What the Location of Abdominal Pain Means | 9 Reasons Why Specific Parts of the Belly Are Aching

What the Location of Abdominal Pain Means | 9 Reasons Why Specific Parts of the Belly Are Aching

Bellyaches are not the best feeling. But if you feel pain in just certain areas of your abdomen, that could point to a particular condition.


Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 19, 2021. It has since been updated.

We take feeling normal and energetic for granted quite often. It's when certain parts of our body start to ache that we realize that maybe there's something wrong and that we should have looked out for the signs earlier.


Especially when it comes to bellyaches. More often than not, if you feel pain in specific parts of your abdomen, your body is telling you that there is an issue with one particular organ in your body. According to Healthline, abdominal pain can be crampy, achy, dull, intermittent or sharp.

Knowing where the pain radiates from can make it easier for a doctor to diagnose your problem. But before you can get to the doctor, here's what a bellyache in various areas of your body can mean:


1. Lower abdominal area: Gluten intolerance

Gluten Intolerance

Symptoms: Diarrhea, constipation, smelly feces, bloating, abdominal pain, skin problems, unexplained weight loss, depression.

Causes: Eating products made from gluten, such as bread and pasta, can trigger an unpleasant reaction in your body. Even wheat-based products like Play-Doh or cosmetics can cause the symptoms to flare up.

2. Dull upper abdominal pain: Excess gas

Excess Gas


Symptoms: Intermittent pain, swollen stomach, the feeling of movement in your stomach, burping, smelly flatulence.

Causes: Eating or swallowing too quickly can cause this. Fizzy drinks, beer, dairy products, and beans can cause the formation of excessive gases in the stomach.

3. Pain in the lower chest area or top of the abdominal area: Heartburn


Symptoms: Burning pain in your lower chest area and top of your abdomen, a weird acidic taste in your throat.

Causes: A lot of food can cause heartburn. Some of them include greasy food, spicy food, alcohol (particularly red wine), raw onions, chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee, caffeinated drinks. Cigarettes can worsen the symptoms.


4. Cramping and diarrhea: Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)

Stomach Flu

Symptoms: Watery (usually non-bloody) diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, occasional muscle aches or headache, low-grade fever.

Causes: Drinking contaminated water or food, or touching items that were touched by an infected person can bring on the stomach flu.

5. Severe pain in the upper abdominal area: Ulcers


Symptoms: Changes in appetite, nausea, bloody or dark stools, unexplained weight loss, vomiting, chest pain.

Causes: Due to the lining of your stomach being damaged, strong painkillers, smoking, and too much alcohol could cause ulcers. Even infrequent sleeping times, excessive stress and unhealthy eating can lead to stomach ulcers.


6. Lower right abdominal pain: Appendicitis


Symptoms: Sharp pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that moves to the lower right abdomen, abdominal swelling, high fever, the inability to pass gas.

Causes: This dangerous condition can be caused by blocked openings inside the appendix, appendix wall tissues that are enlarged (due to an infection in the gastrointestinal tract or in another part of the body), parasites, or growths that can infect your appendiceal lumen or damage your abdomen.


7. Severe pain in the upper right abdomen and under the shoulder: Gallstone


Symptoms: Severe and sudden pain in the upper right abdomen, fever, shivering, nausea.

Causes: There are various ways gallstones can be formed. Being overweight or obese, being sedentary, pregnancy, consuming high-fat and high-cholesterol foods, not eating enough fiber-rich foods, heredity, diabetes, and taking medications that contain estrogen can also lead to gallstone formation.

8. Cramping and bloating: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Symptoms: Cramping and bloating in your belly area.

Causes: Though the exact reason IBS occurs has not been found as of yet, a certain combination of abnormal gastrointestinal tract movements, increased awareness of bodily functions, and miscommunication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract can cause your stomach to become sensitive, leading to the condition.

9. Mild pain and indigestion: Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance

Symptoms: Diarrhea, increased gas, constipation, headaches, fatigue, loss of concentration, muscle, and joint pain, mouth ulcers, trouble urinating.

Causes: Usually, this condition can be caused due to deficiency of the intestinal enzyme lactase. The function of this enzyme is to split lactose into two smaller sugars (glucose and galactose), thus allowing lactose to be absorbed from the intestine. However, without the enzyme, the lactose can upset your stomach.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to immediately visit a doctor. They will be able to provide a treatment solution so as to avoid the condition from worsening.





Cover image source: Illustration

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.