Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea

There are numerous causes for abdominal pain. It may originate from stomach, liver, kidney, pancreas, abdominal wall etc. But the pain accompanied with watery stools is usually indicative of intestinal disorders.


Common causes for such symptoms are

1) Parasites like giardia – presents with abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and flatulence. Ruled out by negative stool test.
2) Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease) – ruled out by colonoscopy, CT scan and lack of systemic symptoms like fever and weight loss
3) Colon cancer – normally is accompanied by weight loss and ruled out by negative colonoscopy
4) Diverticular disease – ruled out by negative colonoscopy
5) Malabsorption syndromes – Usually accompanied by foul smelling greasy stools. Malabsorption is confirmed by specialized chemical tests like D-xylose test, glycocholic breath test, triolein breath test, bentiromide and secretin tests. Sometimes small intestinal biopsy is also required. Also needs to rule out lactase defficiency that typically gets aggravated by dairy products.
6) Chronic mesenteric insufficiency – presents as dull cramps in central abdominal area soon after meals. Occasional diarrhea and weight loss are other symptoms. Confirmed by mesenteric angiography. It is unlikely since your pain is not related to meals.
7) Rarely, endocrine disorders like hyperthyroidism may present with such symptoms though diarrhea is mostly painless. This is confirmed by thyroid function tests. Diabetic enteropathy may cause gastrointestinal symptoms like delayed gastric emptying, diarrhea or malabsorption. But abdominal pain is uncommon with diabetes related gastrointestinal problems.
8) If everything is ruled out, then the disease entity called IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is considered. IBS is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, altered bowel habits and absence of any detectable organic pathology. Bowel habits alteration normally includes alternating diarrhea and constipation, but either of these may present alone. The cause of IBS is still elusive but has some relation to stress. Treatment includes avoidance of stress, intake of dietary fibers like metamucil, loperamide and dicyclomine.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea

  1. Bopaiah

    After having a non veg biryani at a local hotel..with in half an hour ..there was discomfort & irritation in abdomen urge to reach out to toilet . I had to control for another half an hour with difficulty..to find one on the way..further I could pass out eatery stool & the evening it was more painful during urge continued by just mucus coated with red blood.

  2. Bopaiah

    It was a watery stool (not eatery) other wise I have a normal metobolism. I am 51 years of age.
    There is irritation & pain at the lower abdomen & inner rectum area.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This appears to be a clear case of infection in your gut, likely to be from infected food you had.

      Better to let your body flush the infection out of it by its own. You may need to go to the toilet more often, however, it’s nature’s way to remove the infection from the body.

      If you get fever, chills or continued blood in stool, you need to see a doctor. Antibiotics would be required. For now, have a light diet, that’s easily digestible. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated.

      You may take over the counter anta acids 2 to 3 times a day. This would relieve your stomach pain.

  3. Km

    I am male 35 y
    About a month ago I ate two fried fish along with its bones in late night dinner. On the second day I got loose motions. They were watery. I don’t see any blood stains in that . I took tablet for motions and waited for one week. They are stopping if I took the tablet and are again coming when stopped.
    I went to doctor a week later and he gave some tablets. They didn’t stop for that also.
    A week later I again went and this time he wrote tablets and asked to take them before meals. I took great care in Eating food avoiding all spices. Till now if I make very little changes in food they are again starting.
    I don’t have any abdominal pains or cramps. I loose a little bit of weight also .
    I suffered from typhoid two times in a span of six months in my teens. From that time I have problem with my digestion. I.e., if I eat any meat or any high spiced food or a very heavy meal I have problem in digestion and o have to take Ayurvedic medicine for digestion and get proper stools the next day.
    Waiting for your suggestion doctor.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Typhoid lesions corrode and damage the intestines from inside. It may take years for the lumen to repair its linings. You need to take care of what you eat. Too much of spices, meat , any heavy meal, fat or alcohol can be damaging.

      As you eat light, easily digestible meals, your bowels would remain healthy and keep repairing.

  4. Carlos

    Hi, I experience like a dull throbbing on my upper right abdomen every now and then, it happens especially (though not only) when I eat, or when I sit on the toilet… the sensation is similar to what one feels when a hand or foot goes numb I guess, not pain, but like a discomfort or a light pulse. I experience uncomfortable flatulence every now and then, also loose stool at times, but almost never constipation. Also, about 3 years ago, I had a minor injury, when I hit my right side, resulting in muscle strain but not rib fracture, according to the ER physicians.


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