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Abdomen pain – common causes

Abdominal pain

Abdomen also called Pandora’s box because of different organs present and the complex manner in which they function. Hence when pain is felt in abdomen it requires a lot of skill to diagnose the cause of pain and treat the patient effectively. This article’s scope is limited to common causes of pain arising from the abdomen.

Abdomen pain can be either classified on the basis of site of pain (or) duration of pain.

  1. Classification based on site of abdomen pain

Abdomen can be divided into 4 areas namely upper right abdomen, upper left abdomen, lower right abdomen and lower left abdomen. Each of these areas correlates to organs present there. Common diseases that arise from these organs can be due to infection, inflammation, trauma or tumour of the organ involved.Referred Pain abdomen

Area Organ present Cause of pain
UPPER RIGHT ABDOMEN Liver Hepatomegaly, Fatty liver, Hepatitis, Liver abscess and Liver cancer.
Gall Bladder Gall stones, Inflamed gall bladder and Roundworms.
Colon Bowel Obstruction, Functional disorders, Gas accumulation, Spasm, Inflammation and Colon cancer.
UPPER LEFT ABDOMEN Stomach  Gastritis, Stomach ulcer, Stomach cancer.
 Pancreas Pancreatitis, Pancreatic cancer.
Duodenum Diverticulitis and Duodenal ulcer.
Spleen Splenomegaly.
Colon Bowel Obstruction, Functional disorders, Gas accumulation, Spasm, Inflammation and Colon cancer.
LOWER RIGHT ABDOMEN  Appendix  Appendicitis.
 Small Intestine Inflammation, Intestinal Spasm, Functional disorders.
Cecum Intussusception and Bowel obstruction.
Urinary Bladder  UTI and Cystitis.
LOWER LEFT ABDOMEN Sigmoid colon  Sigmoid volvulus, Gas accumulation, Diarrhea, Colitis, Dysentry, Polyp.
Ovaries Ovarian torsion and Ovarian Cyst.


2. Classification based on duration of pain

  •  Acute abdomen pain
  • Chronic abdomen pain
  1. Bowel Perforation
  2. Acute gastritis
  3. Appendicitis
  4. Ovarian Torsion
  5. Pancreatitis
  1. Long standing Ulcer
  2. Stricture
  3. Malignancy


To conclude, abdomen pain has several causes and some of which have serious implications, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor in case of pain in the abdomen so that a timely diagnosis can be made to find the cause of pain and treated accordingly.

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