Severe Abdominal Pain
There are many reasons causes for abdominal pain such as:
Inflammation in the:
Health conditions 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
You will be asked for details about your pain. You will also be asked about other problems you may be having. A health history will be taken. You will be asked about any medicines you’ve taken. A physical exam will be done. This will involve checking the pelvis and rectum. You may also have:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Exploratory laparotomy —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.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
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 August 23, 2018.
Acute abdominal pain in adults—approach to the patient. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T912361/Acute-abdominal-pain-in-adults-approach-to-the-patient . Updated October 21, 2016. Accessed August 23, 2018.
Cartwright S, Knudson M. Diagnostic imaging of acute abdominal pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2015;91(7):452-459.
Cartwright S, Knudson M. Evaluation of acute abdominal pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2008;77(7):971-978.
Leung A, Sigalet D. Acute abdominal pain in children. Am Fam Physician. 20031;67(11):2321-2327.