Stomach pain is a common symptom of many different conditions, all causing discomfort in the abdominal cavity. It can come on suddenly, in the case of acute stomach pain, or build slowly, going from only mildly uncomfortable to very painful over the course of a few hours or days. Some stomach pain will go away on its own, while some pain may indicate a serious problem that will need medical treatment.
Some causes of stomach pain are very common, and not serious. These causes include a build-up of intestinal gasses, constipation, and the effects of eating a food that your stomach does not handle well, like processed cheeses or foods with a lot of grease. Lactose intolerance can cause abdominal pain, and so can food allergies or food poisoning. Young infants with a lot of stomach pain may be suffering from colic. The stomach flu, or bug, may also lead to stomach pain. Other common causes of pain in the stomach include heart burn or acid heartburn.
Another one of the causes of stomach pain is a problem with an abdominal organ. This may be from a kidney stone, gall stone, or ulcer. Stomach pain may also be a symptom of appendicitis or pancreatitis. In some cases, the pain may be caused by cancer in the stomach, intestines, colon, or pancreas. Cancer in the ovaries may also cause stomach pain.
There are several diseases and disorders that are causes of stomach pain. These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome. Stomach pain may also be a symptom of shingles or Crohn’s Disease. In some cases, stomach pain could be a symptom of sickle cell anemia.
Acute, or sudden onset, stomach pain may be a sign of a serious medical condition. A blockage in the bowel, not allowing anything to go through, can cause a lot of pain. A bowel infarction, where a vein is blocked, is also very painful. The decreased blood flow to the bowel results in bowel death, which can be fatal if it is not diagnosed and corrected in time.
There are many causes of stomach pain, and it can be difficult to tell whether or not that pain is a symptom of something more serious. Most stomach pain is from a minor irritation, and will be gone within an few hours. If the pain gets worse, or does not go away after a day or two, it may be time to seek medical attention.