Are you concerned about your abdominal pain? Most people experience abdominal pain at some point. However, if you’re experiencing persistent abdominal pain, you may need medical attention, as there are many vital organs in the abdominal area.
We asked our experts at GI Physicians Inc to share the five most common causes of abdominal pain.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Chronic pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea are all symptoms of IBS. Only a small percentage of IBS sufferers experience severe symptoms.
In most cases, IBS can be managed by keeping a food diary to track what foods trigger symptoms. Carbonated beverages, excess fiber, chocolate, and caffeine are common triggers for IBS.
Accompanied by pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloating, gastritis usually isn’t serious. But if it’s left untreated, it can cause pain and discomfort for years.
Gastritis is triggered by an inflamed or swollen stomach lining and has many causes, including frequent use of aspirin, NSAIDs, smoking, bacterial infections, stress, and autoimmune reactions.
3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD involves continuous acid reflux, which causes stomach acids to rise up into the throat and cause heartburn and abdominal pain. Left untreated, GERD can cause inflammation in the esophagus.
Fortunately, GERD is manageable. In some cases, it can be eliminated entirely if the trigger for the condition is identified. Triggers include certain foods, aspirin, smoking, large meals at night, and obesity.
4. Stomach ulcers
Ulcers are painful wounds in the stomach that won’t heal. You might develop an ulcer if you’re frequently using NSAIDs like Ibuprofen or have a bacterial infection.
Symptoms of ulcers include pain, bloating, weight loss, and digestive issues.
5. Crohn’s disease
Crohn's disease is the chronic inflammation of the digestive tract lining. Symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.
Left untreated, Crohn’s can lead to weight loss and malnourishment. Some people with Crohn's disease may benefit from elimination diets.
Other causes of abdominal pain
Overexercising, pulled or strained abdominal muscles, and even certain parasites can cause abdominal pain. Even your kidney could cause pain in your abdomen if you suffer from a bladder or a urinary tract infection.
In women, abdominal pain could indicate reproductive health problems such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A more serious cause of abdominal pain is appendicitis, which requires immediate medical attention.
There are many causes of abdominal pain, benign and severe, so if you experience abdominal pain, contact us to schedule an appointment and avoid complications.