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What Causes Abdominal Pain?

Learn what causes abdominal pain from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about stomach problems and digestive disorders.


Abdominal pain is a very broad topic because we have a lot of organs in our abdominal cavity, and all of them can have different types of pain and locations of pain.

When you talk to your doctor about saying you have pain, it's important to talk about the character, if it's a sharp pain or a dull pain or a crampy pain, if it's located in the right, upper quadrant or in the epigastrium, the left, upper quadrant, or left, lower quadrant, or right, lower quadrant, and if it's associated with any alarm symptoms. Most commonly pain within the abdomen which is in the right upper quadrant could be gallbladder pain. Epigastric pain which is right in the middle of your abdomen most likely is a stomach-type pain. On the other side, left, upper quadrant pain most commonly is related to gas pain because that's where a lot of the air rises and causes a lot of stretching.

You can get a lot of pain in that region. When we're talking about the right, lower quadrant, we worry about the appendix because that's one of the most common causes of pain in that area. The left, lower quadrant is most commonly due to diverticular pain. It's important to mention all of those locations and the quality of the pain because it helps your doctor diagnose the cause of the pain and help come up with a treatment for the pain.

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