Abdominal pain is like common cold; it affects every person at one point or the other. Fortunately, most incidences are not severe, and can be easily treated. However, for a pain that is severe and keeps occurring frequently, the patient has all reasons to worry about, and make a trip to the doctor. That is why it is important to realize the other accompanying symptoms of this problem, and know when to call for medical help.
The occurrence of a shooting or severe pain in the lower abdominal region can be associated with many underlying conditions, and the list can be endless. The below has the names of some common medical problems which have shown up in most diagnosis. They are:
- Digestion problems such as constipation
- Crohn's disease
- Endometriosis (a disorder that is marked by the tissue that is supposed to line the uterus but somehow grows outside it)
- Food allergies
- Food poisoning
- Gallbladder cancer
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Kidney stones
- Hiatal hernia
- Inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis
- Menstrual cramps
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Peptic ulcer
- Intestinal obstruction (caused by twisted colon or small intestine, diverticulitis, impacted feces, narrowing of large intestine, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc.)
- Kidney cancer
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Lactose intolerance
- Liver abscess (pus-filled pocket in the liver)
- Liver cancer
- Poisoning caused due to lead
- Shingles (affects only those who have had chickenpox)
- Stomach "flu"
- Stomach cancer
- Sickle cell anemia
- Swollen lining of the abdomen
- Swollen lymph nodes in the abdominal region
- The fallopian tubes may get inflamed
- Urinary tract infection
- Waste accumulation in the body
As I said, the severity of the problem can also be determined by other symptoms that accompany it. Common ones may include:
- Vomiting/nausea (sometimes vomiting blood)
- Breathing difficulty (panting for breath, or shortness of breath)
- Frequent urination (painful too)
- Tenderness of the abdomen
- Bloody stools
- A persistent pain that lasts for several days
Such symptoms are more than likely to be arising from an internal problem in the body, which is also causing the shooting pain. So as soon as the problem gets detected, it can be treated right away thus, cutting chances of any unfortunate repercussion.
The treatment directly focuses on what is causing the lower abdominal cramps. If it's indigestion, then the required steps would be taken to take care of the cause of the indigestion thus, resolving the abdominal pain. As the severity of the causes increases, even the treatment procedure would become more aggressive, sometimes requiring the help of a surgical procedure. At times, immediate medical help is difficult to seek for. So following a few self-care measures at home can help suppress the pain until medical assistance arrives or is sent for.
What can be done is, one can place a heating pad in the aching region of the abdomen. Soaking in a warm bathtub is also a good option. But in some people, the pain may be so gruesome that it may make them totally bedridden. So for them, a heating pad or a cloth soaked in warm water, is good enough. Most people can go for over-the-counter pain killers to subside the pain. But then, the danger of self-medication cannot be ignored, especially if the patient is a child or a teen.
Since severe pain that originates from the lower abdominal could be linked to many medical conditions, prevention of the condition may not be an easy job. However, eating healthy foods, avoiding fast or processed foods, drinking plenty of water and other non-alcoholic fluids, going for smaller meals a day, and exercising daily are some measures that may reduce the development of not only this problem, but many other as well.