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Pain or discomfort located between the bottom of the rib cage and the groin crease
There are multiple causes of abdominal pain. In women the range of diagnoses needs to be broadened to include problems related to pregnancy and the female organs.
The possibility of pregnancy must be considered in all women of childbearing age.
Abdominal pain in the elderly carries with it a higher risk of serious illness.
Top Causes of Abdominal Pain in Women Younger than 50 Years of Age
Nonspecific abdominal pain
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Peptic ulcer disease
Top Causes of Abdominal Pain in Women Older than 50 Years of Age
Any CHEST PAIN
ABDOMINAL PAIN, UPPER
CONSTIPATION is the main symptom and abdominal pain is mild
VOMITING is the main symptom and abdominal pain is mild
DIARRHEA is the main symptom and abdominal pain is mild
Passed out (fainted)
Very weak (can't stand)
You feel weak or very sick
Constant abdominal pain for more than 2 hours
Vomiting blood or black (coffee-grounds)
Vomiting bile (bright yellow or green)
Vomiting and abdomen is more swollen than usual
Blood in bowel movements (black/tarry or red)
Recent injury to the abdomen
Fever of 103° F (39.4° C) or higher
Fever of 100.5° F (38.1° C) or higher and you:
Are over 60 years of age OR
Have diabetes mellitus or a weakened immune system (e.g., HIV positive, cancer chemotherapy, chronic steroid treatment, splenectomy) OR
Are bedridden (e.g., nursing home patient, stroke, chronic illness, recovering from surgery)
Whites of the eyes have turned yellow (jaundice)
You think you need to be seen
Moderate or mild pain comes and goes (cramps), but lasts greater than 24 hours
Abnormal vaginal discharge (e.g., bad odor; yellow, gray or green in color)
Age greater than 60 years
Pregnant or could be pregnant (e.g., missed last menstrual period)
Blood in urine
You have other questions or concerns
Abdominal pains are a recurrent problem
Pain with sexual intercourse
Mild abdominal pain and you don't think you need to be seen
Reassurance: A mild stomachache can be caused by indigestion, gas pains or overeating. Sometimes a stomachache signals the onset of a vomiting illness due to a viral gastroenteritis ("stomach flu").
Rest: Lie down and rest until you feel better.
Fluids: Sip clear fluids only (e.g., water, flat soft drinks or 1/2 strength fruit juice) until the pain has been gone for over 2 hours. Then slowly return to a regular diet.
Slowly advance diet from clear liquids to a bland diet
Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages
Avoid greasy or fatty foods.
Pass A BM: Sit on the toilet and try to pass a bowel movement (BM). Do not strain. This may relieve the pain if it is due to constipation or impending diarrhea.
Avoid Medicines: Any drug could irritate the stomach lining and make the pain worse, especially an anti-inflammatory medicine such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Do not take any pain medicines, fever medicines or laxatives for stomach cramps.
Expected Course: With harmless causes, the pain is usually better or goes away within 2 hours. With viral gastroenteritis ("stomach flu"), belly cramps may precede each bout of vomiting or diarrhea and may last 2-3 days. With serious causes (such as appendicitis) the pain becomes constant and more severe.
Pregnancy test, when in doubt:
If there is any possibility of pregnancy, obtain and use a urine pregnancy test from the local drug store.
Follow the instructions included in the package.
Call Your Doctor If:
Abdominal pain is constant and present for more than 2 hours
Abdominal pains come and go, and are present for more than 24 hours
You are pregnant
You become worse
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