What’s Causing This Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea?

Abdominal pain and diarrhea are common symptoms that can occur together or separately. They can be caused by a range of conditions, from minor problems to serious illnesses. In some cases, they may go away on their own, while in others, treatment is necessary. It’s important to understand the possible causes of these symptoms and when to seek medical attention.

One possible cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea is a gastrointestinal (GI) infection. This occurs when harmful bacteria, viruses, or parasites enter the body through contaminated food or water. GI infections can cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever. While most cases of GI infections are mild and go away on their own, some can be serious and require medical treatment.

Another possible cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. There are two main types of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. While there is no cure for IBD, there are treatments available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Other potential causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea include food intolerances and sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and certain medications. It’s important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the cause of these symptoms and receive appropriate treatment.

Causes of Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections such as salmonella, E. coli, and shigella can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. These infections are usually contracted through contaminated food or water.

Viral Infections

Viral infections such as norovirus and rotavirus can also cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. These infections are highly contagious and can be easily spread through close contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms. The two main types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common condition in which the body is unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can cause a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain and diarrhea. Common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, and soy.


Stress can have a significant impact on digestive health and can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea in some individuals. Stress management techniques, such as exercise and relaxation techniques, can help to reduce the effects of stress on the digestive system.


Certain medications, such as antibiotics and antacids, can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea as a side effect. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider if experiencing these symptoms while taking medication.

Food Poisoning


Food poisoning is caused by consuming contaminated food or water. These contaminants may include bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins. Common sources of contamination include undercooked meat and poultry, raw eggs or shellfish, unpasteurized dairy products, and contaminated fruits and vegetables.


Symptoms of food poisoning may include abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Other symptoms may include fever, chills, and dehydration. Symptoms may appear within hours or days of consuming contaminated food and typically last for a few days to a week.


If you suspect food poisoning, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Over-the-counter medications may be used to relieve symptoms. In severe cases, medical attention may be necessary. Antibiotics may be prescribed for certain bacterial infections.

Prevention is key to avoiding food poisoning. Proper food handling and preparation, including cooking meat to the appropriate temperature and washing hands and surfaces regularly, can help reduce the risk of contamination.

  • Cook meat to the appropriate temperature
  • Wash hands and surfaces regularly
  • Avoid cross-contamination by separating raw meat, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly

If you suspect that you’ve consumed contaminated food, it’s important to report it to your local health department. This can help prevent future outbreaks and keep your community safe.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. It is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea and constipation. While the cause of IBS is not entirely understood, it is believed to be a result of a combination of factors, including abnormalities in the muscle contractions of the intestines, problems with the nervous system, and changes in gut bacteria.

See also  How Cbd Oil Is Manufactured?

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The symptoms of IBS vary from person to person, but they typically include abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or alternating between the two. Some people may also experience excessive gas, mucus in their stools, or a feeling of incomplete bowel movements. Symptoms may be triggered or worsened by certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, or other factors.

Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

While there is no cure for IBS, there are a variety of treatments available that can help manage symptoms. These may include dietary changes, such as avoiding certain foods that trigger symptoms, and increasing fiber intake. Medications may also be prescribed to help with symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain. In addition, stress-reducing techniques such as relaxation exercises or cognitive behavioral therapy may also be helpful for some individuals with IBS.

  • Dietary changes
  • Medications
  • Stress-reducing techniques

It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for you based on your individual symptoms, triggers, and overall health.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of chronic inflammatory disorders that primarily affect the digestive tract. The most common forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions are characterized by flare-ups of symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of IBD is unknown, but it is thought to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People who have a family history of IBD are more likely to develop the condition. Other risk factors include smoking, stress, and a diet high in fat and processed foods.


There is currently no cure for IBD, but treatment can alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and antibiotics may be prescribed. In more severe cases, surgery to remove the affected part of the intestine may be necessary.

Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding trigger foods and managing stress, can also be helpful in managing IBD. It is important for people with IBD to work closely with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan.


IBD can lead to a number of complications, including bowel obstruction, malnutrition, and an increased risk of colon cancer. It is important for people with IBD to have regular follow-up visits with their healthcare provider to monitor for these potential complications.

Overall, while IBD can be a challenging condition to manage, with proper treatment and care, people with IBD can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.



Gastroenteritis refers to the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, typically caused by a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection. It affects the stomach and intestines, leading to symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


The most common cause of gastroenteritis is a viral infection, such as norovirus or rotavirus. Bacterial infections like Salmonella and E. coli can also cause gastroenteritis, as can parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The infection is usually contracted through contaminated food or water, or by coming into contact with an infected person or surface.


