Abdominal colic is described as intense spasmodic pain in the abdomen that is triggered by obstruction, distention or inflammation. Among adults, the spasmodic pain might appear abruptly or develop in a gradual manner and eventually become chronic.
The abdominal colic among adults has various causes in which some are potentially serious. Due to this, a doctor should be consulted regarding new cases of abdominal pain or discomfort before attempting to use measures to cope with abdominal colic at home.
How to ease abdominal colic in adults
- Always check for vaginal or rectal bleeding and take the temperature. The bleeding and fever might be an indication of a serious health issues such as ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, infection or bowel blockage. It is vital to seek immediate medical care if these symptoms are present.
- Provide the individual with naproxen or ibuprofen to alleviate the symptoms and inflammation if the abdominal colic is triggered by gastroenteritis or diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In such cases, a heating pad is also beneficial. Just remember to avoid using ibuprofen and other pain medications if the abdominal colic is not yet properly diagnosed.
- A laxative can be used if the individual develops mild abdominal colic and have not had a bowel movement for several days or longer. In most cases, the individual can experience spasms linked with constipation. It is recommended to eat a high-fiber diet and increase the intake of fluids to prevent and manage constipation and the associated stomach pain.
- The individual should go for a walk if the pain or discomfort is tolerable or take a warm shower. In some circumstances, this can momentarily relieve the abdominal colic especially if it is triggered by intestinal gas.
- It is recommended to stick with smaller meals and avoid alcohol, caffeine, dairy, wheat and chocolate which all can trigger abdominal colic in some individuals such as those who are lactose intolerant or have irritable bowel syndrome. The symptoms can be linked to a known or unknown underlying condition. If the dietary changes can relieve the symptoms, a doctor should be consulted.
A doctor must be consulted regarding a prescription-strength antispasmodic medication to minimize the pain and the spasms. Since these medications can trigger or aggravate the constipation, the doctor might prescribe a medication to relax the bladder and intestinal muscles.
Considerations to bear in mind
Intense cramping or abdominal colic among pregnant women is not normal. If a woman is pregnant, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. The kidney stones or gallstones typically trigger abdominal pain among adults.