Abdomen The portion of the body below the chest and diaphragm and above the legs; the abdomen contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gall bladder, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and other organs. Abdominal Pain Nothing is quite so alarming or disturbing to the average person as a sudden severe pain in the abdomen. The diagnosis of the cause of such a pain is one of the most delicate and difficult of medical tasks.
Colic or a griping pain may come from overeating or from eating foods that are particularly irritating. Abdominal pain is sometimes due to inflammation of the lungs, which is reflected to the abdomen along the nerves. In the early stages of pneumonia and pleurisy children sometimes suffer most with abdominal pain,
A pain in a localized spot in the abdomen is most often due to an acute inflammation of the appendix. In a grown person the gall bladder may be the chief cause of the pain; the outlet or gall ducts may have been blocked by a stone or the gall bladder itself may be infected or swollen. The attempt to pass a stone from the gall bladder or the kidney down the tubes that carry the secretions away from these organs will produce a serious pain.
A sudden obstruction of the bowels by worms or irritations may be the cause of a severe abdominal pain. In children sometimes one part of the bowel will be drawn into another part, causing what is called an intussusception. The child with this condition will suddenly scream and may even partially collapse. The child may lie quietly between attacks but each attack of pain is so severe that the first reaction is repeated. Any time a child has a severe abdominal pain with such a reaction, the doctor should be called immediately, because delay may be serious if not fatal.