Acute Severe Abdominal (Stomach) Pain

Severe abdominal (stomach) pain is a debilitating pain preventing someone to continue with his/her daily activities. Abdominal cramps (spasms) are painful contractions of the hollow abdominal organs or muscles in abdominal wall lasting from few seconds to several hours. The cause of the pain or cramp can be usually suspected from its location and accompanying symptoms. Severe abdominal pain often requires urgent hospitalization but not always.

Severe Abdominal Pain Requiring Immediate Hospitalization

A person with:

  • Severe stomach pain, forcing him/her to sit or lie down
  • Pain, lasting over 10 minutes
  • Restlessness or unusual calmness
  • Pale face and lips
  • Shallow breathing and weak heart beat
  • Fever, chills, nausea or vomiting..

..should be admited to hospital immediately to treat a possible life threatening disorder, like:

1. Acute Appendicitis

Sudden right lower abdominal pain, which usually starts near the navel and gradually moves few inches toward left and down, tenderness at this spot, nausea, vomiting and fever are main symptoms of acute appendicitis,which can affect a person of any age. Inflamed appendix has to be surgically removed as soon as possible to prevent its perforation and life threatening abdominal inflammation.

Diagnosis in typical cases can be made from history and physical examination; in non-typical cases a CT is the main investigation. Appendix is removed through an inch wide incision in the abdominal wall. Prognosis is excellent; death from appendicitis is rare.

2. Acute Poisoning

Severe upper middle abdominal pain and cramps, vomiting and altered consciousness are main symptoms of acute poisoning due to ingesting of corrosive liquids (e.g. petrol, acids), excessive amount of medications or illegal drugs, inhaling of poisonous gases like war gases or pesticides.

Inducing vomiting with fingers pushed into the throat or drinking a glass of salted water may be tried only in conscious person but not if corrosive substances like petrol or acids were ingested. Stomach pumping, injecting antidots, hemodialysis, and intravenous fluid infusion are some of possible treatments measures.

More about chemical poisoning.

3. Infections

In the western world, food poisoning by bacteria or parasites in a previously healthy person is rarely serious despite possible dramatic vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Food poisoning often heals on its own in few days, and if not, a doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.

Rotavirus infection causing stomach flu with fever, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea is also usually not a serious disease in the western world, but it is still a major cause of children deaths in Africa, South Asia and South America. Therapy is with replacing lost fluids by oral rehydration solutions or intravenous infusion.

4. Injuries with Internal Abdominal Bleeding

A hit to the stomach (often in car accidents), shot and knife injuries may cause bleeding into abdominal cavity. Abdominal pain, paleness, thirst and feeling of coolness are main symptoms.

Therapy. An urgent surgery is required.

5. Perforation of the Stomach or Intestine

Perforation of the stomach is a complication of advanced stomach ulcer or cancer. Perforation of the small intestine is rare. Perforation of the colon may occur in advanced Crohn’sor ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, Clostridium difficile infection, colorectal cancer and during colonoscopy or surgery.

Therapy is with an urgent surgery.

6. Dissection or Rupture of Abdominal Aorta

In persons after 50 with advanced atherosclerosis, layers in the wall of abdominal part of the aorta may be split what may cause a sudden severe abdominal pain. Therapy is with an urgent surgery; many patients die before treatment starts, though.

About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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  • billy adams

    My wife has been having severe pain in her rightside and sometimes she’ll have blood in her urine and her white blood count has been up and she has had a ct scan and the hospital still said that there is nothing wrong or they can’t find nothing. Please someone if you have any information that may help please email me. And also she has not been running any tempature. Bga3rd@gmail.com

  • Jan Modric

    Billy Adams,

    blood in the urine and raised WBC speak for urinary tract disease. CT often misses disorders within hollow organs, so specific (contrast) investigations would be needed. Temperature is not always present in UTI. I encourage your wife to continue with investigations promptly to prevent eventual complications.

  • hworkless

    I had a severe case of “brown kitus”(?) and went to dr. and the next day I got up a 10am to urinate and lay back down and within1 minute my stomach started hurting but a different feeling/pain than usual–it lasted til 1:30 pm and I went to hospital and it continued til around 11:30 that night when they finally gave me a shot for the pain it knocked out the pain and the pain I also had in my back a ct showed nothing–I came home and the pain left but I’m stuck with all this soreness in my stomach muscles and on both of my sides of the stomach and it won’t go away–any ideas why the soreness is there and still there??

  • Jan Modric

    To hworkless.

    Did you start to take some meds for bronchitis before the pain appeared?

    Where exactly was the pain and is it constant or changes with position or time of the day? Any change in urine color?

  • ralphy

    I have a male friend that’s 19 years old. He recently told me that he’s been experiencing crippling pain in his stomach that almost brings him to his knees a few times a months for about 15 seconds at a time for about the past 4 years. I’ve tried looking his symptoms up online but everything i find has far more symptoms than he has. Do you have any idea what’s wrong with him?

  • Jan Modric

    Ralphy,

    it is not necessary that someone has ALL listed symptoms of a certain disorder. The pain as your friend has may be the only symptom, but additional info would help a lot:
    – Where excatly the pain appears? In his upper or lower abdomen, on the left or on the right?
    – Did he ever notice blood in the urine?
    – Is he constipated or have any problems with bowel movements?
    – Besides the pain , does he feel nausea?

    Severe, sharp pain appearing on the left or the right abdomen appears, among other, in kidney stones (or ureteral stones, when these travel down). Ultrasound of the kidneys could reveal stones.

  • crystal

    So I’ve tried doing some research on my own, but I’m not quite sure.
    I’ve always had problems with my stomach, which seemed to have worsened since my gall bladder was removed two years ago. My stomach feels like it’s burning a lot, and I can’t eat or drink high acid fruit or drinks because it feels like my stomach is on fire, and I am not exaggerating.
    I have nausea a lot, but I don’t usually vomit. When I was younger, I used to get excruciating stomach pain for no reason, and I would just have to put a LOT of pressure on my stomach and just stay in that position for about an hour until it passed.
    Recently that’s beginning to occur again. Sometimes during the day, sometimes at night. I wake up with excruciating stomach pains that bring me to tears. And I curl up, but the pain just doesn’t stop. And it’s not like a gassy pain, but this really consistent something-is-crushing-my-insides pain. And sometimes if I put a little something in there, like a cracker, it helps for about a half an hour, and then it’s back full force. Even if I eat 30 crackers, it still comes back. And it wakes me up because it hurts so bad. A heating pad dulls the pain, but doesn’t stop it.
    Ideas?

    • Jan Modric

      Crystal,

      where exactly do you feel the pain: upper mid abdomen, left, right, overall? Any heartburn (burning behind the breastbone or in the throat). Black stools? Diarrhea/constipation? Cramps? Have you had any investigation so far, have you tried acid lowering drugs?

      Burning pain appearing at night and relieved by food may be from duodenal ulcer. Diagnosis is with upper endoscopy, treatment with acid lowering drugs. One of possible causes of duodenal ulcer is infection by Helycobacter pylori. Diagnosis of this can be made from examining the biopsy sample taken during endoscopy, or by an “urea breath test”.

  • crystal

    The pain is in my stomach, not in my intestines or anything like that. The actual stomach organ, if we call it an organ. My entire stomach starts hurting. I’ve tried all kinds of acid reducers. If I take prilosec for two weeks I’m okay, not perfect, but okay,but if I go off of it for three days, the stomach pains and burning feelings come back full force.
    I do have diahrrea if I eat something too acidic, or if I eat a little too much. And I have had heartburn this past week, but I haven’t been on prilosec.
    I haven’t had any tests done. I have no insurance and I only make like 500 a month since I graduated college.
    My mom worries about an ulcer, because I’m stressed a lot and tums don’t work for me, and if I try pepto bismol, i have to drink A LOT of it for it to help.

