Abdominal Pain, Lower Abdominal Pain & Stomach Pain

Abdominal pain and lower abdominal pain is commonly referred to as stomach pain and should be monitored closely. While organs in the abdominal area generally function rather quietly, we become aware of possible malfunction when we feel abdominal ache or mild-to-severe pain below the ribs and above the pelvis and groin. Some forms of abdominal pain are common, while others may be serious and even life-threatening.

Pain that occurs in more than half of the abdomen is referred to as generalized abdominal pain and is usually associated with gas, indigestion, or a stomach virus. Localized pain occurs in just one area of the abdomen and is likely associated with a particular organ—stomach, appendix, gallbladder, liver, spleen, pancreas, bladder, kidneys, ureters, small and large intestines, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Upper & Lower Abdominal Pain Symptoms

  • Mild to severe pain
  • Cramping
  • Gas and bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever

Abdominal Pain Causes

  • Accident or injury
  • Gas or Indigestion
  • Constipation or impaction
  • Food poisoning
  • Food allergies
  • Stomach virus
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammation—appendicitis, diverticulitis, colitis, pancreatitis, endometriosis, Chron’s disease
  • Infection
  • Hernia
  • Obstruction—gallstones
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Vascular condition, such as abdominal aortic aneurysm

Abdominal Pain Treatment & Abdominal Pain Relief - When to See a Doctor

Some abdominal pain can be treated by self-care methods, such as dietary changes. Over-the-counter or prescribed medications may relieve some abdominal pain, depending on the cause, but some medications may irritate the stomach and even increase abdominal pain. Your primary care physician may advise you of appropriate medications for you, other remedies, or other proper course of action to treat your pain. Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Your pain is severe or intolerable.
  • Your pain is the result of an accident or injury.
  • Your pain increases with movement or prevents you from sitting in a comfortable position.
  • Along with the pain, you have a fever, bloody or black stools, dizziness or fainting, difficulty breathing, vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material, yellowing of the skin or eyes.