The elderly can suffer from a wide spectrum of disorders. Ischaemic events, emboli, cancer (in particular) and diverticulae of the colon are more common in old age; duodenal ulcer is less so. Those causes of abdominal pain that occur with more frequency include:
• vascular catastrophies o ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm o mesenteric artery occlusion
• perforated peptic ulcer
• biliary disorders: bilary pain and acute cholecystitis
• sigmoid volvulus
• strangulated hernia
• intestinal obstruction
• carcinoma, especially of the large bowel
• herpes zoster, causing unilateral root pain
• constipation and faecal impaction
Problems arise with management because the pain threshold is raised (colic in particular is less severe) and there is an attenuated response to infection so that fever and leucocytosis can be absent. Non-specific signs such as confusion, anorexia and tachycardia might be the only systemic evidence of infection.
Specific causes of acute abdominal pain
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Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.