Abdominal pain, also known as a stomach ache, Is a symptom associated with both non-serious and serious medical issues. Since the abdomen contains most of the body's vital organs, it can be an indicator of a wide variety of diseases. Given that, approaching the examination of a person and planning of a differential diagnosis is extremely important.
Common causes of pain in the abdomen include gastroenteritis and irritable bowel syndrome. About 15% of people have a more serious underlying condition such as appendicitis, leaking or ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, diverticulitis, or ectopic pregnancy. In a third of cases, the exact cause is unclear.
In Chinese medicine, abdominal pain around and below the navel indicates disharmonies of the intestines, bladder, uterus or kidney; abdominal pain above the navel indicates disharmony of the spleen and intestines; pain of the side of the abdomen indicates disharmony of the liver and gall bladder.