    • Jan Modric

      Crystal,

      obviously your stomach is secreting excessive amount of acid causing gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer. TOne common cause is an infection with Helicobacter pylori, which can be confirmed by a blood test or an “urea breath test” performed by a gastroenterologist. I strongly recommend you to get tested and to obtain appropriate medications, otherwise acid may cause a lot of harm to your stomach.

      Another cause or aggravating factor can be bile flowing back to your stomach from the duodenum. Try Psyllium husk or other food high in soluble fiber, which can bind some bile acids and prevent bile reflux.

  • Chloe

    I am 18 years old and have had Chronic stomach pains in my upper right abdo for the past 3 years and no one know what it is. i have had every test possible and i am now seeing my second specialist. my pain is a stabbing pain and it can last for months at a time. i am on tramdol 3 times a day for pain relief. i have been on many different medications to controll the pain but none never take the pain away completely. i go up the hospital at lest 3 times a month and all they can do is put me in a drip. i really bad nausea, dissiness, shakes, diahorra, blood in my poo, unable to sleep at night and tired all day. The doctors recently put my on medication for IBS but it hasnt completely helped. in the past 6 months the pain has spread from the right side down towards my belly button, then stopped. the last couple of nights i have expirenced sharp stabbing pains under my right breast, could it be the same thing? if you have any ideas please help, im starting university in a few weeks and i dont want to be on tramadol all the time.

    • Jan Modric

      Chloe,

      1. have you had colonoscopy and stool test for parasites?
      2. Any mucus in the stool?
      3. Do you still have blood in the stool and is it red or black? Have you had blood in stool before starting taking tramadol?
      4. What is your diet in general?
      5. Have you traveled somewhere before 3 years or something stressful happened at that time?

  • Brenna

    Help! Since i had a hysteredtomy 9 years ago(with a herniated suture requiring a second op a day or so later), I’ve had acute bouts usually after eating nuts or raw hard veg. It always comes on in the evening, the first symptom being a growling discomfort around my navel, followed an hour or so later by colic that builds until the small hours. Nothing will stay down, I can pass nothing, not even wind, and eventually start heavy projectile vomiting, feel cold, clammy, deathly ill and weak, heavy heartbeat and faintness. The pain is intense and I have been to A&E about 7 times oveer the last nine years when it gets too painfull and frightening. Usually I am put on a drip and am exhausted. After the vomiting has peaked I start to feel better, but feel kicked ing the guts, walk bent over for a few days because my footsteps or coughing cause pain in my belly. I get cramps when I try to eat or drink, and it takes about a week to get over. I have had many (empty) bowel tests and nothing showed up. One xray in A&E showed a big ball of faeces above my navel which was relieved by enema. I had another bout on 13/14 Feb 2010 and still feel kicked, and no closer to a solution. Any ideas?

  • Brenna

    PS. I should mention that the pain is around the navel and left side, with some gurgling after colicky pains.

    • Jan Modric

      Brenna,

      what often happens after pelvic surgery are abdominal adhesions. This are strands of scar tissue developing in abdominal cavity, connecting abdominal organs toggether, pull them and possibly causing transient bowel obstruction with pain and vomiting. A reliable investigation (plus treatment) is laparoscopy.

  • girlygirl45419

    Hi! so, im 14 years old and i have been having severe abdominal pain for the past 7 months. the pain statred out in the middle near my belly button and then moved down to my right lower quadrant. i went to numerous doctors and they all sent me to the hospital with a suspected appendicitis or something. my ct scan came back negative for appendicitis but i did have an ovarian cyst. long story short, they put me on birth control and it went away but then it came back and so they decided to surgically remove the cyst. since my surgery in the beginning on January the pain still persists, but it has spread to my entire abdomen but its mostly localized in my upper left abdomen. i have had 5 ct scans, 4 x-rays, and like 10 ultrasounds and they have all come back negative. i just really want to know whats wrong with me!

  • girlygirl45419

    I’va also had an endoscopy and colonoscopy but all they found was a little inflammation and that was about 3 months ago.

    • Jan Modric

      Girlygirl,

      do you have other symptoms, besides pain (diarrhea, bloating, skin rash…)?

      If pain still persists after ovarian cyst removal, it’s possible that this was not the (only) cause of pain.

      I can only mention some other possible causes:
      1. Chronic appendicitis or other chronic condition that would affect the appendix, but it would not be necessary detected by CT. Pain starting at the navel and moving to the lower right quadrant actually often appears in appendicitis, but such a pain is not already a proof.
      2. Inflammation of the part of the small intestine that is located near appendix. You did mention inflammation; I can’t say if it would cause so much pain as you describe or not.
      3. These new pains after surgery could be from abdominal adhesions – these are strands of scar-like tissue that are sometimes formed in the abdomen after a surgery, connect organs, pull them and cause pain. Or it could be from a spread of eventual endometriosis – a disorder, where a tissue which is normally only in the uterus, appears in other parts of the abdomen.

      What doctors can do in resembling situations:
      – Sometimes they remove appendix
      – During laparoscopy, they can look directly into your abdominal cavity with a laparoscope and search for abdominal adhesions, endometriosis and other disorders.

  • shauntamae

    hello, my name is shaunta mae. im 20 years old. I have had severe stomach pains since i was about 12 or 13. the pain usually occurs on my left side, very seldom on the right. it completely stops me in my tracks.I ball up in severe pain, i get nautious, and once or twice have thrown up due to pain. i’ve seen specialist who have said it was UC and others say Crohn’s. i’ve had several colonoscopy’s and endoscopy’s, but the last one was clear. other symptoms included, mucus in stool, diarrhea,and blood in stool. most of that has stopped but the pain is still consistent. these episodes last for about 10 several times a day. and the only way to eleviate some of the pain is to push, like im havin a bowl movement. it kind of feels like contractions. it only feels better when i push. any advice. also some things that trigger these episodes are sweets and dairy products. I am lactose intolerant though.

    • Jan Modric

      Shaunta Mae,

      would you say you are constipated or have excessive gas? I guess you avoid lactose. You can try a low-FODMAP diet for few days, where, besides lactose, you exclude fructose (fruits), sorbitol (diet soda and artificially sweetened foods), and certain other foods, like legumes, from the diet.

      Have you ever had any abdominal surgery? Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can cause a narrowing in the bowel, possibly in the colon. This could be seen on X-ray with barium enema. Another possible cause could be abdominal adhesions – these are sometimes seen only during laparoscopy. I’m talking about bowel obstruction.

  • shaunta mae

    sometimes both. I have never had any abdominal surgeries. they thought i had crohn’s but i do not. they dont know what it is. I’ve also had the x ray with barium enema. I will try that diet you mentioned and see if that works. im at my last resort. i dont know what else to do.

  • Beck M

    I have had severe abdominal cramping for as long as i can remember. It starts at the top of my stomach and radiates down. I am a 32 year old woman and have three children. This only happens at nighttime and results in severe diarrhea. It can last anywhere from one hour to tweleve hours. It happens sometimes once a month, sometimes twice a week. When i was seventeen i had an endoscope and was told i had endometriosis in my back passage. My 22year old brother also has the same problem and my four year old daughter is also beginning to experience the same symptoms. I have been a lacto-vegan for the past six months and my last bout was the worst. It last for nine hours and resulted in a very light pink/clear mucous from my anus once there was no faeces left to excrete. I am desperate for answers so that my daughter does not have to go through this. Its debilitating and feels like i am in labour. I tested negative to cealics two years ago.

