The causes of abdominal pain in young adults, as well as middle-aged and elderly persons, are often different. In addition, it is also possible to differentiate between the causes of the acute and chronic pain that can be typical of this or that age group. For male adults aged 20 years old, acute abdominal pain is most typical. However, there are also cases when chronic abdominal pain is observed, and it is caused by the prolonged unhealthy diet or consequences of the acute conditions (Marsicano, Vuong, & Prather, 2014). The possible differential diagnoses for young male adults suffering from acute abdominal pain include acute gastritis caused by problems in the gastrointestinal tract. The sudden inflammation can be caused by stress and unhealthy eating habits (Gans, Pols, Stoker, & Boermeester, 2015). The other possible diagnosis is acute pancreatitis. These diseases can become chronic if they are not treated effectively. In addition, acute appendicitis is also most often observed in young persons. Acute cholecystitis is rare in young people. The possible diagnosis associated with chronic abdominal pain is irritable bowel syndrome typical of young adults (Gans et al., 2015). The problem is in the fact that young people more often suffer from the consequences of unhealthy diets and the impact of psychological factors than middle-aged persons do.
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While discussing the possible causes of chronic and acute abdominal pain in the 50-year-old man, it is important to note that chronic diseases more often cause pain in middle-aged and elderly patients. Furthermore, acute conditions are often associated with other chronic disorders that can lead to worsening. Middle-aged males often suffer from acute and chronic pancreatitis because it can be caused by the abuse of alcohol and unhealthy eating habits (Cartwright & Knudson, 2015). The cases of peptic ulcers associated with acute and chronic abdominal pain are also typical of this age group because middle-aged patients can have problems with stomach acid and prolonged courses of medications.
Chronic gastritis, chronic cholecystitis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic peritonitis, and diverticulitis are the differential diagnoses that are usually mentioned while discussing the case of chronic pain in a middle-aged person. Inflammatory bowel disease is also diagnosed in addition to different types of colitis that cause chronic abdominal pain. The mentioned problems are usually associated with the chronic inflammation in organs of the gastrointestinal tract that are typical of middle-aged persons in contrast to young adults (Cartwright & Knudson, 2015). In addition, chronic pain can also be associated with gallbladder diseases and the biliary disease gallstones that are often observed in middle-aged and elderly males. Moreover, this group of diseases and the observed chronic pain can also be related to a large group of liver disorders.
While discussing the causes of chronic and acute abdominal pain in patients belonging to two different age groups, it is important to note that acute conditions are more typical of young patients. In spite of the fact that gastritis, pancreatitis, and colitis can be observed in both patients, the characters of diseases are different. Furthermore, some conditions can be mainly typical of this or that group, as it is in a case of irritable bowel syndrome observed in young patients or diverticulitis observed in older males.
Cartwright, S. L., & Knudson, M. P. (2015). Diagnostic imaging of acute abdominal pain in adults. American Family Physician, 91(7), 452-459.
Gans, S. L., Pols, M. A., Stoker, J., & Boermeester, M. A. (2015). Guideline for the diagnostic pathway in patients with acute abdominal pain. Digestive Surgery, 32(1), 23-31.
Marsicano, E., Vuong, G. M., & Prather, C. M. (2014). Gastrointestinal causes of abdominal pain. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, 41(3), 465-489.