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Acute Abdomen

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by Barrett A

(Acute Abdominal Pain; Severe Stomach Ache; Abdominal Cramps; Surgical Abdomen)

 

Causes

There are a number of possible causes of acute abdomen. These may include:
 

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask you for details about your pain, such as the exact location and duration, and about any additional symptoms you may be experiencing, such as bowel or urinary symptoms. He or she will also take your medical history, including any drugs or medications you’ve taken, and perform a physical exam, including rectal and pelvic examinations.
Additionally, one or more of the following tests may be necessary to make a diagnosis:
  • Blood tests
  • Urine analysis
  • Liver function tests
  • Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to examine the abdomen
  • CT scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the abdomen
  • MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the abdomen
  • KUB (kidney, ureter, and bladder) x-rays
  • Barium x-rays
  • Angiography
  • Surgery to visually examine the abdomen
  • Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat to examine the abdominal area
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG)
http://www.cag-acg.org

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
http://www.cdhf.ca

 

References


Abdominal pain, short-term. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/abdominal-pain-short-term.html. Accessed November 22, 2013.


Acute abdominal pain in children. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030601/2321.html. Accessed November 24, 2006.


Evaluation of Acute Abdominal Pain in Adults. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0401/p971.html. Accessed November 22, 2013.


Zeller JL. Acute abdominal pain. JAMA . 296(14):1800. Available at:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/296/14/1800. Accessed November 22, 2013.

 

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