    • Jan Modric

      Beck M,

      small intestinal disorders can be checked by a capsule endoscopy, and colonic disorders by a colonoscopy with biopsy. Pink mucus can be from blood or from one of rare disorders, like eosinophilic gastroenteritis or colitis. Some of these may run in families. Other: Crohn’s disease, food allergy. I recommend you to mention these possibilities to your gastroenterologist.

      A quite common dietary cause of cramping and diarrhea is fructose malabsorption – this would probably cause more frequent problems, though.

  • Electric Tears

    Hi!

    I’m 26 and also have stomach pains. I went to the doctor because I was having SEVERE pain in my abdomen. I had gallstones, so they removed my gallbladder. I still have the pains. It starts in a dull quiet pain right in the center of my abdomen. Then, the pain will gradually grow. Within 10-15 minutes I have excruciating pain under my left breast and towards the center a little. After the pain has maxed out there it begins to move towards my back and sometimes up in my left shoulder. After seeing doctor after doctor I gave up.

    It only happens a couple of times a month and I have found a way to stop the pain (most of the time), drink water, LOTS of cold water.

    I don’t think I have many other symptoms. I get nauseous a lot and throw up bile. I have been that way for a long time though. It doesn’t matter what I eat. I can eat a salad, greasy burger, milk, or nothing and there is still the possibility of having the stomach pains. I also have severe heartburn, I’ve had it for many years. I think it runs in my family, yet I’m the only one that has the stomach pains.

    The very first time I had the stomach pains I was 23 and pregnant with my first and only child. I wasn’t able to get to the doctor and I didn’t know how to stop that pain, I eventually got cold sweats and everything turned black and white and then passed out from the pain.

    Also, in the past 6 months I have had a couple of rounds of stinky sulfur smelling burps, followed by some really nasty vomiting. After I vomit the sulphur smell is gone. I’m not sure if it’s related to the pain or not.

    I am 26 and I have only been drunk twice. I have tried drinking before, but EVERY TIME I even take two or three sips the pain comes and fast. I just want to be able to drink a glass of wine…

    I tried to cover everything. Any questions or suggestions are welcome.

    • Jan Modric

      Electric Tears,

      in this article about sulphur burps, you can read that two common causes are bacterial infection of the stomach with Helicobacter pylori (blood or breath test exist, or a sample of tissue can be taken during an endoscopy and tested) and intestinal infection with a parasite Giardia (stool test for parasites).

      Severe heartburn is a symptom in GERD (gastric reflux). It can be an overproduction of gastric acid or irritation of the stomach by bile comming up from the duodenum. The later often occurs in a disorder of the bile duct (which remains in the body after a gallbladder removal) – this can be checked by an ultrasound or, if necessary, by a HIDA scan.

      One possible explanation of the pain on the left side of the abdomen is a distended transverse colon pressing upon the diaphragm and resulting in a back and shoulder pain. Distended colon could be from gas created as a result of bile duct disorder.

      A gastroenterologist should understand such problems and be able to decide which investigation to make.

  • Beck M

    Thanks Jan, i appreciate your help. I forgot to mention that we have an extensive family history of allergies and my grandmother has diverticulitis. As a child i was placed on a lactose free diet to see if this would help (and to ease ecsma) but don’t recall if this helped. Thanks again.

    • Jan Modric

      Beck M,

      lactose free diet in lactose intolerance, and low-fructose diet in fructose malabsorption can help in 2-4 days. Low-FODMAP diet combines both mention diets.

      Pink mucus and strong family history of allergies speak either for a food allergy or one of bowel disorders with “eosinophiic” in their names. This can be confirmed by histological examination of a sample of the small intestine or colon. Before that, blood tests can reveal some abnormalities.

  • lifeshighways

    a 70lb pitt bull jumped from a full run onto my stomach last night, this morning I have splotchy bruises on my stomach and have approx a level 6(of 10) pain. I mean on my STOMACH not my tummy but the exact spot your stomach is on your body. There was no warning and I had no time for the natural instinct to kick in and create any form of risistance – the full weight at full throttle of this 70lb dog landed ON MY STOMACH. There is no fever, no vomiting, no blood in urine or stool. I do feel week and have a weird chemical/iron taste in my swallow…I do not have health insurance or I would already be in the ER.

    • Jan Modric

      lifeshighways,

      chemical/iron taste in the swallow can be from a gastric reflux, since obviously your stomach was hurt. Tums (OTC anti-acid pills) can help in a mild reflux and help to determine if the taste is from acid. Avoiding acidic foods, like soda, alcohol, fruits/juices..and avoiding acidic medications, like vitamin C, aspirin or ibuprophen can reduce unpleaseant taste. If some new symptoms, like nausea or cramps appear in the nexts days, a doctor should tell, if an ijnury of any internal organ, lik gallblader or pancreas has occured.

  • girl7

    My daughter is5 mo,s pg,shes suffered all her life stomach problems,also lactose int. had all test mentioned,docs came up w/ celiac diease…still can,t eat anything w/ special diet,still bent over in pain,baby needs nutrition???What the heck is really going on?Then I guess,we wouldn,t have Doctors if they diagnosed everyone correctly.

    • Jan Modric

      girl7,

      if your daughter’s pains are from bloating, the diet to prevent bloating could help. Apart from lactose, fructose and soluble fiber are common dietary causes of bloating, but her gynecologist or gastroenterologist should tell what to do.

  • Dogsfoot

    Hi Jan,

    I’m a 27 yr old male/smoker/6’4/89kg… I have had upper gastric pain centre and upper right. Sometimes the pain makes me clammy and I sweat and get chills. Other times it just feels like acid reflux. I underwent a colonoscopy and gastroscopy, which they found reflux, gastric polyps and gastritis, the biopsies for pylori were negative, I was put on somac twice a day 40mg, which helps the acid but I still have attacks of dizziness and indegestion and extreme pain if I miss a dosage. I have undergone testing for liver function/HPV/Ct scans/ultrasounds and all have come back clean….. I’m at my wits end… Eating makes me feel sick/ and these attacks with what feels like a low grade fever still occur, I find I have this urge to lay down after eating and I’m so fatigued. Is there anything you might suggest it could be?

    Z

    • Jan Modric

      Dogsfoot,

      I believe the doctor has made a biopsy of the gastric and duodenal mucosa, so the doctor should come up with an exact diagnosis – I mean there are various causes of gastric polyps, and examination under the microscope can reveal the cause. You might want to ask the doctor about this.

  • vickyabb

    Hi,

    Im 29 and about 6 weeks ago I had severe pain in my stomach – it started just above my belly button then spread to below it. It lasted for about 2 hours; it was in agony. It slowly started to pass by itself.
    A couple of days ago the same thing happened, only it was much stonger and I was in tears and being sick. Went to A&E but waited 3 hours and didn’t see a doctor. The started to pass so we left.
    The pain seems to be central – not to the left or right. I haven’t been able to link it to anything Ive eaten, or exercise. My bowel movements are normal, and it felt like I was being sick because of the pain.
    The only things I that may be a factor are: I gave birth 8 weeks ago, normal delivery with just gas & air pain relief. Slight temperature during labour.
    Minor car accident when 6 months pregnant. Some bleeding the next day but it stopped by itself and the doctors seemed happy with everything.
    I have a prolactinoma (benign tumor of the pituitary gland) and have been taking Cabergoline for 18 months now, with no major side effects (apart from getting pregnant!).
    Any advice is really, really appreciated!!

