How to Assess Different Types of Abdominal Pain as We Age

Edited by Lor777, Charmed, Eng, Anonymous

One interesting aspect of aging is that conditions that may have caused a great deal of pain when you were younger may result in only minor pain, discomfort, or pressure as you get older. This is because the number of nerve endings decrease and the response time of the remaining nerve endings is slowed. What this means to you is that the degree of your pain may not be a good indicator of the severity of your condition. As a result, it is important to pay attention to even minor symptoms and seek medical attention when appropriate.

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Appendicitis

Appendicitis, the most common abdominal emergency, most frequently strikes males between the age 15 and 25 but can occur in older adults as well. Accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment can greatly reduce the likelihood of complications an death, usually caused by a burst appendix.

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Symptoms Occur in This Order

Abdomen pain.jpg
  1. 1
    Vague discomfort around and just above the navel; later, a sharper pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.
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  2. 2
    Possible nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite.
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  3. 3
    Right lower abdominal tenderness.
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  4. 4
    Fever.
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  5. 5
    Diarrhea, and more commonly, constipation.
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Once appendicitis is confirmed, the appendix will probably be removed. This surgery, called an appendectomy, is relatively low in risk. If you suspect appendicitis, seek immediate medical attention. DO NOT use laxatives or apply heat to the area. Both cause the appendix to rupture quickly.

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Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder.jpg

The gallbladder stores bile that is made in the liver, then passes the bile on to the intestines to help digest fats. With a high amount of fat and cholesterol in the system, some of the bile may turn into stones. As the bile flows from the gallbladder to the intestines through the bile ducts, these gallstones can block the ducts, causing severe pain, local inflammation or jaundice (yellow skin). If the stones stay in the gallbladder, they cause no discomfort.

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The pain usually occurs in the pit of the stomach or the upper right side of the abdomen and radiates to the upper right side of the back. It usually begins one to three hours after a meal and persists for several hours. It may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

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The greatest risk factors for gallbladder disease are eating a high-calorie, high-fat diet (which increases bile production), obesity, and extreme dieting. Avoid fatty foods and overeating to help prevent gallbladder attacks.

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Gas

Everyone produces intestinal gas (flatus) that is expelled during a bowel movement. It is perfectly normal to pass gas throughout the day. In most cases, excess gas is not the result of disease and is not a serious condition--but it can be bothersome and embarrassing.

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How to Reduce Gas

  1. 1
    Limit foods that may cause excess gas.
    Such as beans and other legumes, wheat and wheat bran, oats, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, cabbage, corn, rutabagas, apricots, bananas, and prunes.
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  2. 2
    If dairy products give you gas.
    Try cultured milk products such as yogurt and buttermilk, or add a lactose supplement to your milk to aid digestion.
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  3. 3
    Consume a high fiber diet and drink plenty of water.
    unless your doctor has limited your fluid intake.
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  4. 4
    Add an anti gas product.
    Such as Beano to high fiber foods.
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  5. 5
    Cut back on.
    fried foods, fatty meats, cream sauces and gravies, which can increase gas and bloating.
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  6. 6
    Limit use of fructose and sorbitol.
    Two sugar substitutes that can contribute to gas.
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  7. 7
    Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
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  8. 8
    Large pieces of food are harder to digest.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Call your doctor if gas pains are not relieved with self-care.
  • Call your doctor if you have abdominal pain and jaundice.
  • Go to the emergency room if you have extreme abdominal pain associated with chills, vomiting, or vomiting bright red blood or greenish bile.
  • Go to the emergency room if you have vomiting that looks like coffee grounds or stool that is deep red, black or tar like, with dizziness or feeling weak.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Article Info

Categories : Stomach

Recent edits by: Eng, Charmed, Lor777

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