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Learn Medical Spanish – Less Common Causes of Abdominal Pain in Spanish

Learn Medical Spanish – Less Common Causes of Abdominal Pain in Spanish

This Medical Spanish lesson focuses on learning how to talk about the less common causes of abdominal pain in Spanish: Causas menos comunes del dolor abdominal.

Here is the Medical Spanish lesson I taught to the Facebook group:

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In the past, we talked about the most common causes of abdominal pain, but now it’s time to review the less common ones. First to all, we need to review the basic sign and symptoms of abdominal pain in Spanish.

Signos y síntomas básicos / Basic Signs and Symptoms

We need to define some basic signs and symptoms from the beginning, that way it will be easier for you to understand the history of the problem.

Dolor / Pain

There are different words to explain the level and kind of pain your patient is feeling. Take your time to learn the meaning each of them 🙂

Spanish

English

LeveLight
Moderado   Moderate
Fuerte / SeveroStrong
RepentinoSudden
AgudoSharp
Sordo  Dull
Después de comerAfter eating
Con / Sin presiónWith / Without pressure
Con movimientos específicosWith specific movements
Al orinar   With urination / Upon urinating

Note: The word “al” means “upon” in this context, so every time you hear “al” and then a verb, it means upon doing that verb.

Síntomas / Symptoms

Again, learning these words is important to be able to provide a good diagnosis.

Spanish

English

NáuseaNausea
Vómito (con sangre)Vomiting (with blood)
Diarrea (con sangre)Diarrhea (with blood)
Estreñimiento   Constipation
FiebreFever
Gas abdominalAbdominal gas
Eructos   Belching
Cambios en la regla / menstruación
Cólicos
Changes in the period
Cramping
Abotagamiento: hinchado, inflado
Ardor
Bloating: swollen, inflated
Burning sensation

La historia y el examen físico / History and Physical Test

We talked about how to take the medical history and useful phrases for the physical exam in Spanish in older posts, but let’s do a quick review to these concepts and other some useful questions you can ask to your Latino patients:

EnglishSpanish
When did the pain start?¿Cuándo comenzó el dolor?
When is it worst? When is it better?¿Cuándo está peor? ¿Mejor?
Is there something that makes it better or makes it worst?¿Hay algo que lo mejora o empeora?
Have you had this pain before?¿Ha tenido este dolor antes?
Does it hurt when I touch here?¿Le duele cuando palpo / toco aquí?
Tell me if something hurtsDígame si algo le duele
Is the pain related to

  • what you eat?
  • your periods?
  • any specific movements?
¿El dolor se asocia con…:

  • lo que come?
  • sus reglas?
  • movimientos específicos?
Lie down on your backAcuéstese boca arriba
I’m going to listen to your abdomenVoy a escucharle el abdomen 
Relax your abdomen, pleaseRelaje el abdomen, por favor

Note: Remember you can find a full post about how to talk about pain in Spanish here 🙂

Less Common Causes / Causas menos comunes

Now it’s time to get down to business. Here is a short list with the less common causes of abdominal pain, the symptoms of each of them and the possible / available treatment depending on the severity of the illness.

Apendicitis / Appendicitis

SpanishEnglish
El apéndice es una parte del intestino grueso que no tiene una función necesariaThe appendix is a part of the large intestine that does not have a necessary function
Hay algo que está bloqueando el apéndice y los contenidos no pueden salir del apéndice y por eso se ha infectado y está inflamadoThere is something that is blocking the appendix and the contents can not leave the appendix and that is why it has become infected and is inflamed
El apéndice puede romperse y el contenido de los intestinos van a causar una infección en su abdomen  The appendix may rupture and the contents of the intestines will cause an infection in your abdomen.
En este momento podemos darle antibióticos y esperar que se abra. Si no, necesitaremos hacerle una cirugía para quitar el apéndiceAt this time we can give antibiotics and wait for it to open. If not, we will need to do surgery to remove the appendix

Infección de riñones / Kidney infection

SpanishEnglish
Una infección de vejiga es común – pero a veces esta infección puede extenderse a los riñonesA bladder infection is common – but sometimes this infection can spread to the kidneys
Causa mucho dolor y puede dañar al riñón si no lo tratamos  It causes a lot of pain and can damage the kidney if we do not treat it
Necesitamos darle antibióticos intravenosos (por suero), hacerle un ultrasonido o un TAC (tomografía computada) para ver si hay cálculos tambiénWe need to give you intravenous antibiotics (for serum), do an ultrasound or a CT scan to see if there are stones too

Cálculos renales / Kidney Stones

SpanishEnglish
La orina pasa de los riñones por los uréteres a la vejiga. Una piedra o un cálculo está estancado en el uréter o en el riñón y le está causando mucho dolorUrine passes from the kidneys through the ureters to the bladder. A stone is stuck in the ureter or kidney and is causing a lot of pain
Esto puede causar una infección en los riñones  This may cause an infection in the kidneys
Necesitamos hacerle un TAC para ver el cálculo, darle medicamentos para el dolor, y si no puede pasar el cálculo es posible usar ultrasonido para romperlo. También hay un procedimiento con láser para romperlo si el ultrasonido no funciona.We need to do a CT scan to see the stone, give you pain medication, and if the stone cannot pass, it is possible to use ultrasound to break it. There is also a laser procedure to break it if the ultrasound does not work.

