Digestive Diseases and Conditions

Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. The severity of your pain does not always reflect the seriousness of the condition causing the pain. For example, you might feel severe abdominal pain if you have gas or stomach cramps due to a viral gastroenteritis. In contrast, sometimes, life-threatening conditions such as colon cancer or early appendicitis may only cause mild pain or no pain.

Other ways of describing pain in your abdomen include: A) Generalized pain felt in more than half of your belly. This is more typical for a stomach virus, indigestion, or gas. If the pain becomes more severe, it may be caused by a blockage of the intestines. B) Localized pain found in only one area of your belly. This type of pain is more likely to be a sign of a problem in an organ, such as the appendix, gallbladder, or stomach. C) Cramp-like pain is usually not serious, and is more likely to be due to gas and bloating and is often followed by diarrhea. More worrisome signs include pain that occurs more often, lasts than 24 hours, or occurs with a fever. D) Colicky pain comes in waves. It usually starts and ends suddenly, and is often severe. Kidney stones and gallstones are common causes of this type. A consultation with your gastroenterologist can help you identify the cause of and effectively treat your abdominal pain.

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Dr. Mallat recently participated in a multi-center study on the efficacy of cryotherapy for treating a pre-cancerous condition of the esophagus (known as Barrett's esophagus). Cryotherapy is the application of a freezing mist...
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