What Are the Signs of Stomach Problems?

Medically Reviewed on 7/7/2022
Signs of stomach problems
Common stomach problems are related to the digestive tract. In women, stomach problems may be related to the menstrual cycle, infection, or other conditions of the reproductive organs.

Stomach problems are typically related to the digestive tract and are the result of various conditions that affect digestion. However, symptoms such as gas, bloating, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation can also be due to conditions of the abdominal wall, blood vessels, urinary tract, reproductive organs, or even chest organs. 

Generalized stomach problems may be due to diet, infection, or inflammation. In women, stomach problems may be related to the menstrual cycle, infection, or other conditions of the reproductive organs. 

What causes stomach problems?

Common stomach problems are typically due to problems in the digestive tract. However, other disorders of the circulatory system, urinary tract, reproductive system, respiratory system, or nervous system may also be associated with stomach problems.

12 Digestive tract causes

  1. Bacterial, parasitic, or viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract
  2. Celiac disease (severe gluten sensitivity that causes intestinal damage)
  3. Diverticulitis (inflammation of an abnormal pocket in the large intestine)
  4. Lactose and other food intolerance
  5. Gallbladder disease
  6. Liver disease
  7. Diseases of the pancreas
  8. Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
  9. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux
  10. Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
  11. Irritable bowel syndrome
  12. Ulcers of the stomach or duodenum (first section of the small intestine)

Other causes

13 Serious or life-threatening causes

  1. An abdominal abscess (pus collection)
  2. Abdominal, pelvic, or testicular trauma
  3. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (life-threatening bulging and weakening of the wall of the abdominal aorta that can burst and cause severe bleeding)
  4. Appendicitis
  5. Bowel obstruction or perforation
  6. Acute pancreatitis
  7. Chemical or heavy metal poisoning
  8. Colonic volvulus (twisting of the colon) or intussusception (telescoping of the intestines into themselves)
  9. Ectopic pregnancy (life-threatening pregnancy growing outside the uterus)
  10. Intestinal ischemia (loss of blood supply to the intestines leading to the death of intestinal tissue)
  11. Heart attack
  12. Peritonitis (inflammation of the lining around the abdomen)
  13. Torsion of an ovary or a testicle (twisting of an ovary or spermatic cord)

The above of serious or life-threatening causes should see the doctor, go to emergency, or call 911 immediately.


Appendicitis: Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Appendectomy in Detail See Slideshow

What symptoms may accompany stomach problems?

Depending on the underlying cause, stomach issues may be accompanied by other symptoms, indicating problems in the digestive tract or other body systems. 

15 Digestive problem symptoms

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Abdominal cramps
  3. Abdominal swelling
  4. Bloating
  5. Belching (burping)
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Bloody stools (may appear red, black, or tarry and stick to the toilet)
  8. Constipation
  9. Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  10. Nausea
  11. Vomiting
  12. Vomiting blood (appears red or like coffee grounds)
  13. Urgent need to pass stools
  14. Burning chest pain
  15. Loss of appetite

Other body system problem symptoms

When to see a doctor about stomach problems: 17 Serious symptoms

Mild stomach problems may resolve on their own or with some lifestyle modifications in a few days. However, if symptoms persist, it is important to seek medical care. Stomach problems that are accompanied by the following signs and symptoms may indicate a serious life-threatening condition and require emergency treatment:

  1. Bleeding and abdominal pain during pregnancy
  2. Mental confusion
  3. Loss of consciousness
  4. Chest pain, tightness, or pressure
  5. Palpitations
  6. High-grade fever (over 101 degrees F)
  7. Inability to pass stools
  8. Bloody diarrhea
  9. Rectal bleeding
  10. Blood in urine
  11. Vomiting blood
  12. Breathing difficulty
  13. The rigid appearance of the abdomen
  14. Severe abdominal pain or sharp abdominal pain that comes on suddenly
  15. Trauma to the abdomen, pelvis, or testicles
  16. Seizures
  17. Severe dehydration

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 7/7/2022
Medline Plus. Digestive Diseases. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007447.htm

Cleveland Clinic. Gastrointestinal Diseases. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7040-gastrointestinal-diseases

Medscape. Gastroenterology. https://emedicine.medscape.com/gastroenterology