15 Causes of Stomach Pain

Everyone experiences stomach pain, at some time or the other. Most of the time these stomach pains are caused by overeating, gas, or digestion issues, but if it does not subside for long it might be a sign of some serious illness. If the stomach pain start suddenly, it also might be a sign of some medical emergency. This article discusses about some of the important conditions that can cause stomach pain.

15 Causes of Stomach Pain

15 Causes of Stomach Pain

Whether it is a mild, sharp or severe stomach pain, the causes are various. It can be a bacterial or a viral infection, constipation or menstrual pain in females. So, what can cause stomach pain? Here are some of the medical conditions that can cause stomach pains.

  1. Gas. Gas occurs normally depending on the food eaten. It can occur any time in a day and goes off after passing the gas through the mouth (burping) or the anus (flatulence). It has a very ordinary occurrence but sometimes can cause great discomfort. This is one of the commonest conditions that can cause stomach pain.
  2. Crohn’s Disease. It is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by harmful microbes, virus, and foreign substances. The symptoms are diarrhea, fatigue, blood in stool, fever, and stomach pains. This too is an important condition that can cause stomach pain.
  3. Food Poisoning. This condition occurs by consuming food contaminated with bacteria or virus. Along with stomach pain, other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This condition is considered a medical emergency and needs immediate medical care.
  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). When discussing about what can cause pain, it is important to consider irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is multiple intestinal symptoms occurring together. The IBS symptoms vary from person to person. The patients experience stomach pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and cramping.
  5. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). This is a very common bacterial or viral infection affecting humans. It mostly involves the urethra and the bladder but if not corrected can travel up to the ureters and kidney. The symptoms present in UTI include burning with urination, increased urge for urine, blood in urine, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping.
  6. Food Allergies. It is caused by an immune system reaction to certain food. Digestion is affected along with vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
  7. Lactose Intolerance. Another common condition that can cause stomach pain is lactose intolerance. Some people cannot tolerate milk, which leads to diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, vomiting, and nausea after drinking milk.
  8. Ulcers. Ulcers appear as holes or breaks in the protective lining of the upper part of the intestine or the stomach. It occurs when these areas come in frequent contact with stomach acids and enzymes. The symptoms experienced by the patient are, burning, gnawing and abdominal pain. This too is an important condition that can cause stomach pain.
  9. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). It is the disease of the female reproductive organs which include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix. It also includes sexually transmitted infections. Most of the times, not many symptoms are noticed, but as the infection grows severe the female experiences pain in the lower abdomen, fever with chills, heavy and unpleasant discharge, and sometimes bleeding. This needs a mention in the conditions that can cause stomach pain.
  10. Hernia. It occurs when the fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or the connective tissue. It also occurs by lifting heavy objects, constipation, diarrhea, and persistent coughing or sneezing. This too can cause stomach pain, burning sensation and swelling at the site of a hernia.
  11. Gallstones. These are the solid material which forms in the gallbladder. Gallstones are a common cause of stomach pain; pain is felt in the epigastric region of the abdomen, acidity, difficulty in digestion. Many patients do not suffer from any of the symptoms but in some, the pain is so severe that it requires the gallbladder to be removed surgically.
  12. Kidney Stones. Kidney stones are usually the small pebbles of salt or mineral present in the urine. Most of the stones pass away on their own, but some require medical intervention. The symptoms shown by the patient suffering from kidney stone are pain in the abdomen, burning in urine, dribbling, and increased frequency of urine. This too is one of the common conditions that can cause stomach pain.
  13. Endometriosis. Excessive growth of the lining of the uterus is known as endometriosis. This too can cause stomach pain, it is basically pain in the abdomen with excessive bleeding, difficulty in conceiving, and painful sex.
  14. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD or heartburn as it is commonly known occurs due to certain trigger food, medicines, and even stress. This is one of the most well-known conditions that can cause stomach pain. Along with abdominal pain, the patient experiences a chronic cough, burning, and chest pain.
  15. Appendicitis. Inflammation of the appendix is termed as appendicitis, which can cause severe stomach pain. If left untreated the appendix can eventually burst or perforate into the abdominal cavity. The patient experiences extreme pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling, nausea, and vomiting. It is a medical emergency and requires an immediate surgery.

When to Seek An Emergency Medical Help for Stomach Pain?

Few of the common conditions that can cause stomach pain are detailed above but if the patient experiences the following symptoms never delay a doctor’s visit.

  • The stomach pain is very sharp, severe, and sudden
  • The pain in stomach is accompanied by pain in chest, neck, and shoulder.
  • There are excessive vomiting and diarrhea along with blood.
  • The abdomen is hard and tender to touch.
  • There is difficulty in bowel movements along with vomiting or fever.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 11, 2019

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