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Acute Abdominal Pain


Acute abdominal pain

starts suddenly, gets worse quickly, and lasts up to 3 days.

Common signs and symptoms you may also have include the following:

  • Tight stomach muscles, or a tender and swollen stomach
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever, loss of appetite, or weight loss
  • Blood in your bowel movement, or blood coming from your rectum
  • Blood coming from your vagina that is not your monthly period
  • A lump in your stomach or pelvic area
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes

Treatment for acute abdominal pain

may include any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given if other pain medicines do not work. Take the medicine as directed. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Endoscopy is a procedure used to see the inside of your digestive tract with a scope. A scope is made of a long, bendable tube with a light and camera on the end. Your healthcare provider can use endoscopy to find and treat the bleeding in your abdomen.
  • Nasogastric (NG) tube: An NG tube is put into your nose, and passes down your throat until it reaches your stomach. Food and medicine may be given through an NG tube if you cannot take anything by mouth. The tube may instead be attached to suction if caregivers need to keep your stomach empty.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You are sweating and have cool, clammy, pale skin.
  • You feel dizzy or like you are going to faint.
  • You have dark bowel movements, or you vomit blood.
  • You have a hard abdomen, or you are not able to pass gas.
  • You have severe pain in your abdomen that does not go away after you take medicine.
  • You have a very fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and fast, shallow breathing.
  • You are thirsty and cold, your eyes and mouth feel dry, and you urinate little or nothing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have new or worse signs and symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.