Digestive health

Stomach cramps and abdominal pain

Learn more about stomach cramps and abdominal pain problems and how to solve them.

Treating stomach cramps and abdominal pain 

Although located in different areas of the abdomen, stomach cramps and abdominal pain are often described as ‘stomach aches’. While the source of the pain is generally in the digestive system, it can also be referred pain, that is, pain that is experienced ‘elsewhere’ than the affected organ (e.g. a gynecological or urinary problem). But there’s usually no need to worry: stomach cramps and abdominal pain are very common and most of the time, they are minor and fleeting. 


Abdominal pain can be more or less intense and feel like cramps, sharp pains or contractions, among other things.   

It can also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as diarrhea , constipation, nausea, vomiting, etc. 

Common causes

Abdominal pain can have a variety of causes that are not always related to the digestive system. In fact, referred pain is pain that is perceived at a location that is different than the site of origin. While the source of abdominal pain is in the bowel, stomach or liver, it can also signal a gynecological, urinary, cardiac, pulmonary or renal illness.   

Commun causes of abdominal pain include:

  • Constipation;  
  • Diarrhea;  
  • Gastric reflux;
  • Gastric ulcers;
  • Gastrointestinal infection (gastroenteritis or food poisoning);
  • Urinary tract infection;
  • Ectopic pregnancy;
  • Ovarian cysts;  
  • Menstrual pain;
  • Kidney stones or gallstones;
  • An inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis);  
  • Cancer;
  • A problem requiring emergency surgery (appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, etc.)  

Make a note of when you feel pain and try to identify what happened before symptoms appeared or got worse (after moving a certain way, after eating, etc.). Try to determine where the pain is located in your abdomen and talk to your Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist or another healthcare professional to get advice about your condition.   


Recommendations and treatment for abdominal pain can vary greatly depending on its cause. So, it is strongly suggested to seek advice from your Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist. 

Medical emergencies and chronic illnesses

  • You should seek immediate medical attention if you have one or more of the following symptoms:  
  • Your general condition is deteriorating;  
  • You have sudden and sharp pain;  
  • The pain is intolerable;
  • Your pain lasts for more than a week;
  • Your abdominal pain is accompanied by chest, neck or shoulder pain;
  • There is blood in your stool or vomit;  
  • Your abdomen is hard, tight and sensitive to the touch. 

Persisting abdominal pain and cramps can also signal a chronic illness such as: 

  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Celiac disease (gluten intolerance);
  • Diabetes;
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease;
  • Food intolerance.

Your Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist has the expertise to answer all your questions.  

This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist-owners cannot be held responsible for this information. The information was true and accurate at the time of publication, but it is subject to change.

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