Symptoms and Signs of Abdominal Pain in Adults

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/22/2021

Doctor's Notes on Abdominal Pain in Adults

Abdominal pain in adults has many different causes. These can include infections of the gastrointestinal tract, peptic ulcer disease, pancreatitisdiverticulitisappendicitishepatitis, gallbladder disease, and kidney stones. Sometimes, ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids in women, testicular problems in men, heart attack, skin rashes, or urinary tract infections can be causes of abdominal pain in adults.

Signs and symptoms associated with abdominal pain depend on the cause of the pain. Symptoms can include:

Other possible symptoms include:

  • blood in the stool or urine,
  • abdominal masses, 
  • testicular pain
  • back pain,
  • pain with urination,
  • pain with sexual intercourse, and
  • discharge from the penis or vagina.

What Is the Treatment for Abdominal Pain in Adults?

Treatment for abdominal pain in adults varies widely, depending on the cause of the pain and the conditions that may be causing the pain. It is important to determine whether the pain is coming from the digestive system or is related to another condition such as a heart attack, urinary tract infection, or endometriosis. Treatments may include:

  • Antibiotics for infections
  • Antacids or other medications for indigestion and heartburn
  • Medications to reduce inflammation
  • Dietary changes for food allergies or intolerance
  • Laxatives or antidiarrheal medications
  • Surgery for acute emergencies such as appendicitis or bowel obstruction

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.