Abdominal Pain

Almost everyone experiences abdominal pain at some point. In many instances, abdominal pain is not serious. However, if accompanied by other symptoms, it may be an indication of a bigger problem.

Types

Generalized
This is when the pain occurs in more than half of the abdomen. It can occur with many different conditions or illnesses, and usually is not serious.

Localized
This is when the pain occurs in one area of the abdomen. When localized abdominal pain comes on suddenly and becomes progressively worse, it may be an indication of a more serious problem.

Possible causes of generalized abdominal pain
Generalized abdominal pain can be caused by a number of things. A few examples are:

Gastroenteritis or “stomach flu”
This is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly fever.

Indigestion
This usually occurs after eating. Doctors sometimes refer to this symptom as dyspepsia. It may be described as feeling gassy, bloated or nauseated usually without vomiting. Belching and loss of appetite are also common. Some people notice indigestion more frequently after eating certain foods – especially spicy foods.

Menstrual cramps
Some women experience these cramps before or during their menstrual cycle.

Constipation/Diarrhea
These conditions can also cause abdominal cramping and can usually be relieved with home treatments.