Abdominal (Stomach) Pain: Causes and When to See a Doctor

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: January 25, 2023

Abdominal (Stomach) Pain: Causes and When to See a Doctor

There are numerous reasons for abdominal discomfort, some more significant than others. A stomachache can be caused by a different abdominal organ or something unrelated to your digestive system. If your abdomen discomfort is severe, undiagnosed, or chronic, always contact a doctor.

We all experience stomach issues and abdominal pain occasionally, and they are typically not life-threatening. However, they can indicate that something inside your body isn't working properly. The causes might range from mild conditions like indigestion or a torn muscle to more serious ones like an infection inside the body or a heart attack. You might need to contact a doctor if you frequently experience stomachaches, or if they pain significantly or don't go away.

What Causes Stomach Pain?

Anywhere in the belly area, between the ribs and pelvis, can experience abdominal pain. It is frequently referred to abdominal discomfort as "stomach pain" or a "stomachache," although other organs can also cause abdominal pain. Your stomach is the house for

  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Gallbladder
  • Small intestine
  • Large Intestine

These are all the digestive organ where discomfort can occur which can be acute or stays for a longer time. Numerous symptoms and causes might be associated with abdominal discomfort, As follows:

  • Mild or harsh.
  • Sharp or dull.
  • Aching or burning.
  • Colicky or crampy
  • Continuous or irregular.
  • Localised (limited to one location) or generalised (all over).

For everyone, the pain or discomfort in the stomach can look different and can be described in numerous ways as it can surround the navel or the pain can come after a certain interval of time. You can describe it according to you to the doctor to be able to better understand it.

Causes of Stomach Pain

Gas, as well as more serious illnesses like appendicitis or Crohn's disease, can all contribute to stomach pain. A diagnosis might be aided by taking note of the severity and the area of the abdomen affected. The area between the chest and pelvis is known as the abdomen. Abdominal discomfort can be severe, dull, sharp, achy, or crampy. Another name for it is a stomachache. One part of the abdomen is the only one with localised pain. Problems with a certain organ frequently result in this kind of discomfort. Stomach ulcers are the most typical source of localised pain. Constipation, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, and constipation can all cause cramp-like pain. It may be linked to menstruation, miscarriage, or issues with reproduction in those who were born with a gender preference.

This discomfort fluctuates and could go away on its own without medical intervention. Significant abdominal discomfort can also be brought on by bacterial, viral, or parasite diseases that damage the intestines and stomach.

Abdominal pain that lasts for a long time might also be brought on by digestive system diseases. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the most prevalent (GERD), Irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon (a condition that results in cramps, bloating, and irregular stool movements), Crohn's disease (an inflammatory bowel disease)

Intolerance to lactose (the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products)

  • Several factors can cause severe stomach pain:
  • Organ failure or organ near-failure (like a burst appendix, or appendicitis)
  • Bile duct stones (known as gallstones)
  • Ureteral stones
  • Renal disease

Types of Stomach Pain

Different types of abdominal pain exist. For instance, if you have acute stomach pain, you've probably just had to endure the agony for a week or less. Contrarily, persistent or recurrent stomach pain is chronic abdominal pain. It persists for three months or more. Doctors and other healthcare providers occasionally struggle to identify the underlying cause of abdominal discomfort due to the wide range of gastrointestinal and systemic illnesses that can cause it. Abdominal pain that worsens over time is referred to as progressive. Typically, when the abdominal discomfort gets worse, other symptoms appear. Progressive abdominal pain frequently indicates a more severe issue.

How Frequent Are Stomach Pains?

Stomach pains can be very frequent to not very serious. Everyone around the world experiences pain in different level, it could be minor gas or could lead to severe problems of infection. As per the survey, most of the trips to the doctor or emergency are because of stomach pain.

What Does The Location Of Stomach Pain Indicate?

