What Are Abdominal Pain and Dizziness?

Abdominal pain is pain that originates between the chest and the pelvis. Abdominal pain can be cramp-like, achy, dull, or sharp. It is often called stomachache.

Dizziness is the feeling of being lightheaded, weakened, off balance, and/or unsteady on your feet. The condition can range from mild, in which your body seems to correct itself, to severe, in which you have difficulty standing up or even lose consciousness.

Being clear about the nature of your symptoms will help your doctor make a correct diagnosis. Note the location and type of your abdominal pain, as well as the nature of your dizziness. For instance, lightheadedness is the feeling that you’re about to faint, while vertigo is the sensation that your environment is moving even though it is not.

Find an internist or an emergency room near you.

What Causes Abdominal Pain and Dizziness?

Vertigo is a condition that causes dizziness. Very severe vertigo can also cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Vertigo can be caused by motion sickness, disorientation, and some medications. In such cases, it usually will resolve on its own.

It can also be the result of inner ear inflammation, a benign growth on the inner ear known as an acoustic neuroma, or Meniere’s disease, a condition that causes fluid to collect in the inner ear.

Other conditions can cause the combined symptoms of abdominal pain and dizziness. Examples include:

  • anxiety
  • dehydration
  • excessive exercising
  • food poisoning
  • indigestion
  • kidney stones
  • low blood sugar
  • motion sickness
  • pancreatitis
  • stomach flu
  • ulcers

In rare cases, abdominal pain and dizziness can be symptoms of a heart attack or an ectopic pregnancy, a condition that occurs when a fertilized egg begins growing outside the uterus.

When to Seek Medical Help

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with abdominal pain and dizziness:

  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius)
  • neck stiffness
  • severe headache
  • loss of consciousness
  • pain that radiates to your shoulder
  • severe pelvic pain
  • shortness of breath
  • uncontrolled vomiting
  • vaginal pain and bleeding
  • weakness

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms for more than 24 hours:

  • acid reflux
  • blood in your urine
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • itchy, blistery rash
  • painful urination
  • unexplained fatigue
  • worsening symptoms

(This information is a summary. Seek medical attention if you suspect you need urgent care.)

How Are Abdominal Pain and Dizziness Treated?

Treatments for abdominal pain and dizziness will address the underlying causes. A physician can prescribe medications to reduce both nausea and dizziness.

Home Care

Resting and drinking lots of fluids can help to prevent dehydration while you experience abdominal pain. If your symptoms are due to low blood sugar, eating a snack that contains carbohydrates, such as crackers or candy, drinking a glass of orange juice, or taking glucose tablets, can help to restore your blood sugar levels.

How Can I Prevent Abdominal Pain and Dizziness?

Tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine are all known to cause dizziness and abdominal pain. Avoiding excess consumption can help prevent these symptoms. 

Staying hydrated during intense exercise will prevent these symptoms. Drink at least four ounces of water every 15 minutes when you are in the heat or exercising.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including exercising regularly, is important. However, you should not over-exercise, which means pushing yourself to the point of vomiting, loss of consciousness, or injury.

If vertigo is the cause of your dizziness and abdominal pain, at-home exercises to avoid nausea due to changes in your position can help.