Stomach Cramps: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

The term stomach cramps is nonspecific and is used to refer to a number of different symptoms or sensations rather than true muscle cramps of the stomach. People often refer to a "stomachache" or "abdominal cramps" to refer to pain that is perceived anywhere in the abdominal area. As such, the list of potential causes is extremely varied. Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, and problems or diseases of all of these organs may be the source of pain. Some typical causes of abdominal pain and associated symptoms that arise from the gastrointestinal tract include

Occasionally, pain may be felt in the abdomen even though it is arising from organs that are close to, but not within, the abdominal cavity, such as conditions involving the lower lungs, kidneys, uterus, or ovaries. These causes can include pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and pregnancy-related complications.

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2017
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