Abdominal pain is any pain felt from chest to groin. It is often referred to as belly or stomach pain and can have many causes. The bladder, liver, spleen, appendix and adrenal glands are all located in the abdomen. Abdominal pain, therefore, can be attributed to any of these organs.
According to Medline Plus, the organs related to digestion, such as the esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and both the small and large intestines, can cause abdominal pain. Conditions like acid reflux or ulcers may cause varying levels of pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. Hepatitis can also inflame the liver, causing pain in the stomach.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, conditions that inflame the upper abdomen, such as gastritis, pancreatitis, inflammation of the gall bladder, and passage of gall stones, frequently cause pain. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, cancer can also affect areas of the stomach such as the bile duct, gall bladder and pancreas.
There is a main aorta that runs down through the inside of the abdomen. If this artery swells during events such as an abdominal aortic aneurysm, abdominal pain can occur. Blocked arteries or veins may also cause pain in the abdomen.
The appendix is one common cause of extreme abdominal pain. Located on the lower right side of the abdomen, the appendix can become infected and possibly explode, which may be fatal if not treated. If someone is experiencing lower-right abdominal pain, she must immediately contact a doctor in case it is an infection in the appendix.
The American College of Gastroenterology also points out kidney issues that can cause abdominal pain. The bean-shaped kidneys come in pairs and are located far into the abdominal cavity. Kidney stones, which involve painful passing of stones through urine, and urinary tract infections may develop in the kidneys. Tumors or other forms of cancer are additional possibilities that can cause abdominal pain.
Female Reproductive Organs
Women may develop pelvic problems that can cause pain and pressure in the lower abdomen. Fibroid tumors of the uterus and malignant tumors of the uterus or cervix can cause pain. Ovarian cysts and cancer, infection of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and scars also can cause this type of pain. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, a woman may also experience lower abdominal pain if she has an ectopic pregnancy.
Other Areas of the Body
Pain in the abdomen does not always start there. Infections throughout the body, such as pneumonia, may also cause pain in the abdomen. Myocardial infarctions, irritation of the lining around the lungs, or blood clots in the lungs may also have this effect. Shingles, hernias, nerve irritation, and injury are also common culprits of abdominal pain and pressure.