Some of the more serious conditions associated with abdominal pain include:
- Acute pancreatitis may cause general, constant and worsening pain in the upper abdomen. Sometimes the pain moves to the upper back. Other possible symptoms are weakness, shortness of breath and nausea.
- Appendicitis starts as general abdominal pain that settles into the lower right side.
- Biliary colic can cause a steady ache in the upper right abdomen. Sometimes the pain spreads to the upper back. Patients may also experience nausea and vomiting.
- Crohn's disease can present symptoms similar to appendicitis. These include pain in the lower right side and bloody diarrhea.
- Diverticulitis can cause moderate pain in the lower left side of the abdomen that grows worse over time.
- Gallstones may produce severe, cramping pain in the lower right part of the abdomen. Pain may spread to the back.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) causes a burning sensation or discomfort after eating. This occurs especially when the patient is lying down or bending over. GERD may also produce pain in the chest that awakens the patient at night. Other symptoms can be very similar to those of a heart attack.
- Hepatitis may cause pain in the upper right abdomen, nausea and vomiting.
- Pancreatic cancer may produce the same symptoms as pancreatitis.