Abdominal Pain With Fever: Its Causes, Symptoms And Diagnosis

Pain in abdomen can result from many conditions. Every one of us may have experienced abdominal pain sometime or the other. Abdomen consists of many organs, for example stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys, urinary bladder, appendix, intestines etc. Pain can arise from any of these organs. Abdominal pain can be mild, moderate or severe.

In most cases abdominal pain is associated with symptoms such as fever, vomiting, jaundice, diarrhea, burning urination etc. Abdominal pain with fever needs immediate medical attention, as neglecting the condition can lead to serious complications. Abdomen pain may be present in a particular region or it may be experienced all over the abdomen.

Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Fever

Infection, inflammation or malignancy of any organ of the abdomen can cause pain in abdomen with fever as one of its symptoms. Following are the some of the conditions that can cause abdominal pain with fever:

Gastroenteritis: It is one of the commonest problems for pain in the abdomen with fever. Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the intestine, caused due to various organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. It is commonly referred as stomach flu. The condition results from contaminated food and water, poor hygiene. Eating shellfish from water contaminated with sewage can also cause gastroenteritis.

Following are the symptoms;

  • Pain all over the abdomen
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever with rigors
  • Headache

Pancreatitis: It is caused due to inflammation of the pancreas present in the upper quadrant of the abdomen. Alcoholism is considered as main reasons to cause pancreatitis. It is a serious condition and needs urgent medical care. The symptoms are;

  • Excruciating pain in the upper abdomen.
  • Pain extending to middle of the back.
  • Pain better of stooping forward and increased on lying down.
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Fever
  • Fast pulse
  • Sweating

Appendicitis: Infection and inflammation of appendix is known as appendicitis. It is present on the right side of the abdomen, most of the time pain is experienced on the right side in early stage, which eventually spreads all over the abdomen if not treated.

It can often cause serious complication when neglected. The symptoms of appendicitis are;

  • Pain in right middle quadrant of the abdomen. (Right iliac fossa). Pain is worse from movements. When pressed the abdominal muscles become tensed, medical term is guarding and rigidity.
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain With Fever

Intestinal tuberculosis: It is caused due to tuberculous bacilli. The tuberculous bacilli enters our body from air, non -pasteurized milk etc into the intestine. Symptoms are,

  • Pain in abdomen
  • Night fever
  • Perspiration
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness and fatigue

Viral hepatitis: The disease is caused by virus infection. Liver is affected site in viral hepatitis.

The symptoms are;

  • Pain in the upper middle part of the abdomen.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Dark yellow urine.
  • Jaundice.
  • Weakness.
  • Occasional vomiting.

Dysentery: Caused due to bacterial infection of the intestine. Cause of dysentery is eating contaminated food or drinks.

  • Pain is spasmodic and colicky.
  • Pain is felt all over the abdomen.
  • Fever with chills.
  • Frequent bowel movements.
  • Stool contains blood and mucus.

Cholecystitis: It is a disease caused due to inflammation and infection of the gallbladder. Gall stone is the common cause for this condition.

  • Pain in the right upper portion of the abdomen. Abdominal pain radiating to the back side, below the scapula.
  • Vomiting
  • Fever with rigors
  • Sweating

Other conditions which can cause pain in the abdomen with fever are liver abscess, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, typhoid, cystitis, kidney infection, perforated intestine etc.

Diagnosis For Abdominal Pain And Fever

As you know there are many conditions that can cause abdominal pain with fever, sometimes it becomes difficult to diagnose the cause. Information on nature of pain (colicky or non colicky), its type (burning, gnawing, dull aching or deep boring), location in the abdomen, severity, timing, aggravating and relieving factors are important for diagnosis and treating the condition.

Blood investigations, sonogram of the abdomen, MRI are useful investigation tools, for the physician to confirm his clinical diagnosis and treatment.