Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is incredibly common. Chances are, everyone you know has experienced a dull or sharp pain in their abdomen at some point in their lives. Because there are so many major organs located in your abdomen, pain in this region can be concerning; especially if the pain is persistent and doesn't go away on its own. 

At Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists, we focus on treating all your gastrointestinal problems. Whether they’re benign or cause for concern, we’re here to provide comprehensive and compassionate care. That's why we created this helpful guide. Our goal is to help you understand what's causing your abdominal pain so you can seek treatment quickly and effectively.

Stomach flu

Also called gastroenteritis, stomach flu is a bacterial or viral infection that’s usually characterized by fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But, if symptoms persist for longer than two days, the condition may be a sign of a much greater problem like IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Also called IBS, irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder where you often experience bloating, gas, pain, and diarrhea. While only a small percentage of people have more severe symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome is usually manageable with lifestyle changes or medication.


Often caused by an inflamed or swollen stomach lining, gastritis is usually accompanied by pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloating.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Also called GERD, this is a condition that lasts long-term. It involves continuous acid reflux or a condition where stomach acids rise up into your throat causing heartburn. In addition to abdominal pain, GERD can cause nausea and develops into more serious complications like inflammation in the esophagus.

Stomach ulcers

Ulcers are wounds in the stomach that won’t heal. They can cause weight loss, bloating, and digestion issues. Some common causes of ulcers include over-using NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and bacterial infections.

Crohn’s disease 

This is a condition in which the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed. This often leads to pain, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating. A chronic problem, Crohn's disease can cause you to become malnourished, which leads to weight loss and exhaustion. 

Other issues

Abdominal pain can also be a symptom of some other common issues. Pulled or strained muscles from exercise and activity are often a culprit. For women, it can also be an indicator of reproductive health problems, like endometriosis. 

Because your kidneys are located in your abdomen, abdominal pain may also be indicative of a bladder or urinary tract infection. A more serious condition, requiring immediate medical care, abdominal pain could also be a sign of appendicitis, which is one reason why your abdominal pain shouldn’t be ignored.

If you’re experiencing abdominal pain or any of the symptoms described in the conditions above, you may have a serious gastrointestinal condition and should seek treatment sooner rather than later. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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