    • Jan Modric

      vickyabb,

      pain in the middle lower abdomen in women in circumstances you’ve described is usally from the uterus (could be also the bladder..). Maybe some imaging investigation will be required, in any case, this seems to need to be checked by a gynecologist.

  • worriedmom

    Please offer any help possible. My daughter is 26 and has had stomch problems most of her life and has been DX with IBS, ulcers, slow digestion and over acid stomach. Couple years ago she developed an abcess in her colon and was then DX w/ mild case of Crohns. She has had numerous CTs, lower and upper GIs, stomach scopes, Colonoscopys, capsule endoscopy, blood work, etc. She has been treated with numerous drugs, including Reimicaide, steriods, antiflamatories, etc. These have semed to help with the Crohns syptoms,but the the last 5 months she has suffered with terrible stomach and back pain (between her shoulder blades),with terrible bloating that lasts for days. It seems to get worse in the evening, after she eats and somedays she can not function due to the pain. While these syptoms may be related to Crohns, they seem to be different than when she has had Crohns flair-ups. Also odd, is that she has had weight gain, even though many days she eats less in calories than normal. She needs help – any suggestions, PLEASE!?

    • Jan Modric

      worriedmom,

      saying where exactly is the abdominal pain would help (Upper right abdomen, below ribs?). Pain between shoulder blades can be from gallbladder or bile duct disorder. When a gallstone sticks in the bile duct, bile cannot flow in the small intestine, so fats cannot be absorbed. Unabsorbed fats can cause terrible bloating when they reach the colon. Whitish, foamy, sticky, floating stools would be likely. Stool fat tests confirm fat malabsorption and ultrasound of abdomen is usually done when gallstones are expected. A gastroenterologist can help.

  • jacqui

    hi i have been having constant and worse reuccoring stomach burning for 3 weeks. it feels likes somethings pulling and tugging in there. i have been nausious and have flu like symptoms. everyday the pains increase and reoccur faster. i read so many things online but they al say diarriah an i dont have that or gas what could it b

    • Jan Modric

      jacqui,

      to answer this, I’d need to know in which exact part of the abdomen are your pains, is the area tender to touch, and which flu like symptoms do you have (headache, runny nose..).

  • worried

    My husband is 33 years old and started having some mid, upper stomach pain yesterday. This morning it started getting worse. He also started vomiting yellow bile and was sweating a lot but was very cold. I took him to urgent care and they send him to ER. They did ultrasounds on his heart and stomach area. it came back normal. They did several EKG and said it was abnormal. my husband said his pain was a 10. The Dr. made a small incision by his groin and shot dye in to see if the arteries where clogged and they ruled that out. They said they were unsure of what caused the pain and vomiting and released him giving him pain medication and previcid. They said they did not check his gallbladder and told him to go check that out within a week. What could have cause this?

    • Jan Modric

      worried,

      gallbladder was my first thought after you mentioned vomiting bile. Gallbladder pain is usually located below the right rib cage, about 4-5 inches to the right from the midline, though. An inflammation of the stomach could be missed by ultrasound; an upper endoscopy can reveal it.

      Angina pectoris – a strong pain arising from the heart muscle when it lacks oxygen – may appear in the middle upper abdomen and can be acompanied with vomiting. Other causes than clogged coronary arteries are possible, for example arrhythmia. A cardiologist can make additional investigations.

  • smadrid

    I am a 40 year old female, and in september of “09” I was hospitalized for 18 days. 2 surgeries later( 2 cysts, appendix taken out, Some fluid removed) I was sent home. I was never diagnosed witha problem, but still to this day I continue to get the extreme stomach pain. Is there any body who has had this happen? Where do i go from here? Thanks.

    • Jan Modric

      smadrid,

      to have some opinion I would need to know your current and past symptoms, the exact medical history actually, and what tests were made so far.

  • roxygirl

    i am a 30 yr old female, severe middle upper abdomen pain radiates to the back. feels like the pain is in my ribs to mut mainly in the middle. hurts really bad to the touch. the pain comes on quickly like a spasm and last from 30 mins to 3-4 hours. then the pain just stops. When i get this pain i usually sweat and sometimes pass out. in my teens i had these attacks maybe twice. as i get older i start to have more. now i have at least 3 a week. i am now seeing a 2nd specialist that says i have IBS, gastritis, ovarian cysts, rheumatoid arthritis, spastic colon. i have read alot of forums and i do not see any systoms for ibs or spastic colon that state upper abdomen pain. the pain is so bad it makes you think the only thing to make it go away was if you were to die. the other dr i saw thought it could be spinchter of oddi dysfunction but no one would see me.

    • Jan Modric

      roxygirl,

      can you locate the pain exactly? Is it in the exact middle line or is it more to the right or left? Have you had an ultrasound of the gallbladder? Upper abdominal pain radiating to the back is commonly due to a gallbladder disorder, like gallstones.

  • B

    I am a 42 year old female. I had a total hysterectomy and removal of one ovary when I was 25. A few years later my other ovary was tied up in adhesions and not where it should have been. Been good for many years. Two nights ago I had severe… i mean SEVERE stomach spasms and intestinal pains. Nothing would pass. I ended up vomiting from the pain which gave some relief for a brief time. I kept waking through the night crying in pain. I almost went to the ER. The next morning was somewhat better. I keep getting better but, am very tender to the touch. I almost feel like my guts are pushing outwards when I stand. I hate to go to the doctor… they thought I was crazy before when I told them something was tearing…which the adhesions were! I know I had some sort of intestinal blockage. How do you know when you really need to go to the ER? From what I’m reading I think I have adhesions on my intestines.

    • Jan Modric

      B,

      disabling severe pain with confirmed history of adhesions, vomiting, is enough of reasons to go to the hospital or ER. Adhesions can spread to any part of the abdomen, and yes, they can cause intestinal obstruction. Severe abdominal pain and bloating, relieved by vomiting speaks for intestinal obstruction. Adhesions can be found and treated by a laparoscopy.

  • B

    I should add… I couldn’t say if it was right or left… it felt like someone was squeezing & twisting my whole stomach.
    Some would last 10 seconds. Some would last about a minute. I felt like I was in labor!

  • lada

    Hi, I ma 40 years old female, and this is my long story . One year ago I started feel discomfort in left abdominal – middle part. At first I was thinking it is becasue of abs exercise I was doing, then i was thinking it is because I ate too much cherries. I also nioticed that stool become white for sevral days and then came back to normal, some days it is thin and some days not. The discomfort seemed to go Avay after I was eating apples, or any diary food. Then I took probiotic Culterelle – after which i kind of lost apetite and stomach became really flat. I had vistied 2 doctos – went through clonoscopy (polyp found and removed, diverticulosis found- doctor suggested – thta pain becasue of them – but the pain is not in the buttom of the stomach but in the middle), endoscopy – gustrit found, checked with gynecologist – everything ok – no cyst, made xray -everything in norm. I don’t know what to do anymore ? can you suggest something?

    • Jan Modric

      lada,

      white (bright white, sticky, foamy, floating?) stool speaks for fat malabsorption, which can be caused by a small intestinal disease (like celiac disease), bile duct obstruction with a gallstone, liver or pancreatic disease. White stool lasting for few days without much other problems could speak for a gallstone trapped in the bile duct and then released – just a thought. Gallstones can be only rarely detected by an X-ray, but a CT reveals them in most cases.

