Symptoms A-Z

General Abdominal Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your general abdominal pain symptoms, including 9 causes and common questions.

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Contents

  1. 9 Possible General Abdominal Pain Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

9 Possible General Abdominal Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced general abdominal pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Irritable bowel syndrome (ibs)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the large intestine. It is characterized by recurrent abdominal pain and bowel movement issues that can be difficult to treat. Signs and symptoms of IBS are usually not severe or life-threatening, but finding relief may be frustrating.

In order to have a confirmed diagnosis, your IBS should include two of three key symptoms, including improvement of symptoms after defecating, pain that begins when the frequency of stool changes, or(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/pain-when-passing-stools/).

Other key symptoms include abdominal pain and discomfort, as well as bloating, cramping,(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/fatigue/). These may all be exacerbated by stress, specific foods, or hormonal changes, especially in women.

Treatment focuses on alleviating your symptoms through supplements and medication.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, constipation, stool changes

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Acute gastritis

When something interferes with the protective mechanisms of the stomach, a range of problems can occur from mild indigestion to deadly bleeding ulcers. Gastritis is an umbrella term for one of the most common problems, inflammation of the stomach lining.

Symptoms include nausea or vomiting, a loss of appetite, belly pain, bloating and vomiting or passing blood in severe cases.

While chronic gastritis can be a lifelong affliction, acute gastritis clears up within days to weeks of onset.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: nausea or vomiting, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, mild abdominal pain

Symptoms that never occur with acute gastritis: fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Viral (norovirus) infection

If you ever heard of an entire cruise ship of people coming down with the same "stomach bug," chances are that was norovirus. Fortunately, norovirus usually goes away on its own after a few days, but is pretty unpleasant and can spread extremely easily. The main symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, which can be severe enough to require hydration with intravenous fluids. However, other treatments are rarely necessary. In the developing world where access to supportive care is less available, norovirus infection is still responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year, primarily due to dehydration.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache

Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection: diarrhea, vomiting or nausea

Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection: severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool, vaginal bleeding, alertness level change

Urgency: Self-treatment

Functional dyspepsia/indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint and in most cases there is no serious underlying cause. This is when doctors call it 'functional'.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: stomach bloating, nausea, dyspeptic symptoms, bloating after meals, vomiting

Symptoms that always occur with functional dyspepsia/indigestion: dyspeptic symptoms

Symptoms that never occur with functional dyspepsia/indigestion: vomiting (old) blood or passing tarry stools, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Stomach ulcer

A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach or the first part of your small intestine (the duodenum), which causes pain following meals or on an empty stomach.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, moderate abdominal pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Symptoms that never occur with stomach ulcer: pain in the lower left abdomen

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Gallstones

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right abdomen, vomiting

Symptoms that always occur with gallstones: abdominal pain (stomach ache)

Symptoms that never occur with gallstones: abdominal pain that improves after passing stools

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Intestinal inflammation (diverticulitis)

Diverticula are small pouches that bulge outward through the colon, or large intestine. Diverticulitis is a condition where the pouches become inflamed or infected, a process which can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation

Symptoms that never occur with intestinal inflammation (diverticulitis): pain below the ribs, pain in the upper right abdomen

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Food poisoning

Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness or "stomach flu," is an acute infection of the digestive tract from food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or other toxins. It actually has no relation to influenza.

Any food can become contaminated if not prepared under clean conditions, cooked thoroughly, or stored at cold temperatures. Meat, fish, dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the most easily contaminated foods.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and sometimes fever and chills.

Most people recover on their own with supportive care, meaning rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers.

However, dehydration can result if the vomiting and/or diarrhea are not controlled and IV fluids may be needed.

If there is also blurred vision, dizziness, or paralysis, the nervous system may be affected due to botulism. This is a medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Proper food preparation and storage, along with frequent and thorough handwashing, is the best prevention.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), dizziness

Symptoms that never occur with food poisoning: severe fever, being severely ill, bloody diarrhea

Urgency: Self-treatment

New onset crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the bowel. It is caused by a faulty immune system response which makes the body attack the lining of the intestines.

The disease usually appears before age thirty and can affect anyone. Those with a family history may be most susceptible. Smoking is a known risk factor.

Aggravating factors include stress, poor diet, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Early symptoms usually develop gradually, but can appear suddenly. These include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, mouth sores, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and blood in stool.

Untreated Crohn's disease can cause ulcers throughout the digestive tract as well as bowel obstruction, malnutrition, and deteriorating general health.

Diagnosis is made through blood test and stool sample test. Colonoscopy, CT scan, MRI, endoscopy, and/or enteroscopy may also be used.

Crohn's disease cannot be cured, but can be managed through reducing the inflammation. Antibiotics, corticosteroids, and immune system suppressors may be tried. Excellent nutrition, vitamin supplements, smoking cessation, and reduction in stress can be helpful.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About General Abdominal Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having general abdominal pain

General Abdominal Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced general abdominal pain have also experienced:

  • 10% Nausea
  • 6% Diarrhea
  • 4% Fatigue

People who have experienced general abdominal pain were most often matched with:

  • 50% Acute Gastritis
  • 37% Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Ibs)
  • 12% Viral (Norovirus) Infection

People who have experienced general abdominal pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 41% Less than a day
  • 34% Less than a week
  • 11% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

General Abdominal Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having general abdominal pain