Gastrointestinal Pain

Getting to the Bottom of Gastrointestinal Pain

So you’re wondering what could be the meaning of your gastrointestinal pain?  Well, let’s consider the possible causes.


The most common cause for gastrointestinal pain is gas.  Sometimes the pain from gas can be so powerful that you have a difficult time accepting that it is only gas, but it may indeed be the case.  If you have eaten an unusually spicy food, it may be affecting your stomach in this way.  The pain from gas can be so strong it doubles you over.

Other Digestive Problems

If your pain seems to come on whenever you eat a specific type of food, this may be a sign of an allergic reaction to this food or sensitivity to certain types of food. The solution to this problem is simple: avoid this food.

Food Poisoning

Often gastrointestinal pain is caused by food poisoning. If you have eaten something iffy or at a restaurant whose sanitary history you are unsure of, you should consider the possibility of food poisoning.

Other Kinds of Organ Problems

If your stomach is particularly tender in a specific spot, this may be a sign of some other sort of organ problem.  Your appendix for example, may be inflamed and may need to be removed. If you see noticeable bloating, call a physician immediately.  

Heart Attack

Yes, that’s right.  A prolonged stomach pain whose reach seems to stretch out to your arm or chest may actually be a sign of a heart attack.  Sometimes a heart attack will seem as if it is beneath the chest cavity.  These disguised heart attacks are easy to miss but can be just as deadly as their normal countertype.  If you show other signs of heart attack, call your physician immediately.

Colon Cancer

In the early stages when it is in its most treatable form, colon cancer often shows few symptoms.  Gastrointestinal pain is often mild in this early stage or often altogether non-existent.  However, if left untreated, colon cancer has a high mortality rate.  This is why doctors’ recommend getting a colonoscopy every ten years from age forty on.

Accompanying Signs:

Pain That Lasts for Long Periods

If you have a strong pain that lasts a long time, this may be sign of something more serious.  Gas tends to go away after a little while but if your pain lingers and remains sharp or gets even more serious, like a heart attack, go see a doctor.  If you have any other heart attack like symptoms—difficulty breathing, difficulty moving, dizziness, arm pain, etc. then you should consult a doctor immediately.

If your gastrointestinal pain comes back over and over again for more than a few days, this may be a sign of something more serious as well.


Prolonged diarrhea, lasting more than a week or stringy bowel movements are a sign that something more severe may be wrong.  Similarly, dark poops that are like a thick pudding are also a sign that something is wrong in the intestinal tract.  Again, you should consult you physician.

Constipation or Difficulty Urinating

If you are constipated at the same time as you are feeling strong pains or tenderness in you stomach, this may be a sign of an obstruction and should be treated right away.  Call you doctor.

In the end it simply comes down to this, if you have gastrointestinal pain and it lasts for a prolonged period of time (more than a few days) or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, then you need to seek out a physician.  Any time that you suffer from intestinal problems you should take it seriously since there is so much important stuff that goes on in that section of the body.