What Is a Headache and a Stomach Ache?


Quick Answer

A headache is pain or discomfort that occurs in the head, scalp or upper neck, and a stomach ache is a lingering or sudden sharp pain that occurs in the abdominal area. The abdominal area is often referred to as the "stomach," but this area contains multiple vital organs, and the pain can be coming from any one of them, notes MedlinePlus.

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Common causes of abdominal pain include food allergies or intolerance, stomach flu, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Other possible and more serious causes of abdominal pain include kidney stones, bowel blockage, inflammation of the gall bladder or colon, ulcers, a pancreatic infection or appendicitis, according to MedlinePlus. Severe pain does not always mean there is a serious problem, and mild abdominal pain does not mean that a serious problem does not exist, so it is essential to contact a physician if the stomach pain persists.

Headaches are often caused by tight muscles in the scalp, neck, shoulders and jaw, notes the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Headaches that develop for this reason are called tension headaches, and they can be related to anxiety, stress or depression. A headache can be a dull, mild pain, or it can be a pounding, throbbing, pulsating pain. Headaches can also be very painful. Migraine headaches, in particular, are severely painful and are often accompanied by other symptoms, including sensitivity to light or vision changes. Some headaches are a sign of a more serious problem, so it is important to seek medical help if the headaches are intense and persistent or have developed due to a head injury.

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