Abdominal pain is adults is both very common and very difficult to diagnose as there are a very large number of conditions which could potentially be responsible. Most cases of abdominal pain are not caused by a serious problem. It may vary from a mild stomach ache to very severe and acute pain, with the pain rarely indicating clearly what the underlying cause might be.
If there is any concern about the cause of stomach pain you should always get the advice of your medical doctor. Further information about abdominal pain is available at Medline Plus and Wikipedia's Abdominal Pain page.
Cause of Stomach Pain
The type of pain and its location may help indicate what is responsible, for instance abdominal pain is often related to problems within the digestive system and the symptoms may vary with the particular type of problem.
Of non-digestive problems, lower back pain and kidney stones may give pain which appears to be in the abdominal area, although kidney disease and kidney infection do not usually have pain as their primary presenting problem if at all.
The severity of the pain may not indicate the seriousness of the underlying condition which is causing the pain. Early appendicitis and colon cancer may present with fairly mild pain whilst severe pain from wind bloating and the severe cramp like pain of viral gastroenteritis are not serious matters apart from the pain.
A more generalised pain over more than half of the abdomen may point towards indigestion, wind or a stomach infection, although bowel obstruction could be present if the pain worsens. Local pain may be related to the underlying abdominal organ. More persistent pain with a fever may indicate a more serious problem, while very severe pain coming on in waves may point to kidney stones or gallstone.
Kidney pain is more commonly found in the flank and low back areas, with a general kidney ache common from a kidney infection and other kidney pain symptoms including fever, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and dehydration. Some kidney infections however give few indications of their presence. Kidney pain – alcohol may affect the kidneys to some degree but pain is not one of the major presenting symptoms.