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What causes stomach pain?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of stomach pain include indigestion, constipation or food poisoning. A stomach virus or menstrual cramps are also causes of stomach pain, states WebMD.

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Additional causes of stomach pain are irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies and kidney stones. If stomach pain is severe or accompanied by a fever, dehydration, vomiting or an inability to pass stool, it is best to contact a health care provider as soon as possible, advises WebMD. Occurrence of any one of these symptoms may indicate an internal problem that requires treatment.

Any stomach pain accompanied by vomiting blood, passing bloody stool, difficulty breathing or during pregnancy requires immediate treatment, says WebMD. Less serious causes of stomach pain include gas pains or a pulled muscle. The location of stomach pain often serves as an indicator for the cause, explains Mayo Clinic. Certain conditions are associated with upper or lower abdominal pain.

To determine the cause of the pain, a physician performs a thorough physical exam, discusses the symptoms being experienced and ask questions about the type of pain. A health care provider may include tests such as a stool, blood or urine sample. Barium swallows, enemas, X-rays and ultrasounds are also common, according to WebMD.

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