that has led to its development. Our experienced colon and rectal surgeons may supply you with a modified diet program to regulate bowel movements if your discomfort is being caused by constipation or other issues. Some conditions, such as Crohn's disease, do not have an exact cure, but the symptoms can be well-managed with certain medications, a personalized diet plan, or surgery. If colon cancer is detected in any of your assessments, we will immediately work with you to determine the type of care you need from this point. Other organs that can cause abdominal pain are the spleen and gallbladder, which may need to be removed to restore or preserve your health.
Relieve Your Discomfort
Abdominal pain is often a frustrating side effect of any number of underlying medical problems. Discomfort in the stomach can prevent men and women of all ages from living peacefully. If abdominal discomfort is preventing you from living your best possible life, our team of credentialed colorectal surgeons encourages you to seek treatment immediately. While you could trust your care to the hands of a general surgeon, it's better to choose a colon and rectal specialist who has years of experience treating conditions relating to the colon and any resulting symptoms. If you live in or near the North Houston or West Houston areas, give one of our offices a call. The team at Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery are here to diagnose your problems and treat them using the most advanced tools and techniques.