Being healthy is vital to the success of any individual, whether it be the coach, administrative staff, or the athlete. As athletic trainers we are not only concerned with sports related injuries but with the total health of our community as a whole. Gastrointestinal pathologies can occur at any time, with out explanation and to any demographic. It is important that you are educated as an individual to either prevent or properly assess a pathology of this likeness when relevant. Some common gastrointestinal pathologies that will be briefly discussed include appendicitis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.
Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix. This presents typically with pain around your navel which commonly progresses into severe pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. Signs and symptoms of this condition include but are not limited to: rebound tenderness, nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of appetite. Appendicitis is typically treated with surgical removal of the organ.
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits formed inside your kidneys typically due to increased intake of concentrated beverages. Pain usually originates in your side, back, or below your ribs moving toward your lower abdomen and/or groin as your body attempts to rid itself of the stone. Pain with urination is also very typical of kidney stones. Pain medication and increased water intake can usually alleviate the symptoms of kidney stones.
Urinary tract infections are commonly infections to the bladder and urethra, but can also affect any other organ in the urinary system. Women are typically at greater risk to experience this infection usually presenting with pelvic pain; whereas men who are suffering from a UTI might report rectal pain. Other signs and symptoms of the pathology include strong smelling urine, burning sensation with urination, a persistent urge to urinate, and cloudy, discolored urine.
Again, these are only a few of the internal pathologies to be aware of. If at any time you begin to experience these symptoms and a fever over 100 degrees, please contact your athletic trainer, physician, or other health care professional. It is always important to be prepared and cautious when dealing with your health.