The Top 8 Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is a common yet nonetheless uncomfortable condition. This health problem can be caused by numerous factors. 

When treating your abdominal pain, it is important to consider the cause of your condition. This way, you can find the perfect treatment for your abdominal pain. 

Table of Contents

What Is Abdominal Pain?

Abdominal pain is an unpleasant feeling in the stomach region. Also known as stomach ache, this pain often occurs in the form of cramps. Luckily, this pain is usually not serious and it should abate after a while. If your abdominal pain persists, you will likely need to contact a medical professional for treatment advice. 

Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

1. Constipation

Constipation is the condition whereby a person finds it difficult to defecate. They may also need to excrete less frequently than normal. This condition can be caused by several factors, many of which are linked to a person’s diet. For instance, you may be constipated if you are not consuming sufficient fiber

If your abdominal pain is paired with an inability to defecate, this could indicate that constipation is the cause. Constipation can be treated by making dietary changes or altering toilet routines. 

2. Food Intolerance

Alternatively, you could be suffering from abdominal pain thanks to food intolerance. Essentially, a food intolerance means that your body struggles to digest certain foods. For instance, if you have a gluten intolerance, your body will negatively react whenever you consume food that contains gluten.

Food intolerances will lead to a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. 

It has been estimated that between 15% and 20% of the population suffer from food intolerances, making this one of the most common causes of abdominal pain. 

3. Trapped Wind

More formally known as flatulence, the trapped wind is a buildup of gasses in the digestive tract. This buildup will cause an unpleasant sensation and abdominal pain. 

Flatulence is a common condition that affects everyone from time to time. However, abdominal pain is not a standard symptom of trapped wind. If you are regularly suffering from this pain when you have trapped wind, this could indicate that you have a larger health problem. In this case, it is recommended that you visit your doctor. 

4. Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection, often abbreviated to UTI, refers to a common infection of the bladder and the rest of the urinary tract. Both men and women can develop these infections, though they are more common among women than men. Between 50% and 60% of women will develop UTIs. 

The infection will lead to a plethora of unpleasant symptoms, such as pain when urinating. This infection can target the upper urinary tract and affect a person’s abdomen, which will lead to this pain

Often, antibiotics are used to treat a UTI, which should cause the abdominal pain to disappear. 

5. Gastritis

Gatiris occurs when the lining of the intestine becomes inflamed. During this time, you will likely feel bloated with a painful sensation in your abdomen. It’s worth noting that gastritis will differ in severity from acute to chronic. 

You may be prescribed antibiotics or antacids if you suffer from gastritis. If you suffer from chronic gastritis, it is imperative to visit a doctor immediately. You will need to seek immediate medical attention if you have been experiencing symptoms like a loss of appetite.

6. Food Poisoning

Unfortunately, food poisoning is a common condition. It affects approximately 48 million Americans annually. As the name suggests, this food poisoning is caused by the consumption of contaminated foods. For instance, you may have eaten meat that was insufficiently cooked.

Though food poisoning is a distressing health issue, it normally passes within a week. During your stint with food poisoning, you may suffer from symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. 

If this is the cause of your abdominal pain, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated as you recover.

7. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to a chronic condition of frequent acid reflux. As a consequence, the lining of the esophagus becomes irritated. If you have GERD you may suffer from upper abdominal pain when the stomach acid reaches the esophagus.

Alginate or antacids may be used as over-the-counter treatments for GERD. Alternatively, you can make changes in the way that you consume food to relieve this unpleasant condition.  

8. Gastroenteritis

Lastly, abdominal pain could also be caused by gastroenteritis. This is a type of infection that infects the intestine, leading to symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. This condition is caused by bacteria and viruses. Acute gastroenteritis is especially common among children.

Gastroenteritis could also lead to abdominal pain. Though there is no specific treatment for this health condition, symptoms can be alleviated by taking painkillers and consuming plenty of fluids. 

How Is Abdominal Pain Treated?

Abdominal pain can be treated in numerous different ways. The perfect treatment plan will differ depending on the cause of this sensation. Among the most common causes of abdominal pain include: 

  • Dietary changes, such as drinking more water
  • Antibiotics for UTIs
  • Pain relief, including painkillers
  • Lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Acid reducers

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you have mild abdominal pain, you should be able to treat this condition at home. However, if you have a more severe version of abdominal pain, you should seek medical attention quickly. 

Some of the signs that you will need to see a doctor include nausea and weight loss. Alternatively, you should visit a doctor for this condition if you have also been experiencing rectal bleeding, swelling, or your skin has started to turn yellow. If your abdominal pain has become particularly intense or is not persisting it is recommended that you visit a doctor.

Doctors will help you identify the cause of the condition. They can also prescribe meditation that is tailored to your specific condition. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

DrHouse is a telehealth platform that can help you diagnose and treat abdominal pain. With us, you can start an on-demand video call with one of our online doctors in just a few minutes.

Our team of highly qualified doctors will be able to answer any questions you might have about your condition. We are also able to provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan and prescribe medication to help you manage your abdominal pain.

Key Takeaways

Abdominal pain is a common issue. Unless this health issue is causing severe pain or continues for a long time, it is usually nothing to worry about. However, by identifying the cause of this abdominal pain, you can effectively treat this condition. 


Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.



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