10 Causes for Abdominal Pain: Common Causes & Signs You Should Go to the ER

10 Causes for Abdominal Pain: Common Causes & Signs You Should Go to the ER

Abdominal pain, commonly referred to as stomach pain, refers to pain and discomfort in the area between the chest and the pelvis. It is quite common and chances are that we all have suffered from abdominal pain at one time or the other. Most of the time, abdominal pain is usually nothing too serious to worry about as it can be as a result of minor conditions such as muscle strain and indigestion as well as conditions that, though quite painful, are not what one would term as medical emergencies, such as menstrual pain. However, since the abdomen is much more than the stomach and contains many other vital organs and blood vessels such as the kidneys, spleen, liver, pancreas and many others including the aorta, abdominal pain may indicate a much more serious underlying issue that requires one to go to the ER as soon as possible. This article will look to highlight 10 common causes of abdominal pain as well as signs of the same that show one it is time to go to the ER as far as they are concerned.

Abdominal aortic aneurism

One of the reasons that may be behind your abdominal pain is an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is basically an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body and runs from the heart through the center of the chest and abdomen. Common causes of abdominal aortic aneurisms include high blood pressure, atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries, an infection in the aorta as well as trauma such as being in a car accident. Sudden and severe abdominal pain as well as a pulse near your bellybutton are signs you need to go to the ER as a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism can lead life-threatening bleeding.


Another cause of abdominal pain is appendicitis which is the inflammation of the appendix. The most common cause of appendicitis is a blockage in the lining of the appendix which can lead to an infection causing it to be inflamed, swell and fill with pus. A ruptured appendix is life-threatening and as such signs that you need to go to the ER for the same include severe abdominal pain that begins around your navel and radiates towards the lower-right side of your abdomen. Other signs include severe nausea and vomiting, flatulence among others, all of which are covered in detail over at frontlineer.com.


This is yet another condition that could lead to abdominal pain and it is basically the inflammation of the gallbladder which is an organ that is located beneath the liver and holds the digestive fluid, bile. Common causes of cholecystitis include gallstones which block the cystic duct leading to inflammation, tumors, viral infections such as AIDS among others. If you develop abdominal pains that are so severe that you are unable to get comfortable or sit still, then it is a sign you need to go to the ER as soon as possible.

Ectopic pregnancy

Abdominal pain can also be due to an ectopic pregnancy, which occur when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus, which is the fallopian tube in most cases although the fertilized egg can implant in the ovary, cervix or abdominal cavity as covered in great detail over at frontlineer.com. For obvious reasons, an ectopic pregnancy can’t be allowed to proceed normally especially since if the fertilized egg is allowed to grow, it could lead to the rupture of the fallopian tube which is life-threatening as it could lead to severe bleeding inside the abdomen. The common cause of an ectopic pregnancy, especially tubal pregnancy, is when the fertilized egg gets stuck on its way to the uterus mostly due to a damaged fallopian tube due to it being twisted or inflamed. Any symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are a sign that you need to go to the ER and include severe abdominal pain during pregnancy, abnormal vaginal bleeding among others.

Heart attack

A heart attack could also be the cause behind your abdominal pain, and as we all know this is a life-threatening condition that should always lead to a visit to the ER. The blocking of one or more of your coronary arteries is what causes heart attacks. Signs that you need to go to the ER is if you are experiencing abdominal pain as well as other symptoms indicating a heart attack such as tightness and pressure in the chest, pain in the arms, neck and jaw, shortness of breath, severe nausea and vomiting among others.

Kidney stones

These are hard deposits that are made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys and may be the cause behind your abdominal pain. The main cause as far as they are concerned is if your urine has more crystal-forming substances like oxalate, uric acid among others than the fluid in the urine can be able to dilute. Signs that you need to go to the ER, such as the excellent frontlineer.com, include pain that is so extreme, you are unable to get comfortable or sit still or is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever and chills as well as difficulty passing urine and blood in the urine.

Ruptured spleen

This could yet be the culprit behind your abdominal pain, and it is a medical emergency requiring an immediate visit to the ER. The main cause of a ruptured spleen is usually a blow or injury to the left upper abdomen which might happen during a fight, sports related accident or during a car accident. It can also be as a result of an enlarged spleen. It is a medical emergency and as such any symptoms indicating the same such as pain and tenderness in the upper left abdomen, left shoulder pain as well as confusion, and dizzy spells are all signs you need to go to the ER as soon as possible, especially after an injury.


This is inflammation in the pancreas it is another cause of abdominal pain. The cause of pancreatitis, as per the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com, is usually when digestive enzymes become activated while still in the pancreas, causing the irritation of the cells of the pancreas leading to inflammation. When it comes to pancreatitis, if you are suffering from abdominal pain that is so severe you are unable to find a position in which you are comfortable or are unable to sit still, then this is a sign you need to go to the ER.


A hernia is a weakness or tear in the abdominal muscle wall, which holds the inner lining of the abdomen and the internal organs in place and keeps them inside. The most common type of hernias are inguinal hernias with some of the causes behind them including increased pressure within the abdomen, pre-existing weak spot in the abdominal wall, strenuous activity, pregnancy, straining during urination and bowel movements among others. Signs to go to the ER for a hernia, over and above abdominal pain include if the hernia appears strangulated or the hernia bulge turns red, purple or dark in color. If you have a hernia as well as fever, chills, nausea and vomiting or have blood in your stool then you should also go to the ER as soon as possible.

Intestinal obstruction

This is yet another condition that causes abdominal pain and it is basically a blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through one’s small intestine or large intestine. Common causes of the same include colon cancer, telescoping of the intestine in children, intestinal adhesions as well as other causes such as hernias, impacted feces, Crohn’s disease among others. Intestinal obstruction can lead to serious complications and as such it is recommended that if you are presenting with severe abdominal pain or other symptoms of the same such as appetite loss, constipation, vomiting, abdominal swelling, an inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas among others, then this should be a sign that you need to go to the ER as soon as possible.

The above are 10 causes as far as abdominal pain, with there being more on the topic and then some over at frontlineer.com.


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