Hepatitis

Es un virus que ataca las células del hígado. Hay varios tipos de hepatitis: ABCDE. / It is a virus that attacks the cells of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis: ABCDE.

SpanishEnglish
Hepatitis A: Un virus que contraemos por comer comida contaminada. Muchas veces son mariscosHepatitis A: A virus that we contract by eating contaminated food. Many times they are seafood
Hepatitis A: le podemos dar cuidados de apoyo para el dolor – no hay cura, el cuerpo puede eliminarlo por sí mismoHepatitis A: we can give you supportive care for pain – there is no cure, the body can eliminate it by itself
Hepatitis B: Este virus es más serio. Se contrae de fluidos del cuerpo. Pueden ser fluidos sexuales y puede pasar de mamá a bebéHepatitis B: This virus is more serious. It contracts from body fluids. They can be sexual fluids and can change from mom to baby
Hepatitis B: hay algunas medicinas que sirven más o menos para hacer al virus dormirse y para suprimirloHepatitis B: there are some medicines that serve more or less to make the virus fall asleep and to suppress it
Hepatitis C: Es un virus que se contrae por la sangre, normalmente es a través de las jeringas.Hepatitis C: It is a virus that is contracted through the blood, usually through syringes.
Hepatitis C: hay medicinas nuevas que pueden eliminar el virus pero usted tiene que abstenerse de drogas y alcohol por 6 meses antes de dárselosHepatitis C: there are new medicines that can eliminate the virus but you have to abstain from drugs and alcohol for 6 months before giving them

Cálculos biliares / Gallstones

SpanishEnglish
La bilis se produce en el hígado para la digestión de comidas grasosas.Bile is produced in the liver for the digestion of fatty foods.
La vesícula es donde el cuerpo almacena la bilis.The gallbladder is where the body stores bile.
Cálculos pueden formarse en la vesícula y causar mucho dolor.Stones can form in the gallbladder and cause a lot of pain.
Las mujeres mayores de 40 años que tienen hijos y que tal vez tienen sobrepeso son más propensas a padecer de la vesículaWomen over 40 who have children and who may be overweight are more likely to have problems with their gallbladder
No debe comer comidas altas en grasa. Si hay una infección, necesita una cirugía  You should not eat high fat foods. If there is an infection, you need surgery.

Cáncer del estómago / Stomach cancer

SpanishEnglish
Es uno de los cánceres más comunes del mundoIt is one of the most common cancers in the world
Se presenta con dolor de estómago, sentimiento que está lleno sin comer mucho, bajar de peso, sangre en el excremento y vomitar (con sangre)It presents with stomach pain, a feeling of fullness without eating much, losing weight, blood in the stool and vomiting (with blood)
Si es descubierto temprano, podemos hacerle una cirugía para quitar una parte del estómagoIf it is discovered early, we can do surgery to remove part of the stomach
También le podemos dar quimioterapia y cuidados de apoyoWe can also give you chemotherapy and supportive care

La Hernia

SpanishEnglish
Es un defecto o punto de debilidad de la pared abdominalIt is a defect or point of weakness of the abdominal wall
A veces es problemático y sintomático cuando los intestinos pasan por la hernia – los intestinos están apretados lo que causa que la sangre no puede circular por los intestinos.Sometimes it is problematic and symptomatic when the intestines go through the hernia – the intestines are tight which causes the blood can not circulate through the intestines.
Hay 2 soluciones:

  • Espera vigilante: es decir – vigilamos a los pacientes sin síntomas y esperamos para ver si se resuelve.
  • Cirugía para cerrar la hernia.
There are 2 solutions:

  • Watchful waiting: that is – we monitor patients without symptoms and wait to see if it resolves.
  • Surgery to close the hernia.

Quistes en el ovario / Ovarian cysts

SpanishEnglish
Los quistes son sacos de fluido o sangre cerca del ovario. Pasa con frecuencia con ovulación cuando el óvulo sale del ovario.Cysts are sacs of fluid or blood near the ovary. It frequently happens with ovulation when the ovum leaves the ovary.
Los quistes pueden romperse y por eso hay que hacer ultrasonido para ver si se han roto. También es posible una cirugía laparoscópica para quitar el quisteThe cysts can break and that’s why you have to do ultrasound to see if they have broken. Laparoscopic surgery is also possible to remove the cyst

Torsión del ovario / Ovarian Torsion

SpanishEnglish
Es peligroso cuando el ovario gira sobre sí mismo porque puede privar el ovario de la sangre que necesitaIt is dangerous when the ovary turns on itself because it can deprive the ovary of the blood it needs
Masas (como quistes) y otras cosas pesadas (un embarazo ectópico o fuera del útero) pueden provocar la torsiónMasses (like cysts) and other heavy things (an ectopic pregnancy or outside the uterus) can cause torsion
Es necesario hacerle un ultrasonido y probablemente una cirugía para enderezarlo  It is necessary to do an ultrasound and probably surgery to straighten it

Now is your turn! ¡Ahora te toca a ti!

Study this abdominal pain vocabulary in Spanish with the flashcards below


Download the lesson notes and start creating your own sentences using this new vocabulary in Spanish and share it on the comments below or in our Facebook group to receive feedback from other Medical Spanish learners 🙂

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Download Abdominal Pain in Spanish Notes TODAY

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Rory
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Rory is passionate about the Spanish language, an expert instructor, and specifically energized by the practical use of language in industry & community settings.
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