Abdominal cramps: causes and treatment of abdominal cramps

Abdominal cramps in the abdomen (lower abdominal cramps, upper abdominal cramps or more in the middle) can be caused by various conditions. The most common causes of severe or extreme abdominal cramps are ileus (also called intestinal obstruction), diverticulitis, gallstones, gastroenteritis (stomach flu), inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). ) and renal colic. Depending on the cause, severe abdominal cramps can be accompanied by complaints such as diarrhea (with or without blood and mucus), nausea, vomiting, bowel sounds, fever, fatigue, etc. Severe abdominal cramps can indicate both acute and chronic conditions. . Acute means that it arises suddenly and chronic means that the complaints are persistent or long-term. If your symptoms persist or worsen, visit your doctor so that what is going on can be investigated and treatment can be initiated.

  • Causes of abdominal cramps
  • Not specifically
  • Distracted pain
  • Additional symptoms of abdominal disasters
  • Cramps in the abdomen due to food poisoning
  • What is food poisoning?
  • Symptoms
  • Causes
  • Food poisoning symptoms by pathogen
  • Therapy
  • When to consult the doctor?
  • Foodborne infection due to EHEC
  • Aggressive variant of the E. Coli bacteria
  • Hamburger disease
  • Risk groups
  • Treatment of EHEC bacteria infection
  • Stool changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Severe abdominal cramps due to ileus
  • Abdominal pain due to inflammatory bowel disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Colic pain due to gallstones
  • Stomach cramps due to stomach flu
  • Pain in the left lower abdomen due to diverticulitis
  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
  • Cramps in the abdomen due to irritable bowel syndrome
  • Severe cramps in renal colic
  • Food allergy and food intolerance
  • What is a food allergy?
  • What is food intolerance?
  • See the difference between an allergy and food intolerance
  • Symptoms of a food allergy
  • Symptoms of food intolerance
  • Celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
  • Complaints related to digestion
  • Other symptoms
  • Appendicitis or appendicitis
  • What is it?
  • Symptoms of appendicitis
  • Treatment of appendicitis
  • Consult your GP
  • Home remedies for stomach cramps
  • Apply heat
  • Massage of the abdomen
  • Chamomile tea
  • Electrolytes
  • Painkillers
  • To rest
  • Treatment of cramps in the abdomen
  • Prevent abdominal cramps
  • Prognosis

Abdominal cramps / Source: Istock.com/Wavebreakmedia

Causes of abdominal cramps

Not specifically

The term abdominal cramps is non-specific and is used to refer to a number of different symptoms or sensations in the abdominal area. People often refer to a “stomach ache” or “abdominal cramps” to refer to pain that is felt anywhere in the abdominal area. As such, the list of possible causes is extremely varied. Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, and problems or diseases of any of these organs can be the source of pain. Some typical causes of abdominal pain and associated symptoms arising from the gastrointestinal tract include:

  • Food poisoning;
  • Constipation;
  • Gas formation;
  • Indigestion;
  • Infections;
  • Lactose intolerance; and
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).

Gallbladder and pancreas / Source: Nerthuz/Shutterstock.com

Distracted pain

Occasionally, pain may be felt in the abdomen, even if it arises from organs located close to the abdominal cavity but not in the abdominal cavity itself, such as diseases of the lower part of the lungs, kidneys, uterus or ovaries. These causes can include pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis and pregnancy-related complications.

Additional symptoms of abdominal disasters

(Additional) symptoms of abdominal cramps are:

  • pain in your stomach or stomach ache
  • a bloated feeling
  • gas or belching
  • flatulence, farting or even passing smelly gases
  • a burning sensation
  • stabbing pain
  • dull pain
  • nagging pain
  • decreased appetite
  • nausea or nausea after eating
  • vomit
  • diarrhea

Food poisoning after a barbecue is common / Source: Martin Sulman

Cramps in the abdomen due to food poisoning

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is a common cause of abdominal cramps. Food poisoning is a sudden-onset illness often caused by consuming food or drink contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms or contaminated with a toxic substance. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps, sudden diarrhea or fever. The complaints are often limited to the digestive tract. The salmonella bacteria are well known. Most food poisoning is caused by salmonella, which is mainly found in raw meat, eggs, raw milk and milk products, fish and shrimp. Children up to the age of 5, pregnant women, the sick and the elderly become ill more quickly after infection with the salmonella bacteria.

