What is Causing That Pain in Your Stomach?
According to studies, abdominal pain is one of the most common and frequent primary care complaints, accounting for between 5% to 10% of emergency department (ED) visits. Experiencing pain in the stomach and abdomen can be the result of a variety of disorders, diseases, and conditions.
While some upper and lower stomach pain is fleeting or short-term—gas, indigestion, and constipation are a few examples—other diagnoses can be more serious. Some causes of stomach pain can be extremely dangerous and time-sensitive, which is why you should always consult with a medical professional (especially if your pain is severe.)
10 Potential Reasons for Your Upper, Middle, or Lower Stomach Pain
Find out some of the most common causes of stomach pain, and why it’s important to seek the help of a physician.
- Diverticulitis. One of the most common causes of lower left abdominal pain, this condition results from the diverticula (small pouches in the intestinal wall) becoming infected and inflamed.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is a common cause of pain in the lower abdomen in females, and is most commonly triggered by a sexually transmitted disease (STD.)
- Appendicitis. When the appendix becomes infected, people most often feel a sharp pain near their belly button that extends to the lower right side of their abdomen. They will also experience fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and/or diarrhea.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is an ongoing, chronic gastrointestinal disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea.
- Hernia. A hernia occurs when an organ of the body (or body part) pushes through the abdominal wall. An individual may feel lower, upper, or middle abdominal pain depending on the location and type of hernia.
- Intestinal Obstruction. An intestinal blockage occurs when food becomes stuck in the digestive tract. In addition to abdominal pain, an individual may also experience loss of appetite, cramping, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and/or diarrhea.
- Gastritis. When the stomach lining becomes irritated from bacterial infection or certain autoimmune diseases, Crohn’s disease, allergies, or other triggers, it causes swelling and upper stomach pain.
- Gallstones. A buildup of cholesterol or bilirubin creates hard formations or “gallstones.” People with gallstones may experience sharp pain in the upper stomach, vomiting, fatigue, and exhaustion.
- Liver or Pancreas Issues. Various conditions and scenarios may result in liver or pancreas problems. Symptoms may include pain in the stomach, yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, and pale bowel movements.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). UTIs can be caused by a number of factors—from sexual activity and pregnancy to prostate enlargement, and more. Most people experience lower abdominal pain, frequent urination, burning during urination, and cramping.
When to Seek Medical Attention for Stomach Pain
Again, while not all conditions that produce pain in the stomach indicate a serious problem, many of those listed above will not go away on their own. Appendicitis, bowel obstruction, and certain liver and pancreas conditions can be extremely serious and even life-threatening. For this reason, it’s imperative to consult with a physician that specializes in addressing pain in the stomach and abdomen as soon as possible.
At GVS, our board-certified doctors and surgeons specialize in a number of areas including general surgery, hernia surgery, colon surgery, and gallbladder surgery. Our highly skilled and experienced surgeons are experts in their field, dedicated to providing precision diagnoses and personalized care. They will help you determine the exact cause of your stomach pain and develop an individualized treatment plan.
To learn more about conditions that cause stomach pain, set up a consultation. Or, call us any time with questions at 574-236-1888.