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Common causes of abdominal pain

"Butter and Eggs" is an herb used for stomach ailments.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Frequent or isolated abdominal pain could be a sign of a serious illness. Dismissing abdominal pain could lead to injury, illness or even death. Knowing the common causes for abdominal pain can save you from overlooking serious symptoms. Here are some common types of abdominal pain and possible causes for the pain.

Burning pain

Burning pain in the abdomen is usually caused by stomach ulcers. People with ulcers have described the pain as equivalent to a hot knife in the belly. The pain is usually more prevalent just after eating. This type of pain is caused by irritation of the ulcer, or open sore in the digestive system. Ulcers can also occur further down the digestive tract, such as in the intestines and colon.

Cramping pain

Cramping pain in the abdomen could be caused by temporary diarrhea or constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome may cause frequent diarrhea or constipation accompanied by cramping of the abdomen or intestines. When this occurs, you may feel as if you still have to "go" even after complete elimination. Stomach cramps may also be caused by the menstrual cycle but will be centered on or around the uterus.

Severe pain in the lower right abdomen

The most common cause of severe lower right side abdominal pain is appendicitis. This pain usually originates around the area of the bellybutton and moves to the lower right side. One way to identify appendicitis pain clearly is that it does not go away unless treated. When the cause of your pain is appendicitis, changing positions or taking pain relievers will not take this pain away.

Lower left abdominal pain

The most common cause of lower left abdominal pain is diverticulitis. This condition is caused by the formation and inflammation of small pouches in the intestinal tract. It is often accompanied by fever, constipation and diarrhea. Diverticulitis can sometimes cause blood in the stool when the pouches of infection burst.

Upper right abdominal pain

This type of severe abdominal pain is commonly caused by gallstones. Pain of this nature caused by gallstones may also be accompanied by severe, crippling pain in the center of the back. Pain in the upper right abdomen could also be caused by enlargement or abscess of the liver or a perforated duodenal ulcer.

Upper left abdominal pain

A common cause of upper left abdominal pain is gastritis. This will most often be accompanied by bloating and gas. Gastritis is often relieved by the release of gas. More severe pain in this region could be caused by problems with the spleen. These could include a ruptured spleen or an abscess of the spleen.

Please Note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice.


Merck Manual

Family Doctor

Appendicitis Symptoms

This article was previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! property.

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