Acute stomach pain can have a vast number of causes, including:
• Inflammation of the gallbladder or bile duct
• Kidney stones
• Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
• UTIs (urinary tract infections)
• Peritonitis (infection of the abdominal lining)
Chronic abdominal pain that comes and goes could be put down to:
• Gallbladder disease
• GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
• Hiatal hernias
• Ovarian cysts
• Peptic ulcers
• Ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases
Stomach pain that worsens over time needs to be investigated. That’s because it could be due to a serious health condition, such as:
• Crohn’s disease
• Abscesses of the ovary or fallopian tube
Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know experiences any of the following:
• Blood in stools
• Ongoing nausea and vomiting
• Weight loss
• Yellow-tinged skin
• Painful urination
• Difficulty breathing
• A swollen abdomen that’s painful to touch
If you’ve been experiencing stomach pain for a while and think it’s time to get it checked out, jot down some details about your symptoms to help your doctor diagnose the problem. Aim to include:
• Is the pain confined to your abdomen or are other parts of your body also affected?
• When does it occur? After eating? Does it happen in the morning rather than at night?
• Does anything trigger the pain, such as eating certain foods or exercising?
• How long have you been experiencing the pain for?
• Do you have any other symptoms, like diarrhoea?