What is Stomach Pain Caused By?

Stomach Pain

Stomach pain, also known as abdominal pain, can be caused by a wide range of factors, including:

  1. Gastrointestinal issues:
    • Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach lining, often caused by infection (e.g., Helicobacter pylori), excessive alcohol consumption, or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
    • Peptic ulcers: Open sores that develop on the inner lining of the stomach (gastric ulcers) or the upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcers), typically caused by H. pylori infection or long-term use of NSAIDs.
    • Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and intestines, commonly caused by viral or bacterial infections (e.g., norovirus, Salmonella, Escherichia coli).
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Chronic condition characterized by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, leading to heartburn and abdominal discomfort.
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and changes in bowel habits without evidence of structural or biochemical abnormalities.
    • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Chronic inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
    • Constipation: Difficulty passing stools or infrequent bowel movements, which can lead to abdominal discomfort and bloating.
    • Food intolerances or sensitivities: Some individuals may experience abdominal pain or discomfort after consuming certain foods or beverages, such as lactose (in dairy products) or gluten (in wheat and other grains).
  2. Organ-related issues:
    • Gallstones: Hardened deposits in the gallbladder or bile ducts, which can cause sudden and intense abdominal pain, particularly after eating fatty foods.
    • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, often caused by gallstones or excessive alcohol consumption, resulting in severe abdominal pain that may radiate to the back.
    • Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, characterized by sudden and severe pain in the lower right abdomen, often accompanied by fever, nausea, and vomiting.
    • Kidney stones: Solid deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause severe abdominal or flank pain as they pass through the urinary tract.
  3. Other causes:
    • Musculoskeletal issues: Strained or injured muscles or ligaments in the abdomen or back can cause localized pain.
    • Menstrual cramps: Pain and discomfort experienced by some women during menstruation, often in the lower abdomen.
    • Stress or anxiety: Emotional stress or anxiety can sometimes manifest as abdominal discomfort or pain.

It’s important to note that abdominal pain can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or changes in bowel habits. Persistent or severe abdominal pain should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

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