Location of stomach pain is one of the best indicator but it cannot be seen as the last resort to diagnose it. The afflicted organs may become apparent. For instance, Pain in your upper right stomach could be a sign of an issue in the gallbladder. Several factors can result in significant stomach pain:

Organ failure or organ near-failure (like a burst appendix, or appendicitis)

  • bile duct stones (known as gallstones)
  • ureteral stones
  • kidney disease

An indication of the reason for the discomfort may be found in where it is located in the abdomen. The following conditions may be caused by abdominal pain that is widespread rather than localised:

  • Appendicitis  (inflammation of the appendix)
  • Crohn's illness
  • A serious injury
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infection of the urinary tract
  • A flu
  • Concentrated lower abdominal pain could mean:
  • Appendicitis
  • Intestine blockage
  • Ectopic conception (a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb)

Pain in the lower abdomen's reproductive organs in those who were born with the gender ascribed to them as female might result from:

Intense period pain (called dysmenorrhea)

  • ovarian polyps
  • miscarriage
  • fibroids
  • endometriosis
  • inflammation of the pelvis
  • ectopic conception

Upper abdominal pain could result from:

  • gallstones
  • chest pain
  • hepatitis (liver inflammation) (liver inflammation)
  • pneumonia

Possible causes of abdominal pain in the middle include appendicitis, gastroenteritis, injuries, and uremia (buildup of waste products in your blood). Crohn's disease is one potential cause of lower left abdomen pain.

  • cancer
  • renal disease
  • ovarian polyps
  • appendicitis

Faecal impaction (hardened stool that cannot be passed) and an enlarged spleen can both contribute to upper left abdominal pain.

  • injury
  • renal disease
  • chest pain cancer

Some causes of lower right abdomen pain: Hernia with appendicitis (when an organ protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles)cancer, renal infection, and flu. The following conditions could cause upper right stomach pain: appendicitis, pneumonia, and hepatitis.

Diagnosis Of Abdominal Pain

A set of tests and an open discussion about your symptoms with your doctor can help determine the source of your abdominal discomfort. Your doctor will do a physical examination before recommending tests. Checking for soreness and oedema involves gently pushing on several parts of your abdomen. You will be questioned in-depth by your healthcare provider about your discomfort. They will inquire as to:

  • Any place you feel it.
  • Exactly how it feels.
  • How long have you had it?
  • If it arrives and departs?
  • If it is deteriorating.
  • If it moves or if it remains still?
  • What improves or worsens it?
  • What further signs you may have?

Your healthcare professional will try to establish whether you require emergency treatment based on your responses. Your healthcare professional might occasionally be able to detect right away whether your pain is transient and not serious. They might wish to conduct certain tests if they detect a more serious condition occasionally. Additionally, on their first visit, they might not always be able to solve the puzzle. You might experience less pain or need to go back for more testing.

What Causes Abdominal Pain Most Frequently?

The majority of reasons are transient and minor. They might be caused by a virus that is spreading, menstruation, or digestion. For instance: intestinal problems

After eating, abdominal pain may result from:

  • Indigestion.
  • discomfort from gas.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • food intolerances
  • foodborne illness
  • Inflammation

Temporary inflammation can be caused by inflammation or infection in your organs, such as

  • Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
  • Stomach ulcer illness.
  • Persistent acid reflux (GERD).
  • Infection of the urinary tract (UTI).
  • The cycle of female reproduction
  • You may occasionally feel pain if you have a uterus from:
  • Period cramps.
  • Ovulation discomfort

How Can Stomach Discomfort Be Treated?

There are many different reasons and treatments for stomach pain. Surgery could be necessary for some illnesses, such as gallstones or appendicitis. Others, including infections or ulcers, may be treated with medication. Additionally, there are occasions when you simply have to endure a kidney stone or a case of stomach sickness until it passes. Finding out the source of your abdominal pain is crucial, especially if it doesn't go away on its own. Keep in mind that even minor conditions might develop into serious ones. But if you're fairly certain that your stomachache is caused by digestion, you can start by treating it with:

  • Stomach rest Eat nothing or only simple things like crackers or bananas that are easy to digest.
  • Hydration-Take in a lot of water or a hydration drink.
  • Heat treatment- Consider using a warm water bottle or taking a bath.
  • Domestic remedies -Licorice can aid with gas, ginger can help with indigestion, and peppermint can help your digestive muscles relax.