  • lada

    Thank you very much for quick responce, the white stool was only once(few days) and never come back again, but disturbance still exist in middle abdominal, i hought gallstones should cause pain in the back as well – but i never experienced that, can gallstones casue pain just in middle abdominal?
    i defenetly will ask for CT – surprised it was not suggested before

    • Jan Modric

      lada,

      gallstones in the bile duct can be present without pain, or cause pain in the right upper abdomen and sometimes additionally in the back. They do not cause pain in the left middle abdomen, but they can block bile flow into the intestine and thus cause fat malabsorption. Unabsorbed fat then travels from the small into large intestine where it is degraded by colonic bacteria which yield gas, which can distend the colon, what can be painful. Some fat is excreted unchanged with the stool, giving it white color. The only reason I proposed this hypothesis is the white stool you’ve mentioned. So, it is really important to say, was it bright white, sticky stool, or was it grey (colorless) stool, or was it translucent whitish mucus….No matter if the white stool was only for few days – it’s not normal. The only other possible cause of white stool would be barium enema or some supplements, like antacids.

      Before simply accepting the theory about gallstones, try to recall was it really a bright white stool or stool with white patches. And, did you take some tablets in a day or two before. A gastroenterologist might propose abdominal ultrasound as the first investigation – it can detect gallstones in the gallbladder and bile duct (CT is more accurate but also more expensive, so often an ultrasound is done first).

      Diverticles can cause some stool retention, resulting in gas built in the colon, which could cause pain on the whole left side of the abdomen…

  • lada

    thank you again, the stool was light grey a that time, no pills were taken before.
    the disturbance in the right side of abdominal only , any advise is appreciated

    • Jan Modric

      lada,

      stool is grey when there is no bile in it, again that means bile flow was blocked on its way from the liver to the duodenum. This can occur in an acute liver disease or blockage of the bile duct. Dark urine, from bilirubin entering the blood and excreting through kidneys, is a common accompanied symptom. You do not mention any severe symptoms at the time you had grey stool, and since it resolved in few days, this speaks for a bile duct blockage with a gallstone, which has been later released. I do not know, if this has something with your current symptoms, but it is possible you have gallstones.

      It would help to understand your condition, if you can say, if you feel any lump when you palpate the left abdomen, is this part distended or tender to touch? Do you have excessive gas and what exactly have you meant by thin stools? If you think cherries triggered the symptoms, you might have fructose malabsorption. In this case a low-fructose diet would help.

  • zombie

    i’ve had cat scan and indososcopy colonoscopy can’t find nothing. i have this severe pain in upper stomach. it feels like something chewing me up inside.when i wake up in the morning i’m fine as long as i’m lying down. as soon as i get up and move around i get that chewing pain. any idea’s what i should do next.had gallbladder and appendix removed25 years ago.

    • Jan Modric

      zombie,

      can you use some additional words to describe your pain? Is it constant pain, is it tender to touch, does it change as you move around, do you burp excessively or have distended abdomen?

  • lada

    there is no lump in the abdominal , and no tender to touch, but there is kind of like small dent on the left side of abdomnal area, some days tere is exessive gas and some not at ; some days stool is thinner as regular (flowating) and some not

    • Jan Modric

      lada,

      stool test for fat would reveal fat malabsorption and would speak for bile duct obstruction. Stool test for bacteria and parasites could be also done.

  • Willow

    I am mid 40s, and had a total Abdominal hysterectomy about 3 years ago. This past year, I started getting electrical pains.. feels like small electrical charges running through my skin… starting around my naval. They never last very long, just a few seconds, but they always make me catch my breath. At first, I had one, then a month would go by, and I would have another. Now, I can have a cluster of them in a day, and more the next, but then nothing for a few weeks. Crunches, walking, etc don’t seem to bring them on or make them happen more frequently. While they started around the naval, they have traveled all around the naval and can appear in new spots – in other words, the pain is not always in the same place. The doc seems to think it is just nerves healing from the surgery (several years later?) but I am beginning to think that although it appears to be under the skin, it may really be associated with gas or bowel issues… although constipation doesn’t seem to make it worse? Any ideas?

    • Jan Modric

      Willow,

      abdominal/pelvic adhesions may appear years after surgery. Adhesions are strands of tissue that connect bowel loops and adjacent organs or abdominal wall. Ultrasound may (only sometimes) reveal them, MRI shows them more often, and a doctor should see them during laparoscopy.

  • Elizabeth

    I am experiencing a constant dull ache in my upper abdomen accompanied by an occasional severe and excruciating ache in my lower abdomen. I only feel the excruciating ache when I am sitting down. If I stand up it gets better, if I lie down, it gets worse. If I eat something more substantial than a salad, the dull pain in my upper abdomen worsens for an hour after eating. I went to a traditional healer, and massaging my stomach worsens the pain hours later. Sometimes the pain in my upper and lower abdomen is so severe I vomit. The intestinal pain comes and goes, but my upper abdomen is always aching. The pain feels like someone is squeezing, twisting, and punching my stomach and intestines from the inside.

    • Jan Modric

      Elizabeth,

      this is very likely a gastrointestinal disorder. Peptic ulcer would cause upper middle abdominal pain during and after eating, aggravated by acidic foods and medicines, like aspirin or vitamin D. Gallstones could cause crampy pain in upper right abdomen (just below the rib cage) within an hour after the meal. Other disorders are possible – I recommend you to visit a gastroenterologist soon. Lower abdominal pain could be from gas or cramps due to constipation. If you have excessive gas, try to avoid foods high in soluble fiber and sugary foods. But if you are constipated, fiber may help you (try foods high in insoluble fiber).

  • lasonia

    my daughter is 15 for about 8 months now she started out with minor abdominal pain but as time went on each attack is more severe she has severe abdominal pain,nausea,vomiting,paleness and I have taken her to emergency room 4 times.They always tell me blood work is fine,ultrasound fine,xrays fine,ct scan fine,they said at 2 hospital visits she was impacted with stool they told me to feed her dulcolax until she was cleaned out second time they gave her an enima she still wasnt any better kept her appt. with gi doctor he said he thinks she might have what they call abdominal migrains but he said that that has nothing to with her being impacted with stool.I dont understand why she is impacted with stool when she goes to the bathroom and has any where from 1 to 3 bowel movements a day any help or sugesstions would be very grateful

    • Jan Modric

      lasonia,

      are her stools of normal consistence or are more soft or hard than usually? Any change from normal brown color of the stool? Where exactly is the pain located – upper or lower abdomen, left or right? Is the pain constant or crampy, and for how long does it last when it appears?

    • Eva

      Hello, my 12 year old daughter is going through the same thing. Have you found any answers? We have been to the ER, our regular doctor, a GI doctor and nothing has been found. Your description above describes ours to the T. We did the miralax and that seemed to make it worse. We also tried fish oil pills and were give a break for 3 months were everything was going great. And this week all of a sudden it has come back. I haven’t noticed any change in what she has been eating.

  • Bruce

    Two weeks ago , I woke in the middle of the night with aches like a bowel movement in my lower abdomen, I tried to have a bowel movement, only a small one and went back to bed and the pain subsided, the next morning I was urinating a very reddish colour this continued for two days till it cleared, I saw my doctor 4 days later and had a urine test , it came back as haveing no infection but a high red blood cell count, white blood cell count was normal, suspecting kidney stones I had a ultrasound this showed nothing .
    I have had 2 other occurences of this and again this afternoon the ache in my abdomen and tonight reddish urine, I am seeing my GP again this week , he has said something about a CT scan , but any idea’s or information would be appreciated, I might add that I am drinking at least 6 litres of water a day and the ache seemed stronger on my left hand side but seems now to cover my whole lower abdomen, I have had no injury that may explain it and on each occassion I feel like I want to make a bowel movement , my stools appear to be a normal color with no sign of bleeding, the blood is just in my urine.

