Symptoms and causes - Forbes Health

Symptoms and causes – Forbes Health

When it comes to lower abdominal pain, there are a large number of potential causes. Some of the more common causes include the following.

trapped gas

Trapped gas often occurs as part of the digestive process, says Dr. Crawford. When we eat, we swallow air, and as the food travels through the digestive system, bacteria break down carbohydrates, producing gas as a byproduct. The result of this process is gases that can cause uncomfortable symptoms.

symptoms: The pain from trapped gas is sharp and can occur anywhere in the abdomen, leading to belching, bloating, flatulence, and flatulence. Usually, people feel better once they’re off gas, says Dr. Crawford. Dr. Mendes recommends gentle movements like walking, yoga, a light abdominal massage, and plenty of water and soothing tea, all of which help soothe flatulence associated with flatulence.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Roughly 10% to 15% of adults in the United States may live with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to the American College of Gastroenterology). It’s a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, says Aniruddh Setya, MD, a board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Kidz Medical Services in Hollywood, Florida.

Because other gastrointestinal diseases need to be ruled out by a gastroenterologist before a true diagnosis of IBS can be made, irritable bowel syndrome is called a diagnosis of exclusion, explains Dr. Mendez. While the exact cause is unknown, IBS is thought to arise from a disorganized connection between the gut and the brain, which leads to hypersensitivity in the intestinal organs and contraction of muscles in the digestive system, she adds.

symptoms: IBS pain is chronic and occurs in the lower abdomen. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome often include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and bowel changes including constipation, diarrhea, and loose stools. Common triggers are stress and certain foods, such as dairy products and fermented sugars, says Dr. Sita. Dr. Crawford adds that treatments range from dietary control to medications designed to control an altered bowel pattern or pain.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Dr. Mendez says inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that describes two types of disorders that involve chronic inflammation in the intestines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that these two conditions — Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — may affect up to 3 million people in the United States.

  • Crohn’s disease It can cause inflammation and irritation anywhere along the intestinal tract from the mouth to the anus, but it’s most common in the last part of the small intestine and colon, says Dr. Crawford. Left untreated, the condition can cause deep ulcers and scarring of the intestinal lining as well as abscesses, fistulas (abnormal connections between two organs), and anal fissures.
  • ulcerative colitis Dr. Mendez explains that it causes inflammation and ulcers along the lining of the large intestine and rectum. Unlike Crohn’s inflammation, the inflammation is only in the inner layer of the lining of the colon and rectum, but if left untreated, it can lead to a small hole in the lining, says Dr. Crawford.

symptoms: Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which are chronic conditions, are similar and include frequent diarrhea, cramps, lower abdominal pain, bloody stools, fever, weight loss, fatigue and night sweats, says Dr. Mendez. Treatment for these chronic conditions may include medication, bowel rest, or surgery.


If you have infrequent bowel movements that are difficult to pass or are painful, Dr. Sita says, you likely have constipation. He adds that the condition, which is usually caused by nutritional factors, inadequate hydration and stress, often occurs in individuals without a specific underlying cause. It is common – Dr. Mendez says that constipation is the most common digestive complaint among her patients.

symptoms: Constipation can be acute or chronic, and it usually causes pain and discomfort in the lower abdominal area. Symptoms of severe constipation include having three or fewer bowel movements per week, hard, lumpy stools that are difficult to pass, and a feeling that the stools have not completely passed. Bleeding may occur if sensitive anal tissue ruptures, says Dr. Sita. Lifestyle changes such as drinking more water, eating more fiber, and exercising more often help resolve constipation, but if constipation persists or becomes chronic, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor.


Chronic constipation caused by a low-fiber diet is thought to cause diverticulosis, or small cyst-like structures, to form inside the colon. This condition is known as diverticulosis. When these sinuses become inflamed or infected, it’s called diverticulitis, and it’s more common in adults over 60, says Dr. Mendez.

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symptoms: Acute diverticulitis is usually felt in the lower left abdomen and may persist and last for several days, says Dr. Mendez, and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, and constipation.

Urinary tract infection

When bacteria accidentally enter the urethra, it can cause a urinary tract infection or urinary tract infection.

symptoms: Symptoms of a UTI include an intense need to urinate, pain or burning in the lower pelvis, and burning while passing only small amounts of urine, says Dr. Mendez. “Urine may have a foul odor and appear old (cloudy or reddish-pink if blood is present),” she continues. These severe infections are treated with a course of antibiotics.

kidney infection

A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is a type of urinary tract infection that can become serious, and requires intravenous antibiotics, says Dr. Ivanina. It begins in the bladder and travels upward, affecting one or both kidneys.

symptoms: Symptoms of this severe infection may include flank (side) pain, back pain, fever with chills (bad enough to cause a shiver), and nausea and vomiting, says Dr. Ivanina.

kidney stones

Concentrated deposits of salts and minerals that form in your kidneys and pass through your urinary system are called kidney stones, Dr. Ivanina says. These stones can lodge in the urinary tract and cause urine to build up in the kidneys, bladder, or urethra, which can cause infection and pain.

symptoms: Symptoms of this acute condition may cause sharp, severe pain in the back, side, abdomen, and groin that comes in waves as well as a change in the color and foul smell of urine and a change in the frequency of urination, says Dr. Ivanina. She adds that nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills can also occur.


Dr. Crawford explains that the appendix is ​​a small tube-like structure that extends into the cecum of the colon. Normally, mucus, cells, and bacteria move freely from the appendix to the cecum, but when obstruction occurs, appendicitis can develop. Appendicitis is dangerous. Dr. Sita says it’s important to get to the emergency room if you think you have symptoms, as they often require surgery

symptoms: Symptoms of acute appendicitis include right lower abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and fever, says Dr. Sita. At first, the pain may be centered near the belly button, but as the inflammation progresses, it will move to the lower right quadrant of the abdomen, he says. Severe pain can come on suddenly.

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