Common Reasons Behind Chronic Abdominal Pain in Adults

Chronic abdominal pain (CAP) in adults may be described as a stomach ache that persists for three months, either as a continuous, or recurring pain. According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, about 2 percent of adults experience CAP, however, the number could be higher in adults with some form of gastrointestinal conditions. 

Abdominal pain is generally not worrisome. However, if the symptoms are recurring, or persistent, then it would be wise to get a medical evaluation from a pain doctor in Gainesville to determine if there’s a serious condition. Diagnosing the specific cause of chronic abdominal pain is not simple and may require repeated visits at the doctor’s office. 

Below are some of the most common reasons for chronic abdominal pain in adults:

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1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

At least 20% of adults in America experience gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It happens when the stomach acid goes back up to the esophagus and causes irritating acid reflux. 

The severity of GERD differs from patient to patient. While some can manage this condition with over-the-counter medications, others may have to completely overhaul their diet, give up vices like smoking and alcohol, and take a stronger medication to curb the symptoms. 

For some individuals, GERD might feel like a heart attack because the pain may include tightening around the chest along with the uncomfortable and burning feeling in the stomach. GERD can also affect the quality of a person’s sleep because the pain can be disruptive.

2. Gallstones

According to Harvard Health, at least 80% of people with gallstones don’t experience the symptoms. However, when these hardened pebble-like deposits block the gallbladder, which functions to collect bile during digestion, then the abdominal pain can be too unbearable.

Gallstone attacks may be relieved by changing the body position, or taking an oral medication to help dissolve the stones. The body can naturally remove the gallstones through the feces if the stones are smaller. However, these treatments do not ensure that the gallstones will not return. So, the majority of patients with chronic abdominal pain due to gallstones are advised to undergo open surgery, or laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder. 

Gallbladder removal is a routine operation similar to appendix surgery.  Full recovery usually takes two weeks.

3. Endometriosis

Women in the reproductive age often experience endometriosis because of the displacement of the endometrial tissue in the uterus. This painful disorder leads to a heavy menstrual period, difficulty in getting pregnant, and painful intercourse.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, around 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 develop chronic abdominal pain because of endometriosis. However, experts have yet to identify the specific causes of this disorder as endometriosis may also be linked to other women’s health problems, autoimmune diseases, and the family’s medical history. 

Managing endometriosis can be challenging because there is no known cure for this disorder. However, you may visit our doctor in pain management, Gainesville for an early diagnosis, or intervention. This may help alleviate the symptoms and make the pain management easier.

Learn more about Gainesville Pain Management

If you have any other questions about pain management in Gainesville, please contact us with your queries. The first step in pain management is scheduling an appointment with your doctor to determine the underlying source of your abdominal pain and to find out about all possible treatment options. There are many different pain management options available.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.