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What causes abdominal pain and constipation? 21 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and causes many uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and pain.

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PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

PMS symptoms start five to 11 days before menstruation and typically go away once menstruation begins. The cause of PMS is unknown.

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Bleeding or spotting, increased need to urinate, tender breasts, fatigue, nausea, and missed period are signs of pregnancy.

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This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, which can be fatal if left untreated. The telltale sign is pain that usually starts as mild cramping, especially on the right side, and becomes more severe over time.

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Diverticula are bulging sacs that can appear in the lining of your large intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these sacs get acutely infected or inflamed.

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Intestinal Obstruction

If your small or large intestine becomes blocked, fluid and digested food cannot move through. This can cause bloating, stomach cramps, and burping.

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Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel disease that causes severe inflammation of the digestive tract. It is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and may affect your quality of life. Crohn's disease is characterized b...

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Anal/Rectal Abscess

An anal, or rectal, abscess occurs when a cavity in the anus becomes filled with pus. In addition to pain, it can cause fatigue, rectal discharge, and fever.

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Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that originates in the rectum or colon. Both of these organs are located at the lower portion of your digestive system. The colon is at the end of the large intestine and the rectum is a...

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Encopresis is also known as fecal soiling. It occurs when a child over the age of 4 years has a bowel movement and soils his or her pants. This behavior is often linked to constipation. Constipation occurs when stoo...

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Proctitis is a condition in which when the lining tissue of the inner rectum becomes inflamed. The rectum is part of your lower digestive system.

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Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by an immune reaction to gluten. Symptoms vary but can include arthritis, fatigue, and abdominal symptoms.

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Ovarian Cancer

The ovaries are small, almond-shaped organs located on either side of the uterus that produce eggs. As the disease progresses, symptoms include back pain and indigestion.

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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disorder that affects cells that produce mucous, sweat, and digestive juices. It may cause severe problems in the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestine

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Hypercalcemia is a condition in which you have too much calcium in your blood. Serious cases could cause symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and weakness.

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Porphyrias are rare types of genetic blood disorders in which patients have a defect in heme production, an important part of hemoglobin. Blisters are a sign of porphyria cutanea tarda, the most common type of porphyria.

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Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body. It is serious and sometimes fatal. Lead can be found in paint, art supplies, and other items. Poisoning may cause severe abdominal pain, seizures, and more.

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A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. Hernias are most common in the abdomen but can appear elsewhere.

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Wilms' Tumor

Wilms' tumor is the most common type of kidney cancer in children. It's typically diagnosed around three years of age. Children might display constipation, abdominal pain, fever, and loss of appetite.

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Renal Cell Cancer

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of kidney cancer found in adults. Often aggressive, it occurs when cancer cells grow uncontrollably in the lining of the tubules of the kidney, causing many possible symptoms.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.