What is stomach pain or discomfort?
Sometimes, you may have pain/discomfort in a particular part of your belly or all over the belly for a short or long period of time.
It may be seen across different age groups in both genders. Worldwide, there are various nomenclatures used to describe belly pain, frequency, severity, impact of pain and response.
What are the different types of stomach pain?
Stomach pain is usually described based on the location within the stomach and abdomen. The types of stomach pain considering the location of your pain are as follows
- Upper abdomen/belly pain
- Lower belly pain
- Groin pain
- Front part of the belly
- Abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome: A nerve supplying the belly becomes trapped in a tissue causing pain all over the belly.
What are the common causes of stomach pain?
Whether you've got a mild ache, sharp pain, cramps or abdominal pain, it can have many possible causes. Commonly your stomach may hurt because of the following reasons
- Inflammation of the appendix
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, stomach pain with disordered defecation)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD, inflammation of the digestive tract)
- Stomach acid irritates the esophagus
- Gaseous distension
- Food poisoning
- Food allergies
- Stomach ulcer
- Stomach flu (stomach virus)
- Hernia (protrusion of belly organs)
- Diverticulitis (inflammation of the abdominal pouches)
- Small and large bowel/gut obstruction
- Sudden cessation of blood flow in the abdominal lining folds (mesenteric arterial thrombosis/ischemia), especially in older adults
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Enteric infection (infection causing diarrhea and vomiting with cramping pain)
- Specific food intolerance such as lactose (dairy product) intolerance and carbohydrate/gluten intolerance, especially in celiac disease
- Indigestion or epigastric pain disorder (upper middle belly pain)
- Peptic ulcer (digestive ulcer disease)
- Unrecognized constipation
- Liver congestion/swelling because of
- Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract)
- Intestinal angina (pain worsened by eating)
- Women (with or without pain during their period) may suffer from
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (infection/inflammation of the sex organs)
- Endometriosis (womb tissue growing outside the womb)
- Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (bleeding from the vagina in between periods)
- Cancer of the ovary
- Ruptured ovarian cyst (rupture of fluid sacs in the ovary)
- Ectopic pregnancy (implantation of a fertilized egg outside the womb)
- If you’re a man and have lower belly/groin pain, you may have swelling and infection of the prostate gland.
- Kidney stones (pain radiating from back to front)
How can I prevent stomach pain?
- Avoid specific dietary items that your stomach doesn’t tolerate including dairy products (lactose), wheat, beans and carbohydrates.
- Fiber in the diet should be increased if you have constipation.
- Ingesting probiotics (good bacteria) can be beneficial for your gut in relieving your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
Self-medication/self-help under your doctor’s advice
- Take over-the-counter medications for diarrhea, gaseous distention and constipation where appropriate.
- Take antacids and drugs that prolong acid production (proton pump inhibitors [PPIs]) . These are probably inappropriate for treating abdominal cramping and pain.
- Laxatives may cause cramps, but they can reduce pain if you have more severe constipation.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
World Gastroenterology Organisation
Top Stomach Pain Causes Types and Prevention Related Articles
What Causes Abdominal Pain?Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas, colitis, endometriosis, food poisoning, GERD, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ovarian cysts, abdominal adhesions, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and cancers. Signs and symptoms of the more serious causes include dehydration, bloody or black tarry stools, severe abdominal pain, pain with no urination or painful urination. Treatment for abdominal pain depends upon the cause.
What's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?In general, abdominal pain, which may be in the lower left or right of your abdomen, is a symptom of many possible conditions including appendicitis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and others. It may accompany constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Find out the potential causes of pain in the abdomen and learn when you should see a doctor.
Children's Abdominal PainAbdominal pain in children can be more than just a tummy ache. What are the common causes of abdominal pain in children? Learn about pediatric abdominal pain symptoms and treatments for stomach pain in children.
Indigestion (Dyspepsia, Upset Stomach Pain)Indigestion (dyspepsia) can be caused by diseases or conditions that involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and also by some diseases and conditions that do not involve the GI tract. Indigestion can be a chronic condition in which the symptoms fluctuate in frequency and intensity. Signs and symptoms that accompany indigestion include pain in the chest, upper abdominal pain, belching, nausea, bloating, abdominal distention, feeling full after eating only a small portion of food, and rarely, vomiting.
How Do I Know If I Have Tapeworms?What are tapeworms? Learn the signs and symptoms of this parasite.
How Do You Relieve Upper Stomach Pain?What causes upper stomach pain? Learn what can cause upper stomach pain and what remedies can help relieve symptoms.
Tummy Trouble QuizTummy Troubles? Get a better idea of what's causing the nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, pain, and other gastrointestinal discomforts and problems. Take the Tummy Troubles Quiz!
What Causes Pain in the Upper Stomach?Pain in the upper stomach is a common issue that affects many people. Learn the signs of pain in the upper stomach, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
What Causes Pain on the Left Side Above the Hip?There are various reasons you may be having pain on your left side above the hip. Learn more about the possible causes of your condition.
What Causes Sharp Pains in the Stomach?What is abdominal pain or pains in the stomach? Learn the symptoms of sharp pain in the stomach, what might be causing sharp pain in the stomach, and when to see a doctor for sharp pain in the stomach.
When Should I Worry About Hernia Pain?Hernias can lead to serious medical complications. Find out more about different types of hernias and when to see a doctor for hernia pain.
Why Do I Have Stomach Pain at Night?Stomach pains are a common human ailment, but stomach pains that wake you up at night should be taken seriously. Learn about stomach pains, their causes, and how to treat them.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Every Meal?Stomach pain after meals is a symptom of many conditions. Learn the signs of stomach pain after every meal, what causes stomach pain, how doctors diagnose stomach pain, and what you can do to treat stomach pain after every meal.