Abdominal Pain

May 3, 2022

What Are The Common Causes Of Abdominal Pain?

Patients often have difficulty describing abdominal pain. Sometimes described as lower abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, upper stomach pain, stomach pain, etc. It can present as any form of discomfort between the chest and the pelvis. It can seem vague and hard to define.

Often times abdominal pain can be a minor issue but it is important to pay attention to your body and the signs that it is sending you.

If you have had frequent off and on stomach pain, visit your nearest gastroenterologist. There are several conditions or reasons as to why you may be experiencing stomach pain.

Stomach or Abdominal pain can be caused due to several less serious issues:

  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Constipation
  • A potential stomach virus- could be a stomach flu or other virus
  • Gas
  • Food poisoning- (foodborne illness) due to toxins in food from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Includes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
  • food allergies such as lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance- common allergies include nuts, milk, fish, eggs, and shellfish.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome– pain commonly presents in the lower abdomen but can be anywhere in the abdomen. Pain may worsen soon after eating.

Other potentially more serious conditions include:

  • Appendicitis- Inflammation of the appendix. Could feel like a dull pain in the abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper.
  • Decreased blood supply to the intestines- (intestinal ischemia) due to a blocked blood vessel. Could affect intestinal function.
  • Kidney stones- (nephrolithiasis) Symptoms manifest as severe pain in the back and side from the lower abdomen to groin.
  • Pancreatitis– Inflammation of the pancreas. Pain is felt from the upper abdomen, radiating to the back.
  • Bowel blockage or obstruction- Prevention of digested material from passing through the bowel.
  • Cancer of the stomach- symptoms could include pain and unusual “fullness” in the upper abdomen.
  • Colon Cancer– symptoms could include severe and long-lasting abdominal pain, and/or change in bowel habits.
  • Cholecystitis- Inflammation of the gallbladder that presents as severe pain in the upper right or center of the abdomen.
  • GERD– (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. Symptoms include frequent heartburn.
  • Crohn’s Disease– an inflammatory disease of the intestines that results in abdominal pain and frequent diarrhea.
  • Ulcerative Colitis– inflammatory bowel disease that can result in abdominal and rectal cramping and pain.
  • Ulcers– sores in the lining of the stomach that can result in abdominal pain.
  • Diverticulitis– infection/inflammation of the colon. Can result in bowel obstruction and abdominal swelling.

If you are experiencing severe unrelenting abdominal pain accompanied by any of the following conditions emergency care may be necessary

When should I go to the hospital for abdominal pain?

  • Pain extends from your stomach to your back
  • Your stomach is very tender to the touch
  • Your abdominal pain is accompanied by a fever
  • Bloody urine or bloody stool
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Unable to eat without vomiting
  • Vomiting blood
  • Irregular heartbeat

The best rule of thumb is to not take any risks. If your stomach pain is frequent and perhaps not extreme, meeting with your nearest gastroenterologist may be necessary.

Blood in your stool should never be ignored. If you have blood in your stool please visit the nearest location to you.

What is the cause of lower abdominal pain?

Some of the most common causes of lower abdominal pain include:

  • Diverticulitis– the inflammation or infection of the walls of the intestines.
  • Gas- feels like a pressure in your abdomen and includes burping and flatulence.
  • Lactose Intolerance– the inability to fully digest lactose found in dairy.
  • Celiac Disease– (Celiac sprue) Triggered response of the body to gluten- found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  • IBD– (Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis) term describing any chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
  • Indigestion- pain from indigestion in the lower abdomen is rare and due to the buildup of acid following eating.
  • IBS- (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) common disorder of the large intestine.
  • Constipation– inability and/or difficulty to pass stool.
  • Hernia- when another body part or organ pushes into the abdominal wall.
  • Bowel Obstruction- Prevention of digested material from passing through the bowel.
  • Appendicitis- Inflammation of the appendix. Could feel like a dull pain in the abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen and grows sharper.
  • Flu- (stomach flu) infection of the intestines. Could be characterized by cramping, nausea, and fever.

Treatment of Abdominal Pain

Due to the variety of abdominal causes, the most efficient and effective way to treat abdominal is to seek a diagnosis from a gastroenterologist. Schedule a consultation today with your nearest gastroenterologist.