Abdominal pain: types, possible causes & treatment

Stomach pain is something that most people suffer from at some point. Just think of the stress of a busy job, or the tension that comes with taking an exam. These causes of abdominal pain can be described as psychological. But diseases or conditions can also be the cause of abdominal pain, possibly accompanied by abdominal tension, intestinal cramps and diarrhea. Various examinations are possible to determine the precise cause of abdominal pain, such as gastroscopy or colonoscopy. But the doctor can often provide a lot of clarity based on the blood test data. Anti-diarrhoea, antacids and painkillers can help to combat the first symptoms and complaints of abdominal pain. However, in some cases, more extensive treatment will be required. What causes can be the cause of abdominal pain?

Pain in the abdomen: types

Abdominal pain is a condition that can vary greatly in severity and sensation. Some people experience stabbing abdominal pain, while others experience dull, persistent pain. It can also involve intestinal cramps where you have the feeling that an invisible hand is twisting your intestines completely. Pain in the abdomen can also be experienced as a nagging pain that comes and goes. Depending on the causes, there may be acute abdominal pain, such as appendicitis, or chronic abdominal pain, such as the chronic intestinal disease ulcerative colitis.

Psychological causes of abdominal pain

Pain in the abdomen may primarily be due to psychological causes. For example, you may be concerned about a certain situation in your private life that is coming up. Consider, for example, difficulties in the family or at work. School-going young people can develop tension when exams are approaching. The fear of failure can bring stress that focuses on the gut. Tension in the abdomen, diarrhea and abdominal pain can be the result.

Physical causes: diseases

Symptom-fighting drugs are often prescribed for abdominal pain, such as painkillers or drugs to relax and calm the intestines. The latter drugs are frequently used to combat diarrhea . But the most appropriate thing is to find the cause of the abdominal pain and address it immediately. Several diseases or conditions may be the cause of abdominal pain , such as:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • stomach problems
  • liver disease
  • biliary disorder
  • intestinal obstruction
  • stomach ulcer
  • duodenal ulcer
  • growths in the gastrointestinal tract
  • chronic intestinal diseases: Chrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
  • peritonitis or peritonitis (urgent, potentially life-threatening situation)


Medical examination

Blood analysis

Abdominal pain can therefore have many different causes. It is important to ask a doctor for advice who can make the correct diagnosis. If necessary, the doctor can have a blood sample taken. A blood test can reveal whether there are signs of inflammation in the blood and what the values of, for example, liver, bile and kidneys are doing. Symptoms of inflammation are noticeable by elevated CRP levels in the blood.


Furthermore, additional investigations are possible, such as:

  • x-rays
  • scan of the abdominal cavity
  • ultrasound of the abdomen
  • gastroscopy: camera examination of the stomach
  • colonoscopy: camera examination of the large intestine


Treatment of abdominal pain


Abdominal pain can primarily be treated based on the exact cause. The most accurate and detailed diagnosis must then be made, after which treatment is proposed. This may consist of painkillers , anti-inflammatories and medications that are specifically aimed at a particular abdominal problem. Sometimes a more extensive treatment may be indicated, in which several medications can be combined.


Anti-diarrheals such as Imodium can be taken additionally to combat unpleasant symptoms, such as having to go to the toilet often or suffering from cramps when straining. Even if the problem is located more around the stomach, specific medications can be taken, such as antacids (e.g. Omeprazole).


In general, this overview of medications for abdominal pain and associated symptoms may help you:

  • against diarrhea: anti-diarrheals (Norit, Imodium, Loperamide)
  • against stomach pain: antacids (Rennie, Omeprazole, Gaviscon)
  • against abdominal pain in general: painkillers (paracetamol, Nurofen)


read more

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  • What to do about diarrhea? Causes & tips for diarrhea
  • What to do about abdominal cramps? Causes, treatment & tips
  • Stomach Problems: What Foods to Eat for Stomach Pain? Tips
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