Causes Of Lower Abdominal Cramping
Lower Left Side Pain
The abdominal organs found in the lower left abdomen include a portion of the descending colon , part of the small intestine, the spleen, the lower portion of the left kidney, the left ureter, ovary and fallopian tube, the urinary bladder and all the nerves, blood vessels muscles and skin in the left lower quadrant.
An abnormal condition in any of these organs may result in abdominal cramping in the left lower side, including:
- Uterine disorders, such as myoma or endometriosis
- Intestinal obstruction
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ruptured spleen
Lower Right Side Pain
The organs found in the right lower side of the abdomen include the appendix, the ascending colon, part of the large intestine, the right ovary and fallopian tube, parts of the small intestine, the lower portion of the right kidney and the ureter. Pain in the right lower quadrant may be caused by:
- Mesenteric lymphadenitis
- Colon cancer
- Uterine disorders, such as myoma or endometriosis
- Intestinal obstruction
Other Causes of Lower Abdominal Cramps
- Trapped wind in the gut
- Strenuous exercise causing muscle pain
- Psoas abscess
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
How Do Doctors Diagnose The Cause Of Stomach Cramps
To diagnose the cause of stomach cramps, your doctor will take a medical history, perform an exam, and possibly order testing. Questions your doctor may ask about your stomach cramps and other symptoms include:
Where is the cramping? Is it in one spot or all over?
How severe is the cramping?
When did the cramping start?
When does the cramping occur? Is it continuous or does it only occur at certain times?
Have you had this type of cramping before?
Are you experiencing any other symptoms, such as pain, diarrhea or nausea?
What, if anything, seems to make the cramping better or worse?
What medications do you take?
When was your last menstrual period?
During the physical exam, your doctor will feel your abdomen, checking for areas of tenderness or enlarged organs. Your doctor may also perform a pelvic exam. Depending on the likely causes, a may be necessary. Using the results of the exam, your doctor may order testing including:
Blood, urine and stool tests
Imaging exams of the abdomen, including X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs
exams, including , , and hysteroscopy
It is not always possible to diagnose an underlying cause or condition. If the problem persists and your provider is unable to determine a cause, seeking a second opinion may give you more information and answers.
How To Avoid Stomach Cramps When Running
A Marine asked about running during the USMC three-mile run.
“Every time I run hard to get a good score on the three-mile PFT, or when I’m training for the test, I get a stomach cramp or side stitch about halfway in the three-mile timed run. My question is – what can I do to prevent it, and what can I do to stop the pain or lessen it?”
Running with stomach cramps is never fun, but there are ways to lessen or work through the pain – or even prevent the cramps altogether.
First, it is still a big mystery to many physiologists and doctors as to what is the real cause of stomach cramps. The experts have theorized that the common side stitch is caused by the exertion that running and bouncing forces inside the abdominal walls. Basically, your stomach and other organs — like the spleen and liver — bump into each other as your feet jar the ground, causing connective tissue to stretch on the nerves and cause pain. This connective tissue also is attached to your diaphragm, which helps with breathing. This pain is usually on the right side and just under the ribs. Exercise like horseback riding, running and sit-ups are common causes of the side stitch.
Ways to prevent or lessen the pain of the common side stitch:
1. Don’t run on a full stomach
2. Decrease pace and breathe deeply
3. Pre-stretch with side torso twists
4. Perform lower back and abdominal exercises
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number if you:
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- Are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
- Are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have pain in, or between, your shoulder blades with nausea
- Have tenderness in your belly, or your belly is rigid and hard to the touch
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen
- Have difficulty breathing
Treatment For Abdominal Pain In Adults
Your treatment depends on what is causing your pain, but may include:
- Pain relief your pain may not go away fully with painkillers, but it should ease.
- Fluids you may have fluids given into a vein to correct fluid loss and rest your bowel.
- Medicines for example, you may be given something to stop you vomiting.
- Fasting your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink anything until the cause of your pain is known.
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When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Stomach pain can be caused by a life-threatening condition, such as appendicitis, bowel obstruction , or a bowel perforation .
