The lower abdomen contains among other important structures the adrenal glands, which lie above the kidneys; the large blood vessels, which carry blood from the heart to the smaller arteries of the body and return the blood from the veins to the heart; the ureters, which carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder; and the bladder, which holds the urine until it is released from the body.
A sensation of fullness or weight in the abdomen may be due to a nervous condition or to the presence of an ulcer or tumor. The development of gas in the bowels or the stomach is frequently a cause of pain and irritation as well as nausea.
Occasionally a pain in the abdomen is due to inflammation of the bones of the spine. Rheumatism or arthritis affecting the spine will reflect themselves with pain in front, although sooner or later the pain is related back to the spine. Therefore a persistent pain in the abdomen should never be neglected. Most of these conditions can be treated if a proper diagnosis is made early. A pain that comes and goes should never be neglected.
One of the most serious sudden pains is the result of perforation of an ulcer of the stomach or of the duodenum. This pain comes on suddenly and severely and is unlike anything the person ever suffered before. At such times the slightest movement will add to the sharpness of the pain.
The most common cause of pain in the abdomen is ordinary stomach-ache less elegantly called a “belly-ache.” The average person who has a stomachache suffers a rather well-defined pain somewhere along the middle of the abdomen and occasionally on the left or right.
Too many people when they get a pain try to remove it by taking a large dose of castor oil, epsom salts, or some other laxative or cathartic. This acts about the same way dynamite would act in a small closed place. If it cannot break out at one point, it will break out at another.
Therefore the best advice when abdominal pain occurs is to find the cause as soon as possible and then to treat it accordingly. Second, never take any powerful remedy until the cause has been determined.