    • Jan Modric

      Bruce,

      a process within the urinary bladder or prostate could press on the rectum, irritate it and thus cause a feeling of need to have a bowel movement. I recommend you to discuss with your GP to send you to an urologist **as soon as possible** – I believe it is this specialist who can decide about appropriate investigations, interprete them reliably and provide treatment.

  • Bruce

    Thankyou , GP has organised CT scan for tomorrow afternoon and a referral to a specialist after results of CT scan return

  • Diana Reynolds

    I had my gallbladder removed 17 years ago, now right below where the gallbladder were, I am in very severe sharp pain, it feel like someone stab and twist it, when I lay down on flat on my back, I have no problem, lay on side, it hurt, sit, walk, stand, cough or laugh it hurt also.What could it be? I can;t live with the pain anymore. I also have mild nausea and not feeling hungry at all. I also notice I shake. Otherwise I do not have any other symptoms I know of. Should I be concern?

    • Jan Modric

      Diana Reynolds,

      to mention only one possible cause – it could be a disorder of the bile duct. I recommend you to visit your doctor.

  • selena&mark

    my boyfriend is 18 years old, he has been havin severe stomach pain from the middle top of the stomach(side of rib there is a space between it,well like 2 inches downer)is whAT am talking about, anyways he has been having this pain for about 2 years now we’ve beento doctors,& hospitals,and they don’t know what it is.? any ideas?

    • Jan Modric

      selena&mark,

      pain arising from the area when ribs meat is probably from the stomach. I don’t know which tests and investigations he has already had, but upper endoscopy would reveal inflammation or ulcer, for example. If he has any other symptom, like abdominal distension (bloating) or excessive belching, he might have some food intolerance. There are more possibilities, but I would need more from his medical history (questionnaire).

  • trainerliz

    I am an extremely active (10 hours/week in the gym) generally healthy 38 year-old woman. For about 2 weeks I have been experiencing severe cramping at the lower end of my abdominals, below the bellybutton, just about in-line with my hip bones. The pressure is similar to what I felt when I was pregnant and increases as I walk. Before I noticed the cramping, I thought I injured my back and was in a tremendous amount of pain in my back. The back pain subsided after about a week and has been taken-over by this cramping. I have taken a pregnancy test which was negative, was examined for a hernia, and am having an ultrasound next week. Any thoughts about what I should be asking about or expecting?

    • Jan Modric

      trainerliz,

      are pains on both sides? The ultrasound can confirm/exclude intestinal hernia. I would wait for results before proceeding with other investigations. The back injury could possibly result in a bulging/herniated disc in your lower thoracic/upper lumbar spine and pinched nerves that innervate the lower part of the back and abdomen. I’m talking about pain, but you are talking about pressure and cramping – a hernia could cause these symptoms, and a (tender) lump would be likely felt in this case. Other possible causes include constipation (as a reaction to pain), or bloating from various reasons. It sounds, like a bowel issue to me, but a doctor can tell.

  • dethrow

    hello. i’m a 25 year old male, smoker. 5’9 150lbs. for the past several months i’ve had a reoccurring pain on the left side of my stomach. from where the ribs end to my hip bone. it’s a cramp type pain where i can’t do anything once it starts. it lasts for minutes sometimes, or even hours others. there is history in my family of colon cancer, which i have lost my grandmother and my aunt. my father and all of his living siblings have had their colons removed.

    • Jan Modric

      dethrow,

      I strongly recommend you to visit a gastroenterologist and ask about colonoscopy, since it’s possible you have a familiar (hereditary) type of adenomatosis with polyps in the colon.

  • inknots

    I’m 24, for some years now I experience what I call stomach attacks.

    Out of no where, even at my most calm moments BAM!! A deep gut cramp that sends me running. The waves of pain are so intense that I perspire, tremble and desperately look for something to squeeze the living hell out of to get my mind off this agony. More than once I’ve thought that, “This was it.” Trying to focus on my breathing is impossible and have felt close to passing out. In waves it hits me, usually the first part the bowel is somewhat solid and continues to liquidate. The pain starts moving lower and lower into my gut and feels like a brick laying near my uterus (just trying to describe how low). When each wave moves lower and intensifies, I know expulsion is near. However, when the diarrhea comes full on, that the attack is almost over.

    Does anyone else have this similar attack???

    I’ve used tri-cyclic anti-depressants to try and help to no avail. Donnatal recently, no relief! Not even as a mild sedative. Hell, the attack itself wipes me out, why do I need a sedative? Sigh, also Effexor (depression/anxiety), Prednisone & Plaquenil (for RA), Mirena for BC and I was on BP meds but figured I would control them the best I could through diet and exercise… I’m sure when in the midst of an attack though, that bad boy is through the ROOF!

    I have had colonoscopy, endoscopy, ct scans. The attacks are usually so severe i dont know when to go to the ER if it’s actually serious. I just come to expect them to pass after about an hour or two.

    I can’t express how debilitating the pain is and how much it has interfered with my life. I sometimes even fear eating, simply b/c i’m afraid it may have some sort of effect on my stomach.. there are no set patterns of food aggravations. Sure hope you can provide insight.

    • Jan Modric

      inknots,

      I don’t know if all possible disorders in your case were already excluded, but have you thought to experiment with your diet? Have you tried to exclude some type of foods to see if it helps? Was there any change in your life before your troubles started?

      Fructose malabsorption, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and food allergies are fairly common causes of recurring constipation and diarrhea. There are specific diets for each disorder (low-fructose diet, low-FODMAP diet, gluten-free diet, or avoiding eventual foods that cause alergies ). I’m not sure if intestinal parasites could cause years of constant problems, but a stool test for parasites is available.

  • margaret

    hi, i am 18 years old,and this occurs during the middle of the night where i wake up to excruciating stomach pains, so i run to the bathroom. The pain lasts for 10 minutes and i can feel the blood rushing out of my face, and my hands and feet get cold b/c the pain is just horrendous! Then i would hear a very loud grumbling noise on the lower left of my stomach and as soon as i hear it, i would have a bowel movement!

    Can you please tell me why the pain is so painful!! THANK YOUUU

    • Jan Modric

      margaret,

      obviously the pain arises from your bowel, but there are several possible causes, including a bowel inflammation, food allergies, and so on. I recommend you to visit a gastroenterologist.

  • MT

    Last night I was feeling perfectly well and all of a sudden I felt a small stomach pain that began to increase. Once in a great while I’ll get stomach pains and when I do a bowel movement it goes aways instantley. So I went to the bathroom and just me trying to have a bowel movement increased the pain really bad. I eventually had a bowel movement but the pain did not go away. I tried to stand up to go back to bed but I was unable to stand straight due to the pain so I was slouching all the way to the bed when I suddendly felt weak, dizzy like if I was floating, thingling in my face and all the noise around me got really faint. It was somewhat of a relaxed feeling. Anyways I laid in bed twisting and turning until the pain went away. This morning I feel sore all over my lower abdomen and it radiates to my rectum. Any Suggestions? I do plan on making an appointment with a Dr soon.

    THANKS A BUNCH!

