signs of stomach problems
Why does my stomach hurt? Learn about signs of stomach problems and what may be causing them

Stomach problems are typically related to the digestive tract and 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?

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.

Digestive tract causes

Other causes

Serious or life-threatening causes

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


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. 

Digestive problem symptoms

Other body system problem symptoms

When to see a doctor about stomach problems

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:

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Medically Reviewed on 7/7/2021
Medline Plus. Digestive Diseases.

Cleveland Clinic. Gastrointestinal Diseases.

Medscape. Gastroenterology.