When Should You Visit My Doctor To Discuss Abdominal Pain?

Always consult a medical professional if you are experiencing unexplained, chronic, or severe pain, have recently been wounded, or are pregnant. See a doctor if any of the following symptoms appear along with your pain:

In the following scenarios, one should see a doctor here is somewhat severe discomfort and bloody diarrhoea as well. Unfortunately, this might be several things for you (and your toilet). These symptoms, if they appeared out of the blue, may indicate a foodborne illness like salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, or E. coli. Along with the discomfort and the bloody poop, as if you didn't already have enough on your plate.

A completely different issue is having severe stomach discomfort and bloody diarrhoea on a regular (or semi-regular) basis. It might be a sign that you have ulcerative colitis, a persistent, often crippling condition that results in inflammation and ulcers on the inner lining of the large intestine. This is an example of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

You Are Throwing Up And The Discomfort Started Quite Immediately.

A foodborne infection like salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, or E. coli could be indicated by this. It should come as no surprise that eating something off can cause your body to do an Exorcist.

The Discomfort Has Persisted For More Than A Day And Is Now Moving Into Your Back.

Remember that the duration of your pain is typically insufficient to provide you with information about what is going on. However, chronic stomach discomfort that won't go away and begins to radiate into your back may be a sign of something more dangerous, such as acute pancreatitis or cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).

Your Lower Right Abdomen Is Hurting, It Started Unexpectedly, And It's Becoming Worse.

Your Side Or Lower Back Hurts And Going To The Bathroom Hurts.

It might be a kidney stone, which is a piece of material that resembles a pebble and can form in one or both of your kidneys when the concentration of a particular mineral in your urine is high. According to the NIDDK, kidney stones can vary in size and shape. Additionally pain one can also see changes in the colour of urine to strange colours.One should inform this symptoms as per kidney stones are concerned

You Experience Severe Lower Abdominal Stomach Cramps, But Once You Urinate, You Feel Better

This may be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects how well your brain and intestines communicate. Additionally, post-poop stomach cramps may occasionally be a symptom of traditional constipation.

The Discomfort Has Gotten Worse Over The Years And Is Most Severe During Your Period.

Having cramps during your period can be a common (albeit quite uncomfortable) occurrence. If your cramps are severe, perhaps you've previously consulted a doctor. But it's also important to remember that you should seek medical attention if your cramps have subtly gotten worse over time. A condition like endometriosis may be present if your cramps are significantly worse now than they were a year ago (and much worse than they were before that). Endometriosis is believed to develop when uterine lining tissue or tissue-like material spreads to other organs. 

Constant fever, persistent dizziness or nausea., Stool, urine, or vomit that is bloody, swelling and touch sensitivity, Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) (yellowing the eyes and skin), or any other physical discomfort, breathing difficulties or signs that worsen with exercise.

How Can You Stop Experiencing Stomach Pain?

Not all types of stomach pain may be avoided. Because it's a sign of a significant medical problem that has gradually evolved, some stomach pain cannot be avoided. However, if that's not the case and you are aware that your discomfort is caused by what you eat or how you move, you can take precautions to avoid it in the future. Modify your dietary patterns. Eat slowly, eat little by little. Instead of one or two substantial meals during the day, eat several little ones. Eat less of the things that make your stomach uncomfortable, such as spicy foods, dairy products, or gas-producing foods. Drink plenty of water, especially if you're prone to kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or constipation.

