Sample Nursing Essays on Acute and Chronic Abdominal Pain

Acute and Chronic Abdominal Pain

Acute abdominal pain is a severe pain that arises from the abdominal area. It is presented by a wide variety of symptoms and is considered chronic if one suffers for 3 to 6 months continuously. In the recent years, it has proven to be the most common cause of admission in the emergency departments. The wide variety of symptoms associated with the illness might complicate isolation of the causes, which could vary from self-limiting causes to life-threatening diseases which might require surgery. This is an illness that could be considered life threatening if it is not detected and treated early (Gore &Levine 2010).

In young males (20 years) acute appendicitis or intestinal infection is the most common cause of acute abdominal pain while in elderly men (50 years), gastrointestinal diseases like diverticular disease, gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenitis is the most common cause. Appendicitis is more common in males within the age of 20-25 years and is rare in older men (Gore & Levine 2010). The etiology of gastrointestinal diseases such as diverticular diseases is manifested mostly in men who are 50 years and above because; as they age, the colon ages too thus creating more intestinal problems that could lead to acute abdominal pain(International Diagnostic Course in Davos 2006). As the colon ages, the pouches in its lining bulge out near weak spots in the intestinal wall causing pressure thus symptoms like constipation and cramps . However, it is important to note that some of the problems related to this disease; like appendicitis are hereditary. Older patients tend to take longer to go to hospital for treatment. This therefore makes their cases more serious such that it causes a greater risk of morbidity or mortality. If not treated on time, acute abdominal pain could become chronic and lead to death.



Gore, R. M., & Levine, M. S. (2010). High-yield imaging. Philadephia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier.

International Diagnostic Course in Davos, Hodler, J., Schulthess, G. K., Zollikofer, C. L.,                         Foundation for the Advancement of Education in Medical Radiology (Zurich,                                                       Switzerland), &

Pediatric Satellite Course “Kangaroo”. (2006). Diseases of the abdomen and pelvis: Diagnostic                 imaging and interventional techniques. Milan: Springer.