Symptoms

Complaints that may arise with an infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes accompanied by mucus and blood in the stool), abdominal cramps, fever and headache. Food poisoning is often associated with chicken. Chicken is a risk product for salmonella, but contamination can be prevented by working hygienically. In addition, data from the Nutrition Center and the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) show that half of Dutch people are at risk of food poisoning after a barbecue. This is because the Dutch do not opt for the safer pre-cooked meat and pay little attention to hygiene. Roughly half do not wash their hands regularly, do not use separate cutlery for raw and cooked meat and save leftover meat that has been left outside for the next day. All these risky actions increase the risk of food poisoning.

The symptoms of food poisoning are often limited to the digestive tract, but occasionally food poisoning can give rise to other symptoms. For example, spores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum can occur in honey, which can be dangerous for children up to 1 year old. They can develop infant botulism, which is characterized by loss of appetite, persistent crying, lethargy, constipation and muscle weakness. In babies who show these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Children older than 1 year can eat honey.

Frequent vomiting can cause dehydration / Source: Istock.com/vadimguzhva

In addition to the above typical symptoms of food poisoning that occur within 48 hours of consuming contaminated food or drinks, a person may also experience fever and chills, bloody stools and dehydration, depending on the severity of the poisoning. The nervous system can also be damaged. These symptoms can affect a single person or a group of people who have had the same food or drink. This is called an outbreak. For example, in 2012, more than seven hundred people in Mexico simultaneously contracted food poisoning after attending a campaign meeting of a political party.

Sometimes a distinction is made between food poisoning and food infections. Food infections are caused by food containing a sickening amount of bacteria, fungi and viruses and food poisoning is caused by the ingestion of a toxic substance in food, which is produced by bacteria or fungi (source: nutrition center).

Causes

The known causes of food poisoning can be divided into two categories:

  • pathogens; and
  • toxic gasses.

Food poisoning is usually caused by water or food contaminated with bacteria, viruses and sometimes parasitic protozoa (single-celled animal parasites). These pathogens are found in many places, including in human and animal feces. When these potentially harmful pathogens enter food or drinks due to poor hygiene or poor food preparation or storage, someone who eats or drinks them can suddenly become ill.

Poisonous mushrooms / Source: James K. Lindsey, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Infectious agents include viruses, bacteria and parasites. Toxic substances are, for example, poisonous mushrooms or pesticides on vegetables and fruit. Poor hygiene can contaminate food. Food poisoning can be prevented by practicing adequate food hygiene: by carefully storing, preparing and cooking food. Two things in particular are important: heat raw food properly and ensure good hygiene.

Food poisoning symptoms by pathogen

The symptoms and signs depend on the type of food poisoning and its severity. Food poisoning usually causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain (abdominal cramps) and fever. These complaints usually arise within 24 hours after infection.

Viruses
Viruses are responsible for most cases of food poisoning. The virus can be transmitted through contaminated drinking water and food.

Inside of the Pacific oyster / Source: David Monniaux, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are highly contagious and cause what is commonly called ‘stomach flu’. A person infected with this culprit may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and mild fever. The virus is usually transmitted from person to person, but it can also be present in food. According to the Nutrition Center, raw crustaceans and shellfish, such as raw oysters and mussels, are a notorious source of contamination. The symptoms usually disappear in two to three days. It is the most common viral cause of food poisoning in adults.

Rotavirus causes vomiting, severe, persistent diarrhea and fever, especially in young children.

Hepatitis A can be transmitted from person to person, but also indirectly through contaminated water, food or surfaces. Infection with this virus causes the sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and the feeling of fatigue, followed by jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin. The symptoms usually last less than two months, but a recovery period of sometimes several months is not unusual. In babies, toddlers and preschoolers, the infection usually goes unnoticed.

