What Are the Causes of Persistent Stomach Pain?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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Persistent stomach pain may be caused by numerous factors, such as a stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis, or Chrohn's disease. Some cases of chronic stomach pain may not be serious and may be caused by stress or poor eating habits. Other causes of persistent abdominal pain, however, could be pancreatic or liver cancer, which are extremely serious and may be life threatening. A condition known as diverticulitis may cause repeated stomach pain, and, in some cases, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Chronic stomach pain can cause extreme distress and disrupt daily life. This is why, when an individual suffers from persistent stomach pain, he should see a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. One common cause of persistent stomach pain is ulcerative colitis. This inflammatory bowel disease may cause sharp pain or abdominal cramps as well as diarrhea.

Some patients with ulcerative colitis may also experience blood in the stool. During an extreme flare-up, fever may also be present. Ulcerative colitis may be diagnosed by performing a biopsy of the colon, as well as a colonoscopy. Modification of diet, as well as the use of medication, may help lessen the severity of stomach pain and other sysptoms.


An intestinal obstruction can cause extreme abdominal pain, as well as other symptoms. When the small intestine becomes blocked, due to a hernia, tumor, or other condition, food may become lodged and unable to pass through the intestinal tract. This can cause toxins to build, leading to infection and serious complications. An intestinal blockage may also cause extreme nausea and vomiting, and this requires prompt medical treatment.

Appendicitis may cause persistent stomach pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fever. Appendicitis, which is an inflammation of the appendix, generally produces pain in the lower right side of the abdomen. A ruptured appendix can be life threatening if medical intervention is not given promptly.

Viral gastroenteritis, otherwise known as an intestinal or stomach virus, generally will cause abdominal cramps, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Viral gastroenteritis will occasionally cause chills and fever, although in most cases, fever will be mild. Most cases of gastroenteritis will typically last anywhere from 48 to 72 hours.

A condition known as endometriosis can often cause persistent stomach pain in many women who are of childbearing age. This condition occurs when uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, and sometimes in the abdomen or stomach. Along with the pain, some women also experience heavy bleeding during their menstrual cycle. Endometriosis can be treated with medication in many cases, although sometimes surgery may be necessary.

Gallstones or gallbladder disease may cause symptoms such as persistent and severe pain in the upper left abdominal area. In many cases, however, gallstones may be present without any symptoms appearing for many years. In many cases, gallbladder disease is treated by removal of the gallbladder.


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