The symptoms of gastroenteritis usually start within one to three days of infection, and can last for several days. They typically include stomach pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be watery or bloody. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, and muscle aches.


Treatment for gastroenteritis typically involves rest, staying hydrated, and avoiding solid food for a period of time. Over-the-counter medications like anti-diarrheal drugs may be used, but antibiotics are generally not prescribed unless there is evidence of bacterial infection. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to prevent dehydration or to administer intravenous fluids and electrolytes.

In summary, gastroenteritis is a common condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract, causing symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is typically caused by a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection, and is usually contracted through contaminated food or water. Treatment involves rest, hydration and avoiding solid food, and may include medication or hospitalization in severe cases.

Celiac Disease

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a condition where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In people with celiac disease, gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, causing a range of digestive symptoms and malabsorption of nutrients.

Symptoms of celiac disease

The symptoms of celiac disease can vary widely, but often include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and weight loss. Many people with celiac disease also experience fatigue, anemia, bone pain, and skin rashes. Some people with celiac disease may not have any noticeable symptoms at all.

Diagnosis and treatment

Celiac disease is typically diagnosed through blood tests, followed by an endoscopy to examine the small intestine. Treatment primarily involves a strict gluten-free diet, which can help to relieve symptoms and heal the intestinal lining. Individuals with celiac disease may also need to take additional supplements to address any nutrient deficiencies caused by malabsorption.

Management and outlook

With proper management and treatment, most individuals with celiac disease can live normal, healthy lives. However, it’s important to maintain a strict gluten-free diet to avoid long-term complications such as osteoporosis, infertility, and an increased risk of certain cancers. It’s also important to work with a healthcare provider to monitor nutrient levels and ensure that any complications or issues are promptly addressed.

See also  Supplements for Weight Loss: Do They Work?



Abdominal pain and diarrhea can be caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria present in your gut. This can disturb the balance of your intestinal bacteria and cause diarrhea. Some specific antibiotics known to cause this side effect include clindamycin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are widely used to relieve pain and inflammation. They are available over-the-counter and in prescription strength. However, prolonged use of NSAIDs can lead to stomach irritation, ulcers, and bleeding, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Chemotherapy drugs

Chemotherapy or cancer-fighting drugs can also cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. This is because they target both cancer cells and healthy cells, including the lining of your intestines. Chemotherapy drugs, such as 5-fluorouracil, capecitabine, and irinotecan, can cause diarrhea as a side effect.


Overuse of laxatives can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Although they can provide short-term relief from constipation, continued use of laxatives to maintain regular bowel movements can lead to dependency and can cause damage to the digestive system.

  • Try to avoid long-term use of laxatives and talk to your doctor about alternative treatments if constipation is a frequent issue for you.


Probiotics are live microorganisms that help maintain the natural balance of bacteria in your gut. Taking probiotics in supplement form can help restore your gut flora and alleviate abdominal pain and diarrhea caused by antibiotics, lactose intolerance, and other digestive issues.

Probiotics Natural Food Sources Probiotic Supplements
  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Bio-Kult Probiotic Capsules
  • Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics



Gallstones are solid deposits that form in the gallbladder, a small organ located just beneath the liver. They can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball and may occur singly or in clusters. Gallstones can cause a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain and diarrhea.


Gallstones form when substances in bile, a liquid produced by the liver to aid in digestion, crystallize and harden in the gallbladder. Risk factors for developing gallstones include being female, obese, over the age of 60, and having a family history of the condition.


The most common symptom of gallstones is severe abdominal pain, typically felt in the upper right part of the abdomen and sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea may also occur, as well as fever and chills if an infection is present.


In many cases, gallstones do not cause any symptoms and do not require treatment. However, if symptoms are present, treatment options may include pain medication, surgery to remove the gallbladder, or a procedure to break up the gallstones using sound waves. A low-fat diet may also be recommended to help manage symptoms.


Symptoms of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is a painful condition that affects the appendix, a small, finger-like structure attached to the large intestine. The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain that worsens over time. This pain usually starts near the navel and then moves to the lower right side of the abdomen. Other symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Treatment for Appendicitis

The treatment for appendicitis usually involves surgery to remove the appendix. This is called an appendectomy and is done as soon as possible to prevent the appendix from bursting. If the appendix bursts, it can cause a serious infection in the abdomen, which can be life-threatening. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed before surgery to reduce the risk of infection. After surgery, patients may need to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover. They will need to take it easy for a while and avoid strenuous activities until they are fully healed.

In conclusion, if you experience abdominal pain and other symptoms associated with appendicitis, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. The earlier the condition is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome will be.


