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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19449
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Got a question about my Dad (84) who has abdominal pain that

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Got a question about my Dad (84) who has abdominal pain that has moved from lower right groin area to lower back. Yesterday was acute but better today. Was accompanied by sickness yesterday.
Hello from JustAnswer.

There are many different possible causes of abdominal pain.

The most common cause of significant abdominal pain of sudden onset and no apparent cause on evaluation would be a viral infection of the gut, called a gastroenteritis. The majority of viral infections of the gut cause pain of mild or moderate severity, but there are some cases in which severe pain is present. In fact, it can be of such severity that it can mimic appendicitis and is the most common diagnosis that can fool surgeons into thinking appendicitis is present when it is not.

A viral infection of the gut will also frequently cause associated nausea and vomiting, and can also cause diarrhoea, although your father apparently is not having diarrhoea. The fact that the pain also was felt in the back does not help to differentiate the cause of the pain, since almost every cause of abdominal pain can radiate to the back.

There are several potential causes of abdominal pain and nausea that would be more concerning, including appendicitis and pancreatitis, but there usually would be some findings on evaluation to suggest that one of these problems is present.

Since the pain is already much improved today, that is a good sign that this is indeed a viral infection. If the pain continues to improve and resolve over another day or two, then it can be more certainly said to be a viral infection, and there is no need for further concern or evaluation.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. Will continue to monitor him. Last query please he has been physically exterting himself over last 2 days bending over laying paving slabs. Is there any possibility might have twisted his gut from this activity?

It is very unusual to twist the gut from over exertion. The gut can get twisted, but it is usually not related to levels of exertion. While a twisted gut can be a cause of abdominal pain and vomiting, it is a very small percentage of cases of abdominal pain.

It is more common for over exertion to cause abdominal pain of musculoskeletal origin, which can be the muscles in the abdominal wall or one of the deep muscle below the abdominal organs. However, abdominal pain of musculoskeletal origin does not as commonly cause nausea and vomiting. Any severe pain can cause nausea and vomiting, so it is possible, although it would be less likely than a viral infection, but it also is a condition that will frequently improve spontaneously.
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