Causes of Abdominal Pain?

All causes of abdominal pain should be investigated. Severe pain should be investigated without delay to exclude more sinister causes such as cancer. The investigations performed will depend on the history of the presenting complaint, co-existing symptoms and duration of symptoms. A detailed history will often give a clearer idea of the cause of the reported symptoms; the nature and severity of the pain, associated loss of appetite and weight loss; which will ultimately determine the most appropriate investigations to undertake. These investigations could include cross-sectional imaging (CT scan or MRI) or endoscopic examinations (OGD or colonoscopy).  

Types Of Pain

Localised Abdominal Pain: This is when the pain is limited to one particular area of the abdomen. A common example of this would be stomach ulcers.

Cramping Pain: Cramping pain is more often associated with diarrhoea or issues from constipation.

Colic Pain: This is a more sudden pain that can feel like a severe muscle spasm. It can be a symptom of more serious conditions such as gallstones or kidney stones.


Before testing for abdominal pain your doctor may run some physical tests on you to look for swelling and tenderness. Common ways of diagnosing abdominal pain include MRI scans, ultrasounds and x-rays.

NHS Enquiries

NHS appointments require a GP referral

Private Patient Enquiries

07771 600807