Besides pregnancy, a fluttering sensation in the lower abdominal area could be caused by gas or indigestion, an infection, virus or food poisoning. Stress also causes fluttering, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Indigestion and gas trapped in the intestines are often common causes of lower abdominal fluttering sensations, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Gas within the digestive tract is typically caused by the breakdown of foods in the large intestine and by swallowing excess air. People who smoke, chew gum, drink carbonated beverages, or eat or drink too fast often swallow more air, which results in gas that causes fluttering in the lower abdominal area. Spoiled foods and an excess of carbohydrates can increase the risk for indigestion as the small intestines do not fully digest many sugars, starches and fiber found in foods.
Fluttering in the lower abdominal area is also an indicator of stress, especially when accompanied by cold hands, pounding heartbeats and dry mouth, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fluttering, which is often described as butterflies, occurs when stress hormones known as cortisol shut the stomach down and impair the body's ability to digest food. When the digestive tract is working overtime, many people feel nauseated and experience fluttering sensations caused by stress.