    • Jan Modric

      MT,

      how old are you, male or female? Did you have any bowel problems in the past? Bloating or excessive gas or constipation or diarrhea? Colorectal polyps or cancer rarely appear before 40. It sounds like something is preventing you to have a smooth bowel movement, but I would need to know more circumstances to say more. The fainting feeling was likely related to relaxation of the bowel muscles.

    • MONICA

      I use to have the same symptoms many yrs. ago and spent more then a week in the hospital until I was diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance. They performed all kinds of tests but still couldn’t find anything, so they did one more blood test and found out I was basically poisoned from eating and drinking the same foods I had always eaten and drank. I had severe stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, lightheaded, sweaty until I have a bowel movement and felt so much better but I still felt exhausted, like I had been put through the ringer. I would seriously look into the possibility of you being Lactose Intolerant.

  • susan

    if the pain is making you dizzy for more than 24 hours you need to go to an er so they can do a ct scan and ultrasound. i didnt have that type of pain, however a friend of my moms had that exact pain and she had a cyst that ruptured in her colon and she went into shock. U should definitely get that checked out.

  • JojoBay

    What could cause acute stomach pain in my left abdomen just under the bottom of my rib? I am a 55 yr old female with Addison’s disease. The pain only comes at night and is so severe that it wakes me up. It lasts for an hour or two, occasionally results in vomiting and once made me feel extremely faint. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jan Modric

      JojoBay,

      what was said to be a cause of Addison disease in your case? Where exactly do you feel the pain (in inches from the middle line)? Is it a constant or cramping pain, is it related to meals, is it tender to touch? Have you changed your treatment regime? Do you feel completely ok between the pain attacks? Would you say you are constipated, bloated?

  • Allison

    Pain by belly button. Taking meds for brontitius. Could this be related

    • Jan Modric

      Allison,

      where exactly is the pain, is it a constant pain or triggered by cough? Is it tender to touch? Was the pain there before starting with medications? Would you say you are constipated or have excessive gas? Pain could be caused by persistent coughing or constipation, for example, but I can’t exclude other causes.

  • Jonatan

    hello, im 23 and since i moved from one country to another my stomach has been acting up, in several cases now when i wake up i feel a tremendous pain in my stomach i cant really pin-point the exact location because the pain is too great, than i rush to the bathroom and a few seconds later i start sweating but i feel verry cold and my face and lips are pale and i feel disoriented, a few minuted later i start feeling better. in the last few months the pain has happened several times i went to a doctor and she gave me medication but its not working, please can anyone help me.

    • Jan Modric

      Jonatan,

      in bowel symptoms after moving the place intestinal parasites may be suspected. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a stool test. Sweating and disorientation is probably caused by excitation of nerves and temporary drop of the blood pressure related to the excreting the stool, or/and by dehydration, so be sure to drink enough water.

      Another possible cause could be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) triggered by stress and/or food. In IBS, symptoms usually occur shortly after meals, and are relieved by bowel movements. I can’t exclude other causes, but you can discuss about above two possibilities with a doctor.

  • ineedsandnsun

    I am a 41 year old married male and I have been thin most of my life. My wife and I currently do not have health insurance and our funds are very limited. I have been experiencing abdominal issues for the past 5+ years that seem to be getting worse. Every time I have gone to a professional they have never been able to help me. The last time (12 months ago) I ran up $3500 in bills and was told I was experiencing a panic attack. The doctor wanted to put me on Prozac which I refused and I haven’t been to anyone since. My eating habits would probably be considered poor because we eat out a lot but not much has changed in the past 10 years. I am hoping to get some guidance as to what I should do next etc…

    Here is a brief rundown of my past issues:

    – In 2006 after suffering stomach pains and losing considerable weight I went to an ER and they ran a bunch of tests. Things like a chest xray, an ultrasound, a lower GI and finally a colonoscopy. Nothing was ever found and the gastroenterologist suggested it was IBS.

    – About 1 year later I started experiencing very severe stomach pains and foul smelling stools usually around 3am. After going to the bathroom the pain usually subsided within an hour or so. Even today I occasionaly have this issue and I believe it is at least partially related to diet.

    – In September of 2009 after staying up all night working on a project, I experienced the worst case of stomach pain that I had ever felt. That pain then spread and caused me to start feeling like I was having a heart attack so I called 911. Paramedics took me to the hospital and I went through some of the same tests as before; a chest xray, an ultrasound, blood work etc… None of the tests showed anything and as mentioned before I was diagnosed as having a panic attack. I don’t doubt that I had a panic attack but I feel like something else was the underlying cause not just stress.

    This brings me to my current status. Within the past 2 months my stomach has become very bloated which makes me look fat. It is definitely not fat as I lead a very active lifestyle. Just recently I also started experiencing stomach spasms or possibly contractions along with a lot of stomach “growling”. When I have pains, they are either around the belly button area or the upper left side of my stomach area. Also, ever since the panic attack episode, I have had severe lightheaded feelings after sex.

    Any suggestions or guidance you can provide would be very appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Marc

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Ineedsandandsun

      Much of what you describe could be attributed to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) if no other abnormality can be found upon conducting various gastrointestinal investigations. Stress, like working through the night on a project, can trigger acute attacks which are characterized by changes in bowel movement (diarrhea or constipation), bloating and gastrointestinal cramps.

      The theory is that with IBS the gastrointestinal motility is altered and this is exacerbated by certain foods (often varies from person to person), cigarette smoking, alcohol consumptions and stress, including anxiety and extremes of emotion. You have not mentioned undergoing an upper GI endoscopy and this may be advisable to exclude acid reflux, gastritis peptic ulcers and even gallstones or cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder).

      All of these conditions could explain your symptoms and may be co-existing with irritable bowel syndrome. Of course an ECG should also be done. See a gastroenterologist who can consider other investigations as well. Remember that during an ER visit, the priority is to exclude acute conditions that may have dire consequences. You should then follow up immediately afterwards with your doctor/specialist.

    • MONICA

      This sounds like just like me many years ago. I was also hospitalized for over 1 week, had many test done same as you and I had the same symptoms as you and many others on here are talking about. The Dr’s. did one more type of blood work and it came back as Lactose Intolerance which make sense because I ate a lot of chocolate, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and when I ate certain food at restaurants I would sometimes have episodes of stomach pain, bloating, nausea, etc. and after I had a loose bowel movement and let out the gas, I was better after approx. 10 minutes. Before I was diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance I had lost a lot of weight, which I didn’t need to lose, I was always vomiting, I was dehydrated, weak, and because I didn’t know it was milk products that was making me sick, I kept eating and drinking them until there was so much lactose in my system that I was actually poisoned, putting me in the hospital. There are also over the counter Lactose pills that you can take BEFORE you eat or drink something with Lactose in it that works great.
      I hope this helps.

      • Hi Monica. Thank you for your input. Lactose intolerance is a very common digestive problem, much more than we often think or that the media tells us. However, some people have relatively mild symptoms and the condition remains undiagnosed for long periods of time, sometimes even for a lifetime. Digestive enzyme pills can be helpful in some instances.

        • MONICA

          Yes, I had it as a teenager not knowing why I had severe abdominal pains, cramping, loose bowels, gas, etc. until I was put in the hospital. That’s when my Dr’s found out it was Lactose intolerance, I did use the digestive enzyme pills and the drops that you put in the actual milk, but now I know what I can and can’t eat/drink or even how much of something I can take in before it start to effect me. The reason why I commented on some of the posts about Lactose Intolerance is mostly because some of their symptoms involved loose bowels, extended abdomen, pain, and that after expelling the contents of their bowels they felt much better. Your right though about more people having it now-a-days, and it goes undetected for years, if not always. A simple blood test can tell a person whether or not they’re Lactose Intolerant, especially if they also have loose bowels, gas, a bloated abdomen and nausea. Take Care All

  • Cheri

    Periodically, I get severe burning pain to the lower left of my belly button, which is made worse by stomach acid. It feels like acid dumped on an open wound. I’ve had my appendix and gallbladder removed, and while I have Cohn’s disease, it fells nothing like this. It is excruciating and can last up to 12 more.

