Abdominal pain: 7 signs that deserve attention
Abdominal pain is a symptom that can mean a number of diseases. This is because the abdomen is a body cavity in which many organs are concentrated, as the gastrointestinal surgeon explains.
A pain in this region may therefore range from simple factors , like gas or bowel trapped, to a more serious digestive, gynecological or renal problem. "The patient's history, the evolution of pain and related symptoms are important at the time of diagnosis," explains the expert.
Man sitting on the edge of the bed with his hand on the belly signaling pain in the region - "Photo: Getty Images "
But is it necessary to go to the doctor whenever an abdominal pain arises? Most important, in fact, is for the patient to know your body. If the pain is linked to a heavy meal or menstruation, for example, you can medicate and know what will happen. But if the discomfort is recurring or followed by more severe signs, you must have attention and seek a professional.
See the most alarming symptoms of abdominal pain:
1. Pain that lasts for days
Abdominal pain that lasts for many days is usually a bad sign: "This type of pain may be linked to inflammatory conditions (such as colitis) or to the appearance of stones," explains Caetano Jr In such cases, it is important to go to the doctor to understand what may be causing the prolonged problem, and not to mask it with medications.
Fever is a classic sign of bacterial or viral diseases. In these cases, it may be an intestinal infection or something more serious as well.
"Abdominal pain accompanied by an increase in body temperature may even be a disease that needs surgery because it represents the presence of an infection in the body," considers the gastroenterologist Matheus Freitas Cardoso de Azevedo, of the São Camilo Hospitals Network, in São Paulo.
3. Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are usually indicative of bowel problems, such as infections. "These pictures trap the digestive tract, so the food does not progress and the body tries to eliminate it in another way", contextualizes Caetano Jr.
In addition, inflammations in other organs can also influence the transit of the food bolus, causing nausea , as in cases of appendicitis, pancreatitis and renal calculi, which stimulate the digestive tract due to the physical proximity of the organs.
Diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain may be a simple food poisoning. However, when the pain is insistent, stay tuned. "This may be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease, especially if the stools have mucus or blood," says Caetano Jr.
In this list of pathologies, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease enter, among others. However, even if it is just a food poisoning, it is important to go to the doctor to see what type of agent is causing the problem.
5. Reduced appetite
Loss of appetite is a dangerous symptom in itself, and becomes more important when accompanied by abdominal pain. "If the pain occurs a long time and is also linked to weight loss, it may be some intestinal disease and even a tumor," says Azevedo.
Inflammatory bowel diseases can also cause this symptom, especially in children. And loss of child's appetite can lead to growth problems due to reduced nutrients, and it is important to seek a doctor.
6. Swollen and hard belly
Swollen or hard abdomen can be both a simpler problem, such as a distention due to overeating, when you signal more severe pictures. Therefore, if the problem persists, making a medical appointment is very important.
"Swelling may be a symptom of intestinal obstruction or some inflammatory process, so it deserves an investigation," says Azevedo.
7. Abdominal region sensitive to touch
The abdominal region very sensitive to the touch can mean a series of problems. If the pain is very intense when you lean in the area, it is important to check what is happening. "It is very common that an inflammation in an organ manifests first as a generalized pain in the region due to the type of nerves we have in these organs, "says Caetano Jr. Over time, the pain may be localized, but that may mean a slightly more advanced picture.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) should always be treated with caution and safety by repercussions throughout the urinary tract. When we talk about urinary tract infections, they can occur either upwards (coming from the external environment through the urethra) or through the propagation of microorganisms into the bloodstream .