Abdominal Pain Specialist

Houston Regional Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Sugar Land, TX & Humble, TX

Abdominal pain represents 5-10% of all visits to the emergency department. While some types of abdominal pain do require emergency care, the doctors at Houston Regional Gastroenterology have extensive experience diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain and providing treatment to relieve your pain and heal the underlying condition. If you’re not sure whether your abdominal pain requires immediate attention, call the Sugar Land or Humble, Texas, office. They’ll triage your symptoms and help determine when to schedule an appointment.

Abdominal Pain Q & A

What commonly causes abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain may be sharp, dull, achy, chronic, or intermittent. While abdominal pain is often associated with a simple upset stomach or indigestion, a long list of possible health conditions that can affect any of the soft tissues and organs in your abdominal cavity may also cause it.

The following are a few examples of problems that commonly cause abdominal pain.

  • Stomach virus
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Acid reflux
  • Diverticulitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cholecystitis
  • Cirrhosis or other liver conditions

You can also develop acute peritonitis, which is inflammation of the space between the abdominal walls and organs.

When should I seek help for abdominal pain?

Sudden and severe abdominal pain is always a red flag alerting you to a potentially serious problem that requires immediate medical care. Acute abdominal pain may signal life-threatening conditions, such as intestinal obstruction, acute pancreatitis, or an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

You should also get quick medical attention when your pain is so severe that you can’t move or find a comfortable position.

Call Houston Regional Gastroenterology to schedule an appointment if your abdominal pain is accompanied by:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting up blood
  • Ongoing nausea or vomiting
  • Blood in your stool
  • Tender abdomen
  • Swollen or distended abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Inability to have a bowel movement

It’s also important to see a doctor when your abdominal pain lasts longer than 24 hours or gets progressively worse.

How do you diagnose abdominal pain?

Houston Regional Gastroenterology understands that you’re in pain, so your doctor works quickly to identify the cause and begin treatment. But they also need to talk with you about the location, type, severity, frequency, and duration of your pain.

Your doctor may also want to know if you have other symptoms, what foods you recently ate, and if specific movements make the pain better or worse. After narrowing down the possibilities, your doctor may order blood work or diagnostic imaging such as a CT scan. In some cases, you may need an upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) or colonoscopy to visually examine your digestive tract. 

How do you treat abdominal pain?

Your treatment is based on the cause and severity of your abdominal pain. Your doctor may prescribe medications and recommend dietary changes, or they may need to perform surgery to repair blockages, or address bleeding, inflammation, or tumors.

If you need medical care for abdominal pain, call Houston Regional Gastroenterology or schedule an appointment online.