What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a condition in which small pouches or sacs, called diverticula, form in the lining of the colon and become inflamed or infected.

Symptoms of Diverticulitis

The symptoms of diverticulitis can vary. They may include:

  • Pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea

In some cases, diverticulitis may cause rectal bleeding.

Causes of Diverticulitis

The exact cause of diverticulitis is unknown. However, it is thought to be caused by a combination of factors including:

  • Aging
  • A low-fiber diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity

Treatment for Diverticulitis

The treatment for diverticulitis depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with rest, changes to the diet, and antibiotics. More severe cases may require hospitalization and surgery.

Mild cases Severe cases
Rest Hospitalization
Diet changes Surgery

In some cases, diverticulitis can lead to complications, such as abscesses, perforations, or fistulas. Prompt treatment is important to prevent these complications.

If you are experiencing symptoms of diverticulitis, it is important to see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

Ulcerative Colitis


Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine (colon) and rectum. It causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the colon, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.

See also  The 8 Best CBD Gummies for Anxiety in 2023


The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but it is believed to result from an abnormal immune response that attacks the tissues of the colon. Other factors such as genetics, environmental factors, and a person’s microbiome may play a role in development of the condition.


Symptoms of ulcerative colitis may include abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea that may be bloody. People may also experience fatigue, weight loss, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, complications such as colon cancer and severe dehydration may occur.


Treatment for ulcerative colitis may include medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants. In some cases, surgery to remove the colon may be necessary. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet and manage stress to help manage symptoms.

Overall, ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. However, with proper treatment and management, people with the condition can lead relatively normal lives.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a bacterial infection that affects the reproductive organs in women. It usually occurs when bacteria from sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, enter the vagina and spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.


The symptoms of PID can vary, but some common ones include abdominal pain, fever, painful urination, and heavy vaginal discharge. Some women may also experience irregular periods, pain during sex, and nausea.


PID can be treated with antibiotics, which will usually clear up the infection within a few days. However, if the infection has caused severe damage to the reproductive organs, surgery may be required. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you have PID, as untreated PID can lead to serious complications such as infertility, chronic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.


To prevent PID, practicing safe sex by using condoms and getting regular STI testing is important. If you experience any symptoms of an STI or PID, it’s important to get tested and treated as soon as possible. Avoiding douching and maintaining good vaginal hygiene can also reduce your risk of developing PID.

Questions and Answers:

What are the common causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea?

Abdominal pain and diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors such as infections, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.

How can I tell if my abdominal pain and diarrhea are caused by a serious condition?

If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, if you have a fever or bloody diarrhea, or if you experience severe abdominal pain, you should consult a doctor. These can be signs of a more serious condition such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.

What are some home remedies that can help alleviate abdominal pain and diarrhea?

Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, clear broths, and herbal tea, can help prevent dehydration. Eating small, frequent meals that are low in fat and easy to digest can help reduce symptoms. Probiotic supplements or foods, such as yogurt, can help restore balance to the gut microbiome. Chamomile tea or peppermint oil may also help ease cramping.


John Davis

This article about abdominal pain and diarrhea caught my attention. As a man, I’ve experienced these symptoms before and it’s never a pleasant experience. It’s good to know the different causes of these symptoms, such as food allergies, infections, or even stress. It’s important to take note of what triggers these symptoms and to seek medical attention if they persist. I found it helpful that the article suggests changes in diet and lifestyle, as well as over-the-counter medications, to alleviate the discomfort. However, I would have liked to see more information on when it’s necessary to seek professional medical attention. Overall, this article is informative and helpful in understanding abdominal pain and diarrhea, which can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life.

Megan Taylor

Reading this article was very helpful for me as I have been experiencing abdominal pain and diarrhea for some time now. It’s relieving to know that there are so many causes for these symptoms and it’s not always something serious. The article provides great insight into the different causes and their symptoms, which has helped me narrow down the possible causes in my case. It’s also reassuring to know that some of the causes can be treated by simple changes to my diet or lifestyle. Overall, this article is a great resource for anyone experiencing abdominal pain and diarrhea and seeking to understand the possible causes.

Emily Johnson

As a reader, I found this article to be extremely informative and helpful. Abdominal pain and diarrhea can be so uncomfortable and disruptive to our daily lives, so it’s important to understand what could be causing these symptoms. The article did a great job of outlining potential causes, from food intolerances to more serious conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. I especially appreciated the advice on when to seek medical attention, as it can be difficult to know when symptoms require a doctor’s input. Overall, this article is a great resource for anyone looking to understand their gastrointestinal symptoms and take proactive steps towards feeling better.