Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be caused by many things. Your caregiver decides the seriousness of your pain by an examination and possibly blood tests and X-rays. Many cases can be observed and treated at home. Most abdominal pain is not caused by a disease and will probably improve without treatment. However, in many cases, more time must pass before a clear cause of the pain can be found. Before that point, it may not be known if you need more testing, or if hospitalization or surgery is needed.


  • Do not take laxatives unless directed by your caregiver.

  • Take pain medicine only as directed by your caregiver.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Try a clear liquid diet (broth, tea, or water) for as long as directed by your caregiver. Slowly move to a bland diet as tolerated.


  • The pain does not go away.

  • You have a fever.

  • You keep throwing up (vomiting).

  • The pain is felt only in portions of the abdomen. Pain in the right side could possibly be appendicitis. In an adult, pain in the left lower portion of the abdomen could be colitis or diverticulitis.

  • You pass bloody or black tarry stools.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.