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Causes of Abdominal and Chest Pain

by
author image Aubri John
Aubri John has been a contributing researcher and writer to online physical and mental health oriented journals since 2005. John publishes online health and fitness articles that coincide with her licensed clinical skills in addictions, psychology and medical care. She has a master's degree in clinical social work and a Ph.D. in health psychology.
Causes of Abdominal and Chest Pain
Various organs between the neck and groin can have disturbances that cause chest or abdominal pain. Photo Credit ser humano image by caironbohemio from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The abdomen is the region between the chest and groin, containing numerous bodily organs that may experience pain. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that pain in the abdominal area can result from a variety of factors primarily associated with gastrointestinal disturbance. The chest is a part of the abdominal area, located between the neck and organs of the upper abdomen. Any organ in the chest region, which includes the lungs, heart and ribs, can be a source of pain, as well.

Diverticulitis

Within the digestive tract, small bulging pouches called diverticula can form and protrude through the colon wall. These pouches are susceptible to becoming inflamed or infected, due to increased pressure in the colon, leading to the condition referred to as diverticulitis. MayoClinic.com explains that sudden pain in the left lower abdomen preceded by abdominal tenderness and changes in bowel habits may signify presence of diverticulitis. This condition can improve with medical interventions, such as antibiotics in mild cases, and through surgery in more complicated situations.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Gas

Irritable bowel syndrome affects the large intestine causing cramps, abdominal pain and bloating. The Cleveland Clinic notes that irritable bowel syndrome does not cause permanent damage to the colon, like diverticulitis might, but the condition is highly uncomfortable. Irritable bowel is thought to result from food being forced too quickly through the intestines and triggered by an intolerance to certain beverages or food. Treatment for this condition focuses on symptom relief through managing stress and decreasing intake of irritating or trigger foods. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse notes that gas-causing foods include starches such as potatoes or pasta, and sugar in the form of lactose from dairy and fructose from soft drinks.

Angina and Pericarditis

When the heart does not get enough blood and oxygen, angina, a heart-related chest pain occurs. MedlinePlus explains that pain from angina is located behind the breast bone and is experienced as a tightness, pressure or squeezing sensation in the chest. Angina is often a prelude to more significant heart complications requiring medical intervention. Another pain causing condition, called pericarditis results in pain near the center portion of the chest. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the sac that covers the perimeter of the heart, or pericardium. This condition results from viral infections or more severe complications of heart disease.

Lung Problems

Blood clots in the lungs or collapsing of the lungs results in chest and abdominal pain. According to MedlinePlus, untreated lung conditions can lead to inflammation in or around the lungs, as well as sharp pains that worsen with breathing. Causes of lung complications include infections such as pneumonia, allergies or chest trauma such as rib fractures leading to rupture of the lungs.

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