What Causes Abdominal Inflammation?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 24 January 2019
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Abdominal inflammation is characterized by swelling, irritation, and pain that affects any of the organs or structures found in the abdominal region of the body and can have a variety of causes. Some of the most common reasons for inflammation include appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and gallstones. Additional contributing factors may include intestinal blockages, infection, or the use of certain medications. Those who have a compromised immune system, liver disease, or kidney failure may have an increased risk of developing inflammation involving the abdomen. Since some of the potential causes of abdominal inflammation can prove fatal, the condition should be evaluated and closely monitored by a qualified medical professional.

Appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix, is a common cause of inflammation. Some of the most frequently reported symptoms of appendicitis include nausea, vomiting, and pain in the lower right area of the abdomen. Treatment for this condition almost always involves the immediate surgical removal of the appendix in an effort to prevent the life-threatening complications of rupture. If the appendix ruptures, infectious material can leak into the abdomen, causing widespread infection and death.


Irritable bowel syndrome, also referred to as spastic colon, is an intestinal condition which causes symptoms such as inflammation, pain, and alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea. A combination of dietary changes, lifestyle modification, and the use of over-the-counter or prescription medication is often used to manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, although there is no reliable cure which guarantees that the symptoms will not return periodically.

Gallbladder disease or the presence of gallstones may lead to abdominal inflammation as well as pain in the abdomen or right shoulder. In mild cases where the stones are small and are not causing a blockage, changes in dietary habits as well as periodic medical monitoring may be all that is needed. Ultimately, the gallbladder is usually removed surgically in order to ease symptoms and prevent further complications.

Intestinal blockages, abdominal infections, and the long-term use of some medications may sometimes lead to inflammation. Those with liver disease or compromised immune systems are also prone to experiencing bloating and inflammation of the abdominal area. Certain types of dialysis used for patients with insufficient kidney function may also produce swelling. A doctor should be consulted any time this condition is present so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and an individualized treatment plan can be developed.


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Post 3
Does celiac disease cause abdominal inflammation or intestinal inflammation? How can I tell these two apart?
Post 2

@ddljohn-- Kudos to you for figuring that out on your own.

I also have a lot of abdominal inflammation and food can worsen it, but mine is caused by peptic ulcers. So treatment is more difficult. I still have to avoid acidic foods though because acidic foods make the inflammation worse.

Post 1

I've been experiencing severe abdominal inflammation for the past several months and I think that the cause is gluten.

I reduced the amount of bread in my diet and started to feel better. My stomach was not as bloated anymore and I didn't feel tired like usual. I went back to eating bread for a few days and all my symptoms came back. I had so much inflammation and bloating, that it was difficult to breathe.

It has been four days since I cut out all gluten from my diet. The inflammation is gone. It's quite unbelievable that food was my problem.

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