Stomach ache – Causes, symptoms, types and other risk factors

Stomach ache

When you have stomach ache / abdominal pain, then this kind of pain occurs between the chest and pelvic regions. Abdominal pain is the same term with the stomach ache. In some period of our life we will notice that we have abdominal pain. When you have a dull or cramp in your abdomen or tummy. This kind of problem is lasting in short period. In the most cases you should not be worried if you have stomach ache because it is not serious problem. It can be easily diagnosed and you can treat this condition with home remedies or medications. But if you have severe abdominal pain, then you should be worried. This can be a sign of serious disease. If the stomach ache starts unexpectedly and suddenly, then you should visit your doctor. He or she will give you the right treatment for your condition. You should be worried a lot if the pain is appearing in the particular area. If this is your case, then you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. You should notice the symptoms of this condition and then you must tell it to your doctor.

Causes of stomach ache

No matter if the abdominal pain is sharp pain, mild stomach ache or stomach cramps, the causes which lead to this condition can be very different. Here are some causes of this problem:

  • Stomach virus [1]
  • Indigestion
  • Appendicitis [2]
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Constipation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome [3]
  • Kidney stones
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) [4]
  • Urinary tract infection [5]
  • Gas
  • Food poisoning
  • Lactose intolerance [6]
  • Food allergies
  • Crohn’s disease [7]
  • Ulcers
  • Urinary tract infection [5]
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease [8]
  • Endometriosis
  • Gallstones [9]
  • Hernia [10]

Which symptoms of abdominal pain are a reason for which you should be worried? If your pain is recurrent or severe and you feel some of the following symptoms, then you must call your doctor as soon as possible:

  • The pain lasts for more than a few hours
  • Fever
  • Any signs of dehydration
  • Inability to keep food down for more than 2 days
  • Painful or unusually frequent urination
  • The pain is the result of an injury to the abdomen
  • When you feel inability to pass stool especially if you are also vomiting
  • The abdomen is tender to the touch

If you feel some of the previous mentioned symptoms, then you must call your doctor because you will need a therapy to resolve this problem. Also you should seek immediate medical care for the abdominal pain that you feel if you:

  • Have difficulty breathing
  • When you vomit blood
  • Have pain occurring during pregnancy
  • Have bloody or black tarry stools

Your doctor will ask you if you are feeling the pain every day or it is occasional pain. Also he or she can ask you some of the following questions: What type of pain do you feel? Do you feel the pain in your abdomen or you feel it in a particular area? When is the first time that you have felt your pain? When your pain is appearing? Does it appears when you eat some kind of food or you drink some alcohol? Are you pregnant? Have you had injury in the recent period? Have you used some medications or home remedies to improve your condition?

Stomach ache

Types of stomach ache / abdominal pain

There are three types of this kind of pain:

  • Localized pain: When you have this type of abdominal pain, then the pain is appearing in one area of your abdomen. When you have some problems in some organ in your body, then this can lead to localized pain. Stomach ulcers are the most common cause for this type of abdominal pain. They are open sores which are located on the inner linings of your stomach.
  • Cramp – like pain: When you have this type of abdominal pain, then it can be associated with bloating, diarrhea, flatulence or constipation. If you are women and you have this type of abdominal pain, then it can be associated with complications in the female reproductive organs, menstruation or miscarriage. In the most cases when people suffer from this kind of pain, then it comes and goes on its own. In the most cases there is not a reason for medical help.
  • Colicky pain: When you suffer from kidney stones or gallstones, then you can feel this kind of pain. When you have this type of stomach ache, then it occurs suddenly and you feel it like muscle spasm.


[1] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & causes of viral gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”). Retrieved from

[2] Humes DJ, Simpson J. Acute appendicitis. BMJ. 2006;333(7567):530–4. doi: 10.1136/bmj.38940.664363.AE

[3] Saha L. Irritable bowel syndrome: Pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and evidence-based medicine. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2014;20(22):6759–73. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i22.6759

[4] Badillo R, Francis D. Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2014;5(3):105–12.doi:10.4292/wjgpt.v5.i3.105

[5] Rosen JM, Klumpp DJ. Mechanisms of pain from urinary tract infection. International Journal of Urology. 2014;21(01):26–32. doi:10.1111/iju.12309

[6] Deng Y, Misselwitz B, Dai N, Fox M. Lactose intolerance in adults: Biological mechanism and dietary management. Nutrients. 2015;7(9):8020–35. doi:10.3390/nu7095380

[7] Seyedian SS, Nokhostin F, Malamir MD. A review of the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment methods of inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of Medicine and Life. 2019;12(2):113–22. doi:10.25122/jml-2018-0075

[8] Trent M. Pelvic inflammatory disease. Pediatrics in Review. 2013;34(4):163–72. doi:10.1542/pir.34-4-163

[9] Shabanzadeh DM, Sorensen LT, Jorgensen T. Abdominal symptoms and incident gallstones in a population unaware of gallstone status. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2016;2016:9730687. doi:10.1155/2016/9730687

[10] Kavic MS. Hernias as a source of abdominal pain: A matter of concern to general surgeons, gynecologists, and urologists. JSLS. 2005;9(3):249–51.


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