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The Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Your abdomen is home to several vital organs as well as numerous muscles, blood vessels, and connective tissue. That’s why, when you begin to experience abdominal pain, there is justified cause for concern.

However, many people will often assume that their abdominal pain is simply a stomach ache — and while this may be one of the causes, it is definitely not the only reason you may be experiencing discomfort. In truth, there are many different causes of abdominal pain, some of which tend to be more serious and require more attention than others.

Common Abdominal Ailments and How to Treat Them

Stomach Flu

Pretty much everyone has had a stomach bug at some point in their life. Often caused by bacteria or a virus, you will likely experience the symptoms of the stomach flu for a few days, such as:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Loose stool

  • Abdominal pain

If your symptoms persist for more than two days, there may be a more serious problem.


As bacteria help break down intolerable food, gas is produced in your small intensive. If that gas builds up, the resulting pressure can cause you to feel as if there is a tightness or sharpness in your lower abdomen. If you’re unable to relieve the pressure naturally — through belches or flatulence — you may have to take medication that helps alleviate the pain.

Furthermore, while gas buildup can happen at any time, it’s important to remember that certain foods also have a tendency to cause an increase in gas buildup.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, also known as heartburn or indigestion, occurs when stomach acid and/or content travel back up your esophagus. Normally, a valve prevents acid from rising, but if the valve fails, you can experience a burning sensation in your stomach and/or chest, in addition to potential cramps or bloating. If you experience acid reflux more than twice a week, your doctor may diagnose you with Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Typically, acid reflux and GERD are treated with medication to reduce stomach acid production.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that can affect those afflicted with it on varying levels. While some people only experience mild symptoms, for others, this condition can greatly affect their daily lives. IBS causes people to experience various symptoms such as:

  • Sudden, changing bowel habits

  • Excessive gas

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

As of now, there is no definitive cause of IBS — medical professionals are only aware that it is linked to the brain and certain factors can trigger it. That said, those factors may include stress, changes in eating habits, or hormonal changes.


Stomach ulcers typically form when the mucus layer of your stomach is worn away by acid. They can often cause dull or burning sensations around your stomach area as well as feelings of nausea and bloating. In certain cases, the pain is so severe that a person will avoid eating as a way not to aggravate it.

Ulcers are relatively easy to treat and can often be handled by changes in prescription medication, diet, or over-the-counter drugs — with surgery being an option in some cases.

Pulled Muscles

While many people think about strained muscles occurring in their back or neck, it’s actually very easy to strain or pull abdominal muscles since you use them for many everyday activities. Beyond that, many people overwork their abdominal muscles through exercise.

If you pull or strain your abdominal muscles, you can typically treat yourself at home through rest, cold/heat therapy, compression, and over-the-counter pain medications.

Treat Emergency Abdominal Pain in Dallas

Stomach pain is not unusual, and in most cases, it is not an emergency situation. However, it is important to monitor the symptoms and seek help if the pain feels severe or unusual in any way. There are times where abdominal pain can be a medical emergency, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the emergency symptoms.

To learn more about what qualifies as emergency abdominal pain, contact Advance ER at 214-494-8222 (Park Cities) or 214-247-7909 (Galleria) today.