    • Hi Cheri. Based on the location that you are reporting, it may not have anything to do with stomach acid. Your appendix is on the right side and your gallbladder is towards to upper middle region of your abdomen. Your Crohn’s disease could definitely be a factor to consider here even if you have not experienced this sensation. When pain is so low down towards the pelvic region, women need to consider the possibility of certain gynecological problems. We assume that you meant that it can last up to 12 hours. This is concerning. You should see your doctor as soon as possible.

  • debra engle

    I woke up Monday night with severe stomach pain that goes down to my groin area, can’t walk but am not vomiting or have diarrhea

    • Hi Debra. That’s difficult to possibly diagnose. You really should see a doctor ASAP if it is severe. Vomiting, diarrhea and related symptoms would point to a digestive problem so it is possible that this has nothing to do with the digestive tract. However, some digestive conditions can only present with abdominal pain in the early stages and nothing else. It may also be worth considering a UTI. Even though you may not have urinary symptoms as yet it could be due to a urinary tract infection. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.

  • chrid

    Hello I’m 26 on Monday morning I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and about an hour after I got a sharp pain in my lower right side of stomach that felt like a sharp stabbing pain. It was gone by the end of day but when the pain was there it was really painful. The next day the pain was gone and then randomly at one point during the day I got the same exact pain for around 10-20 minutes but on my left side then went away. Is this anything I should be worried about?

    • Hi Chrid. The recurring pain should always be treated as cause for concern until medical investigations can prove that it is nothing serious. Pain on its own without other symptoms is difficult to diagnose so your doctor will very likely want to run further tests if there is no clearly obvious cause.For example pain with diarrhea would point towards a digestive condition as the more likely cause. However, you do not mention any such symptoms. It may not be anything to worry about just yet but you should be concerned enough to see a doctor.

  • Albert Smith

    Since i was about 9 years old I’ve had times where i get extreme abdominal pain followed by fainting. There have been times where im not sure how long i was out. I’ve also injured myself while fainting. Never knowing if I have experienced a concussion. Anyone know of any illnesses or reasonings for my symptoms?

    • Hi Albert. Some children do suffer with a condition known as abdominal migraines. It could possibly be related to this. It is uncommon in adults as compared to migraine headaches but can still occur. It is difficult to say with any certainty. There is often a family history of migraines in these children. Assuming that you are now an adult it would be difficult to accurately identify the condition that was occurring in childhood. However, if you are suffering with migraines now then it is worth discussing your childhood symptoms with your doctor.

  • katy

    i have severe abdominal and kidney pain for a minute or two. abdominal pain usually last for a few seconds

  • gaby

    I was at work earlier today and had to leave early cause I experienced some of the symptoms. I had breakfast and about 2 hours later, I get this horrible stomach pain in the upper center of my stomach, it hurt when I touched it, felt bloated, was sweating a lot and felt really cold,y face and lips went pale and was disoriented, although when I felt the need to throw up nothing would come out. When ever I tried to do the restroom, again nothing would come out

  • Sophie

    Hi I’m an 18 year old female. I have been suffering with severe lower abdominal pain in the night which starts when I’m asleep and wakes me up. It starts very suddenly every few weeks. It makes me feel sick and sometimes I am sick, I can’t stay still when the paid starts and I start sweating a lot. Then the pain goes after around 20 minutes and it is like nothing ever happened. I do get the pain during the day too but it is never as severe as in the night. It is starting to happen more and more often in the night. No doctors can figure it out!!

    • Hi Sophie. Episodic pain in this manner can be difficult to diagnose especially when it comes to the abdominal area where there are so many organs. It could also be gynecological. It would be advisable that you consult with a gynecologist and if everything is clear then your family doctor may consider sending you to a gastroenterologist for further investigations like a colonoscopy. Since you don’t have other symptoms apart from the pain, a gynecological examination would be the next logical step.

  • dee

    I have severe ab problems and recently went to Emergency. The Doctor walked into the room and without even having my vitals done or even trying to examine me he said, “We are discharging you, went don’t treat your problems here”.
    My guess is I had a bout of chemical/poison exposure including Hydrogen Cyanide but nobody believed me. One of the Doctor’s was new to the hospital and had just left VA. After examining me he excused himself and after about 15 minutes returned and said he was diagnosing me with Anxiety. I do suffer from PTSD but don’t make up illnesses. I believe he still had access to my medical records at VA and he looked at the records and seen my anxiety issue. Since then all Doctor’s do very few tests and give me the Anxiety diagnosis.
    I believe this is due to the fact I put down every single problem I have to help them make an easier diagnosis and they see it as I’m a basket case or one of those people that needs attention so goes to the hospital to get it.
    I have “irritable bowel syndrome” (to me that’s a diagnosis for when they can’t find the problem). My syndrome is constipation and when they gave up they had me start taking Milk of Magnesia every 3 days—-normally on the 3rd day I have physical problems until my bowel is empty.
    The problem I went in with was pain in the ab constantly, increased on left side after eating and after about an hour it moves to the right side, I have pain near my belly button and I have joit and muscle pain all over. I get rashes and I explained these things as the Doctor was trying to escape and he said, it sound as if you might want to check with you FP and get tested for Lupus but we don’t do that here. I have general fatigue and constant pain but I also have a Testosterone reading of 120.85. My Doctor says it’s low but they don’t treat it unless it goes under 120.
    Can anyone help?

  • Kasey Isaacs

    Hello, I am 15. About every six months I get this severe pain in my middle abdomen. It hurts so bad I cannot stand up. I curl up in a ball and cry in pain for about 20 to 40 minutes. And then nothing. Like it never happened. I get nausea. I also feel cold, but my body is warm. This has been happening for about the last 3 years. I went to the doctors and they told they don’t see anything wrong, it is just your basic stomach cramps. But I know it isn’t. The pains are to great to be a basic stomach cramp.

  • MandyNblake Hilton

    Hi I’m 23 year old female I have had several severe lower abdomen pain that is sharp and will shoot in my pelvis I recently had surgery in Feb to remove a 9cm cysts but when my doctor went in through my c-section scar it was fluid pockets on my large intestine and scar lining it went away for a month and has been back scence new symptoms have occurred with feeling like I’m going to pass out and blood when I get sick and been feeling really cold but no fever

  • Kristen Terre

    Hi there, I have been having some crazy stomach pain accompanied by temporary stomach hardening…so my stomach will hurt either when I’m hungry or shortly after I eat a smoothy, at the same time my stomach, right where my my belly button is hardens .I do t know I’d this is trapped gas or what but if I lay on my stomach it usually only last 5-10 mins or may go away with food intake. Thanks for your time.

  • Lisa hough

    I got home sat down in a chair was relaxing , then all of a sudden server pain in my left lower side of my stomach it was so intense I couldn’t stand up , but I scooted in a different position and the pain let up some , but 15 – 20 mins later sharp pains came back and pressure down below , it has been going on almost an hour now 10 mins ago I tried to stand up starting pouring sweat got extremely light headed and dizzy once I sat back down the dizziness went away but not the pain ….

    WHAT COULD THIS BE ? I AM A 33 YEAR OLD FEMALE