Generalized Discomfort Or Pain In The Abdomen

What Causes Generalized Abdominal Pain?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of generalized abdominal pain we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow generalized abdominal pain to develop?"

Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind generalized abdominal pain consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to generalized abdominal pain.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • West Nile Virus
  • Glomerulonephritis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent unexplained fevers
edema of the hands
scrotal edema
ulcerative colitis in remission
congestive heart failure
regular unexplained vomiting
low dairy product consumption
meal-induced pain for over a month
edema of the ankles/lower legs
itchy skin
regular unexplained nausea
... and more than 90 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of generalized abdominal pain:
Cause Probability Status
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 93% Confirm
Nephrotic Syndrome 21% Unlikely
Congestive Heart Failure 21% Unlikely
Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects 3% Ruled out
West Nile Virus 2% Ruled out
Ulcerative Colitis 1% Ruled out
Glomerulonephritis 0% Ruled out
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate abdominal pain unaffected by eating, abdominal pain reduced by eating or abdominal pain increased by eating, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you experience general abdominal discomfort or pain that is difficult to pinpoint?
Possible responses:
→ No / can pinpoint / only after meals / don't know
→ Occasional mild discomfort
→ Frequent mild and/or occasional moderate pain
→ Frequent moderate and/or occasional severe pain
→ Frequent or constant severe pain
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate mild abdominal discomfort, moderate abdominal pain, significant abdominal pain or severe abdominal pain, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
A Potentially Urgent Medical Need

Severe acute or prolonged abdominal pain is a possible symptom of many serious conditions.  You are advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible, unless you already know the cause of the pain.

Carcinoid Cancer

Abdominal pain may occur alone or in combination with other symptoms such as diarrhea and/or flushing and can be controlled with pain medication.

Congestive Heart Failure

Accumulation of fluid (due to congestive heart failure) in the liver and intestines may cause nausea, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.


This occurs in a minority of patients, especially in conjunction with an episode of macro-hematuria.

Lactose Intolerance

Recurrent abdominal pain is a symptom of lactose intolerance.