Abdominal Pain

This article discusses abdominal pains, what upper abdominal pains and lower abdominal pains could be linked to, and when you should seek out medical help.


It is often difficult to understand why your stomach is causing you pain. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a typical stomach ache after a meal, but other times it is more serious. Abdominal pain can come in different forms and can occur in different areas of the abdomen. What is causing your pain typically relies on where the pain is occurring and how it feels. 

Upper Abdominal Pain Causes

If you are experiencing stabbing pain in your upper abdomen, specifically between your ribcage, you could be showing signs of an underlying heart issue. Sometimes, this pain can be caused by simple indigestion, but if you are also experiencing persistent shortness of breath, something serious may be going on. Consider seeking out a medical professional quickly if you display these symptoms. In addition, if you are older and are experiencing slight upper abdominal pain, nausea, and belching, you may be showing signs of a heart attack. If you are vomiting and experiencing back pain, jaw pain, and shortness of breath, get medical help immediately. 

Pain on the left side of your upper abdomen may mean that you have a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when a part of your stomach moves up through the separation between your diaphragm and abdomen. While a small hiatal hernia shows no symptoms, a large hiatal hernia can cause heartburn, acid reflux, shortness of breath, vomiting, and problems swallowing. This can often only be diagnosed with an upper G.I. test ordered by a doctor. 

Lower Abdominal Pain Causes

If you experience severe pain in your lower right abdomen or pain around your belly button, you may have an appendicitis. Other symptoms of appendicitis include vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. If an appendicitis is ignored, the appendix can rupture. This outcome can be deadly, so medical help is completely necessary when dealing with a possible appendicitis. 

Female patients experiencing lower abdominal pains on either their left or right lower abdomen could have a ruptured ovarian cyst. This can be caused by a fluctuation in hormones, pregnancy, sexual intercourse, and constipation. This ovarian cyst will oftentimes need to be removed, therefore medical attention should be sought out immediately. 

If you have a lower pain on the left side of your stomach that only seems to worsen each time you move, you may be showing a sign of diverticulitis. With diverticulitis, inflamed pockets of the colon sometimes abscess and perforate. Diverticulitis could be acute or chronic and can cause cramping, severe stomach pains, and fever. Sometimes, this disorder can go away on its own, but if symptoms persist, you should be seen by a doctor. 

Lower abdominal pain that feels as though it were wrapped around your stomach could indicate kidney stones. In addition to this pain, you could display symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. The best way to determine if you have kidney stones is to receive an ultrasound or CT scan. It is best to see a doctor if you think you have kidney stones because they can provide medication that makes passing them easier. 

When to Find Help

Most of these stomach pains will occur suddenly, so it is normal to wonder and worry about what could be wrong. Severe and sudden stabbing, burning, and cramping pains are not normal stomach pains and may indicate something serious. With most of these symptoms, you should seek out answers immediately. Some of them could worsen significantly if ignored, in some cases can even turn deadly. 

Our primary care services are available throughout the day and some of the evening. In addition to ultrasound services, we can also perform CT scans. We have physicians on standby that want nothing more than to help you. If you are experiencing sudden or worrying pains, you can quickly see us. Let BASS Primary Care help you find answers and relief.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.