  • Consuming a balanced diet

consuming lots of water, working out frequently, and having smaller meals

Follow your doctor's recommendations for a diet if you have an intestinal disorder, such as Crohn's disease, to reduce discomfort. Do not eat two hours before going to bed if you have GERD. Too soon after eating, lying down might result in heartburn and discomfort in the abdomen. Consider delaying lying down for at least two hours after eating. An emergency could arise from severe abdominal pain. You should consult a doctor right once if your pain is sudden and severe or if it coincides with any of the following:

  • persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation (particularly with vomiting) (especially with vomiting)
  • spitting up blood
  • bleeding in the intestines
  • respiratory issues or shortness of breath
  • extreme sensitivity to touch in your abdomen
  • yellow eyes and skin
  • stomach bloating
  • Several days long
  • If you believe you could be pregnant

Use discretion when exercising-

  • Before beginning any new fitness regimen, see your doctor.
  • Stretch consistently before and after exercise.
  • Know your physical limitations as you begin slowly.
  • Gradually increase your speed and intensity over time.
  • Before, during, and after exercise, stay hydrated.

Can Stomach Aches Be Avoided?

Constipation and poor bowel function can both be avoided with adequate fibre intake and frequent exercise, which will also assist to prevent some types of stomach pain. Additionally, it will lower your long-term chance of developing certain illnesses including diverticular disease or colon cancer.

Plain water, but not carbonated or fizzy drinks, will maintain your body healthy and lessen the likelihood of experiencing bloating-related pain. A specialised diet helps lessen pain brought on by lactose intolerance, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, and wind or gas that has been trapped in the body.

How Is Stomach Pain Managed?

The underlying cause of stomach discomfort will determine how it is treated. Within a few hours or days, mild abdomen pain may go away on its own. Medications from the pharmacy are frequently effective in treating mild pain and its associated symptoms. What kind of product is ideal for your circumstance can be suggested by your pharmacist.

Except for period pain, you shouldn't treat stomach pain with aspirin or an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen. These medications may aggravate existing stomach or intestinal conditions.

If you are managing a recognised source of minor stomach pain at home: consume clean drinks to stay hydrated; avoid alcohol, tea, and coffee, keep yourself well-rested and apply warm wheat or hot water pack on your stomach. Eat bland meals when you can resume eating or as directed by your doctor. Depending on the reason for your abdominal pain, specific treatments may include: Gas — Over-the-counter medications, such as antacids containing simethicone, are available to reduce gas bubbles. With persistent wind issues, drugs that reduce gas, including charcoal products, may be helpful. A change in diet may also be beneficial. Your doctor or an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can offer dietary guidance. Gastroenteritis – Usually only lasts a few days before going away on its own. The most crucial step in rehydrating is drinking enough clear water.

Treatment Of Stomach Pain

  • Muscle spasm-related pain — Antispasmodic medications may help to reduce bowel spasms. There are several options, so ask your doctor or pharmacist which one is best for you.
  • GORD (acid reflux-related dyspepsia) pain may be controlled by altering your lifestyle or by using particular medications that reduce stomach acid.
  • Duodenal or stomach ulcer-related pain: This kind of pain is typically treated by attempting to heal the ulcers, which will also treat the symptoms. Your doctor may have prescribed antibiotics and medications that lower acid.
  • Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two examples of inflammatory bowel disease. These disorders can flare up and be managed with a variety of medications.
  • Abdominal discomfort can have a variety of other causes, and once the cause is identified, your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action. In some circumstances, such as appendicitis or bowel obstruction, the patient can require immediate surgery.

The following categories of medications can be prescribed to relieve stomach pain:

  • antispasmodics
  • antidiarrhoeals
  • laxatives
  • medications for nausea
  • medications for reducing gas
  • antacidssantibiotics


Discomfort or other unpleasant sensations in the area of your belly are known as abdominal pain. Almost everyone will experience stomach pain at some point. The majority of causes of abdominal discomfort are not alarming, and your doctor can quickly identify and treat the issue. However, sometimes, it could be an indication of a serious condition that requires medical treatment. In accordance with how soon and for how long you experience discomfort, there are various forms of stomach pain: Acute pain develops gradually during a few days or hours and may be accompanied by other symptoms, Longer lasting, chronic pain might linger for weeks, months, or longer. Chronic pain worsens with time and frequently coexists with additional symptoms. You must avoid making assumptions when you have abdominal pain because it's frequently not a significant problem. If your discomfort is persistent or chronic, go to your doctor. Call your doctor if your acute stomach pain is severe so you can determine the cause and start the right course of therapy.



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