Abdominal pain

The list of causes of abdominal pain is endless. It includes diseases that occur within the abdomen, systemic disorders that have nothing to do with it and functional disorders where no abnormalities can be found. Determining the cause can be very challenging. The features of the abdominal pain (e.g. location, nature of the pain, duration, precipitating or relieving factors) are very important in assisting your doctor to determine the cause of the pain.

Acute, severe abdominal pain is usually serious and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. Other concerning associations include unintentional loss of weight, fever, anaemia and gastro-intestinal bleeding.

Abdominal pain that is localized to an area is usually easier to diagnose than diffuse, non-specific pain, or pain that shifts around the abdomen. The abdomen is divided into nine regions in order to assist with description of the location of pain. A list of the common causes, based on where they occur, can be found below.

Abdominal pains

Right hypochondial region Epigastic region Left hypochondrial region
Liver Stomach Spleen
Gallbladder Pancreas Colon
Right lumbar region Umbilical region Left lumbar region
Kidney Pancreas Colon
Colon Small bowel Kidney
Right iliac fossa Suprapubic region Left iliac fossa
Appendix Bladder Colon
Ileum and caecum Pelvic pain Ovary
Ovary   Inguinal hernia