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SEO LP: What’s causing sharp abdominal pain and can it be treated?

Have you been experiencing sharp abdominal pains?

Learn about the signs that could indicate an underlying medical condition.

Have you been experiencing sharp abdominal pains?

Learn about the signs that could indicate an underlying medical condition.

The types of abdominal pain and their locations

Abdominal pain is an umbrella term.

There are different types of abdominal pain and they vary depending on which part of your abdomen you feel pain in. Some of the types of pain you may experience are:

  • Generalized pain throughout the abdomen
  • Sharp pain in the lower abdomen
  • Lower left abdominal pain
  • Upper left abdominal pain
  • Upper right abdominal pain

How do they feel?

The pain can range from a mild throbbing to a burning sensation, a dull ache, or a stabbing pain.

To find out what causes the sharp abdominal pain, you need to know which region of your abdomen is feeling this pain. 

There are nine regions of the abdomen, each housing different parts of the gastrointestinal system:

  • The right hypochondriac: Small intestine, liver, and gallbladder
  • The epigastric region: Stomach, pancreas, liver, and the duodenum
  • The left hypochondriac: Colon and pancreas
  • The right lumbar region: Gallbladder, right colon, and liver
  • The umbilical region: Duodenum
  • The left lumbar region: Descending colon
  • The right iliac region: Cecum and the appendix
  • The hypogastric region: Sigmoid colon
  • The left Iliac region: Descending colon and sigmoid colon

The location of the pain may indicate which part of your gastrointestinal system is causing it.

Should you be concerned about abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain may be very brief and could happen due to minor issues like indigestion and gas.

The severity of abdominal pain may be determined by how intense the pain is and what other symptoms you may be experiencing along with the pain.

If the pain is very severe, localised in one part of the abdomen, or is persisting for a long time, you may need medical attention immediately.

Also, these symptoms, along with abdominal pain, may indicate a more serious gastrointestinal condition:

  • Frequent vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhoea
  • Bloody bowel movements
  • Yellow tinge on the skin
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite

If you experience any one or more of these symptoms with the pain, please seek medical assistance.

What are some common causes of abdominal pain?

There are many causes of abdominal pain though sharp abdominal pain may occur due to conditions like:

Appendicitis

This happens when the appendix gets blocked by faecal matter or a foreign object, causing it to become inflamed or sometimes infected. In more severe cases, it may rupture, causing excruciating pain.

Gallstones

Gallstones are stone-like deposits that may form inside the bile ducts of the gallbladder. These stones may cause blockages that lead to abdominal pain.

Cholecystitis

Also related to the gallbladder, this condition happens when the gallbladder becomes inflamed and causes severe pains in the upper right part of the abdomen. The pain lasts a long time and it may radiate to your back.

Intestinal perforation

This is a serious condition where the intestinal walls are ruptured. Aside from severe pain, this condition may cause intestinal bleeding and may even lead to sepsis.

How is abdominal pain treated?

The treatment for abdominal pain varies depending on the condition causing it.

Some treatments may be as simple as taking some medicine but more severe cases may require surgery.

Common treatments include:

Painkillers to numb the pain

Plenty of water and other clear fluids

Medications like bismuth subsalicylate or loperamide

*Only try these treatments after speaking to a gastrointestinal specialist.

Here are some blogs with more insight on abdominal pain and treatments

Can a gut clinic help me?

Severe abdominal pain shouldn’t be ignored as it may be a sign of a serious gastrointestinal condition..

With the help of gastrointestinal specialists at a gut clinic, you can find out what is causing your abdominal pain and get the necessary treatment.

Give the Sydney Gut Clinic a visit

The Sydney Gut Clinic has many highly-trained and experienced gastrointestinal specialists who specialise in various areas of gastrointestinal health.

If you’re suffering from persistent or recurring sharp abdominal pains, schedule an appointment with us, and we will help you with your diagnosis and treatment and support you on your road to recovery.

Speak to specialists for diagnosis and treatment of sharp abdominal pain

Sydney Gut Clinic is currently operating at our regular hours. Kindly note that in light of the current pandemic, we are taking every precaution to prevent any chance of infection. Patients are screened before they enter the building and we space our appointments out to reduce the amount of people in the clinic at one time. Please note that telehealth service is available to patients that meet the government's criteria. Please call the rooms for more information.