Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms serious signs Evaluation fiberoptic procedures Treatment specialist Home Care constipation diarrhea fever pain control vomiting warning signs Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Abdominal Pain Home Care

Home care for abdominal pain includes:

Abdominal Pain Constipation

Home care for constipation in adults with abdominal pain includes:

  • Avoid enemas and laxatives unless your doctor directs you to do so.
  • Avoid foods that seem to cause constipation. Cheese, white flour and white rice can trigger constipation.
  • Avoid straining while you use the toilet: this can cause hemorrhoids.
  • Do not ignore the urge to move your bowels.
  • Drink more water.
  • Eat more fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and fiber supplements, such as Metamucil.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Small amounts of caffeine can have a mild laxative effect.

Abdominal Pain Diarrhea

Home treatment of diarrhea for someone with abdominal pain includes hydration and dietary therapy.

Hydration
Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids are usually used in children, but are also effective for adults. These include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital
  • Generic drugstore brands

Additional ORT fluids include:
  • Soft drinks without caffeine
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Dietary Therapy
ORT is most important if you have vomiting with the diarrhea. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, eat bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Foods that may help diarrhea:
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Strained carrots
  • Wheat
  • Yogurt

Items that may worsen diarrhea include:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • High-sugar foods (junk food)
  • Cow's milk
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar substitutes

Abdominal Pain Fever

Acetaminophen is the best medicine for treating fever in those who have abdominal pain.

  • Acetaminophen decreases both fever and pain.
  • Adult dose: 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours, or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Abdominal Pain Pain Control

Moderate or severe abdominal pain requires an evaluation by a physician.

For mild pain, acetaminophen is best:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain.
  • Adult dose: 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Abdominal Pain Vomiting

Home care for vomiting in someone with abdominal pain includes:

  • Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best. The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
  • Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
  • Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
  • Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
  • If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
  • Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:

Abdominal Pain Warning Signs

Notify your doctor for abdominal pain and any of the following:

Continue to Abdominal Pain Outlook

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Abdominal Pain References
  1. Flasar MH, Goldberg E. Acute abdominal pain. Med Clin North Am. 2006 May;90(3):481-503. [16473101]
  2. Holten KB, Wetherington A, Bankston L. Diagnosing the patient with abdominal pain and altered bowel habits: is it irritable bowel syndrome? Am Fam Physician. 2003 May 15;67(10):2157-62. [12776965]
  3. Jones PF. Suspected acute appendicitis: trends in management over 30 years. Br J Surg. 2001 Dec;88(12):1570-7. [11736966]
  4. Lozeau AM, Potter B. Diagnosis and management of ectopic pregnancy. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Nov 1;72(9):1707-14. [16300032]
  5. Macari M, Balthazar EJ. The acute right lower quadrant: CT evaluation.Radiol Clin North Am. 2003 Nov;41(6):1117-36. [14661661]
  6. McCollough M, Sharieff GQ. Abdominal pain in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2006 Feb;53(1):107-37, vi. [16487787]
  7. Nagurney JT, Brown DF, Chang Y, Sane S, Wang AC, Weiner JB. Use of diagnostic testing in the emergency department for patients presenting with non-traumatic abdominal pain. J Emerg Med. 2003 Nov;25(4):363-71. [14654174]
  8. Old JL, Dusing RW, Yap W, Dirks J. Imaging for suspected appendicitis. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jan 1;71(1):71-8. Review. [15663029]
  9. Olden KW. Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2002 May;122(6):1701-14.[12016433]
  10. Warren O, Kinross J, Paraskeva P, Darzi A. Emergency laparoscopy - current best practice. World J Emerg Surg. 2006 Aug 31;1(1):24 [16945124]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.