Acute Abdominal Pain
There are many causes for abdominal pain, such as:
Inflammation in the:
Health problems, such as:
- An infection or abscess
- Peptic ulcer
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney stones
- Ruptured or leaking abdominal aortic aneurysm
Other problems such as:
- Blockage in the small or large intestine
- Lack of blood flow to the organs in the belly
- Menstrual cramps
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease—inflammation around the organs in the pelvis because of an infection
- Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
- Intussusception—the intestines telescope causing a block
- Volvulus—a twisting of the large intestine around itself
- Hirschsprung disease
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked about your pain. A physical exam will be done. This will involve checking the pelvis and rectum.
Other tests may be:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Exploratory laparotomy—surgery to look for problems inside the belly
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Severe Stomach Ache; Abdominal Cramps)
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://familydoctor.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases https://www.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology https://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
Abdominal pain (stomach pain), short-term. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/symptom/abdominal-pain-stomach-pain-short-term. Accessed October 27, 2020.
Acute abdominal pain in adults—approach to the patient. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/acute-abdominal-pain-in-adolescents-approach-to-the-patient. Accessed October 27, 2020.
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