These emergencies usually cause very noticeable and often intolerable signs and symptoms. Your stomach pain is probably a sign of an urgent medical problem if:
- You are pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of having abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure
- You have ever had a gastric bypass, a colostomy, or a bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after you experienced severe abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen appears bruised or is rapidly expanding in size
Your stomach pain may be mild in the beginning, and then you may develop associated symptoms after a few hours. You should get help immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms along with your stomach pain:
- Abdomen is extremely hard
- Inability to have a bowel movement accompanied by vomiting
- Pain in neck, shoulder or between shoulder blades
- Vision changes
Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For A Hard Stomach
We always suggest taking your dog to the vet if they are experiencing a hard or swollen stomach.
Its impossible to rule out any serious causes of abdominal swelling on your own at home, making it important to have them seen by a veterinarian to be safe.
Even a mild case of abdominal swelling can be uncomfortable for your furry friend, so we suggest getting to the bottom of your dogs symptoms as soon as possible.
Diagnosis Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
If examinations and tests are needed, these may include:
- a rectal exam to check for hidden blood or other problems
- if you are a man, the doctor may check your penis and scrotum
- if you are a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in your womb , fallopian tubes and ovaries, and do a pregnancy test
- a blood test to look for infection or bleeding
- other blood tests may look at enzymes in the liver, pancreas and heart to sort out which organ may be involved
- a urine test to look for a urine infection or blood
- an ECG to rule out a heart attack
- other tests, including x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- sometimes you may be referred to another doctor to help find the cause of the problem.
- endoscopy is an examination where a flexible tube with a light and video camera at the tip is used to examine some internal organs without the need for surgery. Different names are used depending on which organ is being looked at.
If you do have tests, the doctor will explain the results to you. Some results may take a number of days to come back and these will be sent to your local doctor.
Other Causes To Be Aware Of
Its important to note that there are other causes of abdominal swelling in dogs, though these conditions are often accompanied by pain.
However, dogs can hide their pain exceptionally well, so we may not always be aware that our dogs are struggling.
A few other causes of a hard or swollen stomach in dogs include:
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Cramping At Lower Abdomen Is Common But Really Annoying And Excruciating Find Out Its Causes Accompanying Symptoms And Proper Treatments Here
People often refer to the abdomen as their belly or stomach, and it is a part of the body that lies between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen may be divided into four parts for diagnostic purposes, and these are named the upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left quadrants.
Lower abdominal cramping or pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced, and it may be either in the lower right or in lower left side. There are many possible causes of lower abdominal pain, and the diagnosis may depend on the accompanying symptoms and location of the pain.
Home Remedies For Stomach Cramps
Dietary and eating habit changes can help provide stomach cramps relief. To ease and prevent mild stomach cramps and promote digestive health, try the following:
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and with meals
Eating smaller meals throughout the day
Increasing fiber in your diet by eating foods, such as beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains
Limiting gas-producing foods, dairy, and fatty or fried foods
Reducing the amount of air you swallow by avoiding straws, chewing thoroughly, eating slowly, and quitting
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When Should I See My Doctor
Sometimes, abdominal pain can signal something serious. You should see your doctor immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if you:
- have pain that is severe and is getting worse
- have pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulders
- have pain that lasts for several hours or longer
- have pain and vaginal bleeding and you are pregnant
- have pain in the scrotum
- have pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- have pain and vomiting blood
- have blood in bowel motions or urine
- cant pee , do a poo or fart
- are experiencing vomiting that wont go away
If you have a sudden, severe, debilitating pain in your abdomen, go to your nearest hospital emergency department or call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. It may be a sign of a serious illness that requires urgent treatment.
What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is discomfort or other uncomfortable sensations that you feel in your belly area. Just about everybody at one time or another will get a bellyache.
Most causes of abdominal pain aren’t reasons to worry, and your doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of a serious illness that needs medical attention.
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When Should My Child See A Doctor
Many children recover from abdominal pain quickly and dont need to see a doctor.
Take your child to a doctor immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if they:
- are in pain that goes on for longer than 24 hours or if youre worried about them
- have pain that is severe or debilitating even though they have taken pain medicine
- are hard to wake and are unwell
- vomit for more than 24 hours, or they are unable to keep any fluids down, refusing to drink any fluids and their vomit is green
- have blood in their poo or vomit
- are having trouble doing a wee
- have pain and lumps in the groin
- were recently injured for example, falling onto the handlebars of a bike
If your child is still a baby and they have fewer than 4 wet nappies per day, as well as their abdominal pain, you should take them to a doctor immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.
Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers
Stomach and duodenal ulcers can often be found as a cause of mid-abdominal pain. Essentially, an ulcer is an open sore inside your digestive tract. In the case of stomach or gastric ulcers, the ulcer forms in the stomach. Duodenal ulcers form inside the upper portion of the small intestine, which is also known as the duodenum.
These open sores tend to bring on colicky pain, which comes and goes depending on various circumstances. Ulcers can be aggravated by a rise in stomach acid and certain types of foods .
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Is Sleep A Pain
Pain and sleep are integrally connected, he says. Chronic pain is very common in the population and even more common in people who have poor sleep, and it sort of becomes a vicious cycle. Pain affects your ability to sleep, and the lack of sleep makes the pain seem worse. The Link Between Pain and Sleep Problems.
Why Do People Get Stomach Pain
Lets be clear there are numerous reasons why you could be getting stomach pain. Some are very common, and most of us have had them at one point in our lives. However, some injuries are more unusual and can be a cause of concern.
For example, a painful or swollen belly is often a sign of a condition called diverticulitis. The pain can be sharp, dull, or a combination of both. A bellyache may be a disease symptom such as an infection or a gastrointestinal problem, including a GI bleed.
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What Causes Pain When Sleeping
Causes Sleeping position. In some cases, shoulder pain from sleeping occurs due to a persons sleeping position. Frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder is a very painful condition that causes inflammation in the shoulder. Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States. Rotator cuff injury. Shoulder impingement.
What Causes Abdominal Pain And Burping
You can swallow air when you eat or drink too quickly or consume carbonated drinks. Rapid breathing or hyperventilating caused by laughter or anxiety can also cause you to swallow air.
Babies and young children may swallow large amounts of air without realizing it, causing discomfort and burping. This is why babies are burped shortly after drinking breast milk or formula.
Frequent abdominal pain and burping may also be caused by conditions including:
- fever over 101F
- pain or burning sensations in the throat or mouth
- chest pain
You can book an appointment with a primary care doctor in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool.
Treatments for abdominal pain and burping will address the underlying condition.
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When To Call The Doctor About Abdominal Pain
If your abdominal pain is serious, doesn’t go away, or keeps coming back, talk to your doctor. Call 911 right away if your belly hurts because you had a recent injury there or if you have any chest pain.
You should also contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have symptoms along with the pain, such as:
- Can’t keep food down for more than 2 days
- Signs you’re getting dehydrated, including not urinating frequently, dark-colored urine, and being very thirsty
- Can’t have a bowel movement, especially if you’re also vomiting
- Pain when you pee, or you need to urinate often
Also call your doctor if:
- Your belly is tender to the touch
- Pain lasts more than a few hours
You may have other symptoms that could be a sign of a problem inside your body that needs treatment as soon as possible. Get medical care right away if you have abdominal pain and you also:
- Have unexplained weight loss
You Might Have Eaten More Than Your Stomach Could Handle
Experts say this tends to be the most common cause for this specific type of discomfort. Im sure all of us have had that situation where weve eaten too much and we get stomach cramps, Suneeta Krishnareddy, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medicine in the faculty of digestive and liver diseases at Columbia University Medical Center, tells SELF. Its usually just caused by the stomach stretchingbecause it is a very stretchy organbecause theres too much food in there. This stomach stretching can also happen because of the bacteria in your G.I. tract trying to help you break down the food, which can cause gas and distension, Dr. Krishnareddy says. That stretch in some people causes pain or cramping, she explains.
To be super clear, were not saying theres anything inherently wrong with sometimes eating a lot . Eating past the point of fullness on some occasions can actually be part of having a normal relationship with food. And, of course, if you deal with a disordered eating issue like binge eating disorder, navigating how much you eat can be really complex and not feel entirely under your control right now. So, seriously, no judgment here. But if youre dealing with stomach cramps after eating often and think its because you have a hard time not eating past the point of fullness, talking to a doctor, therapist, or registered dietitian may help.
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