Abdominal pain occurs between the chest and pelvic regions and can be crampy, dull, achy, intermittent, or sharp. The major organs located in the abdomen include the intestines, kidneys, appendix, spleen, stomach, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.
Abdominal pain may be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
Severe abdominal pain may be caused by organ rupture, near-rupture of the organs (such as appendicitis), gallbladder stones, kidney stones, and kidney infection.
Lower abdominal pain in women may be caused by:
Abdominal pain can be characterized as localized, cramp-like, or colicky.
Localized pain occurs in only one area of the abdomen and is often caused by issues with a particular organ. One common cause of localized pain is stomach ulcers.
Cramp-like pain may be associated with constipation, bloating, diarrhea, or flatulence. In women, cramp-like pain can be associated with menstruation, miscarriage, or illness affecting the female reproductive organs. Pain may be intermittent, and may completely subside on its own without treatment.
Colicky pain occurs suddenly and may feel like a severe muscle spasm. This type of abdominal pain may be a symptom of more severe conditions, such as gallstones or kidney stones.
Patients should seek immediate medical care if their abdominal pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms: