ABDOMINAL PAIN, MALE
- Pain or
discomfort located between the bottom of the rib cage and the groin crease.
- There are
multiple causes of abdominal pain.
- Abdominal pain in the elderly carries with it a higher risk
of serious illness.
See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one) If
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR ABDOMINAL PAIN
Call 911 Now (you may
need an ambulance) If:
- Very weak (can't stand)
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If:
- You feel
weak or very sick
- Severe pain
- Constant abdominal pain for more than 2 hours
- Vomit contains blood or black ("coffee ground"-like)
- Vomiting bile (bright yellow or green)
- Vomiting and abdomen is more swollen than usual
- Blood in bowel movements (black/tarry or red)
- Recent injury or blow 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:
- Have diabetes mellitus or a weakened immune
system (e.g. HIV positive, cancer chemotherapy, chronic steroid
- Are bedridden (e.g. nursing home patient,
stroke, chronic illness, recovering from surgery)
- Whites of the eyes have turned yellow (jaundice)
- Unable to urinate and bladder feels full
- Blood in urine
- Pain in scrotum or
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9am
and 4pm) If:
- You think
you need to be seen
- Mild pain comes and goes (cramps), but lasts greater than 24
- Over 60 years old
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours
- You have
other questions or concerns
- Abdominal pain is a recurrent problem
Self Care at Home If:
- Mild abdominal
pain and you don't think you need to be seen
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MILD ABDOMINAL PAIN
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 infection
Rest: Lie down and rest until you feel better.
Fluids: Sip clear fluids only (e.g. water, flat soft drinks or ½
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 pain if it is due to constipation or impending
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
Expected Course: With harmless causes, the pain is usually better
or goes away within 2 hours. With viral gastroenteritis, belly cramps may precede
each bout of vomiting or diarrhea. With serious causes (such as appendicitis)
the pain becomes constant and severe.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Abdominal pain is constant and present for more than 2 hours
- You become worse or develop any of the "Call Your Doctor"
This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical
advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full
responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Adult HouseCalls Online. Copyright © 2000-2004
David Thompson, M.D. FACEP
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