Bacteria
Bacteria can lead to food poisoning in two different ways. One can become ill from the bacteria themselves or from the toxins that can be produced by bacteria.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning; The disease itself is often referred to as salmonella or salmonella infection. The culprit can occur in the intestines of animals and is sometimes found on raw eggs and meat. The bacteria can also end up on land or in the water through the feces of those animals and from there end up on food. Risk products include chicken and other meat, vegetables and fruit, but contamination can be prevented by working hygienically. Characteristic symptoms are vomiting, mild fever and severe diarrhea, which may include blood in the stool. Normally, the first symptoms manifest themselves 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated food. The complaints often last one to three days.

Campylobacter spp is a bacterium that occurs in food, especially raw chicken. It causes general malaise with fever, watery diarrhea, headache and muscle aches. These symptoms develop two to five days after consuming contaminated food. Staphylococcus aureus causes moderate to severe symptoms with rapid onset of nausea, severe vomiting, dizziness and abdominal cramps. The bacterium can be the cause of food poisoning because the bacterium ends up in the food via skin flakes or sneezing. If the dish is then not stored below 7°C or above 55°C, the bacteria can grow and become poisonous.

  1. coli is a bacterium that naturally occurs in the intestines of humans / Source: NIAID, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-2.0)

There are many variants of the E. coli bacteria and most variants of this bacterium are harmless. However, specific variants of E. coli, such as EHEC and STEC, can cause serious illness. These types can contaminate food and water to produce varying degrees of toxicity.

Mushrooms and pesticides
Eating poisonous mushrooms (such as the fly agaric with the characteristic dark red cap with white dots) or fruit and vegetables with a high concentration of pesticides can also cause food poisoning. This is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, among other things.

Therapy

Normally the complaints go away on their own. If desired, the complaints can be alleviated with self-help measures. The most important thing is to ensure that one does not become dehydrated, due to vomiting and diarrhea. Rehydration can be applied with an oral rehydration solution (ORS). This allows the body to absorb and retain moisture better. ORS is a powder that must be prepared with clean tap water or non-carbonated mineral water. This ensures that a person ingests the required amount of glucose and minerals, allowing the intestines to maintain the fluid level in the body. ORS is available at drugstores and pharmacies.

Here are some other tips to aid recovery:

  • Eat smaller meals frequently, as this is easier to digest than three large meals a day.
  • Preferably eat easily digestible food, such as toast, crackers, bananas and rice until recovery occurs.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and spicy and fatty foods.

Consultation with the doctor / Source: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

When to consult the doctor?

  • If there are signs of severe dehydration, such as sunken eyes and little or no urination. In severe cases of dehydration, intravenous fluids and saline may be administered in the hospital.
  • If the complaints are serious or last longer than a week, inform the doctor more quickly in the case of an elderly person, a child or another vulnerable person.
  • If the contamination comes from toxins, such as poisonous mushrooms. Immediate treatment may be required to immediately remove the toxins from the body.

Antibiotics are only prescribed if certain bacteria have been identified with certainty.

Foodborne infection due to EHEC

Aggressive variant of the E. Coli bacteria

Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC; specifically serotype O157: H7) is a highly pathogenic and aggressive variant of the E. Coli bacteria, which can be life-threatening. EHEC can cause a foodborne infection. Infection can occur through the consumption of contaminated food, such as raw or undercooked (beef) meat products and unwashed raw vegetables.

EHEC is highly resistant to stomach acid. This allows the bacteria to reach the intestines almost unhindered. The average incubation period is 3 to 4 days. A small number of bacteria can already cause complaints.

A poorly cooked hamburger can lead to ‘hamburger disease’ / Source: Len Rizzi (photographer), Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Hamburger disease

One of the best-known types of EHEC that causes serious complaints is E. coli O157:H7 or STEC O157. STEC is the abbreviation for the Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli bacteria. This toxin can cause a food infection. Food infection caused by STEC O157 is known as ‘hamburger disease’, because in the United States poorly cooked hamburgers were the cause of many infections with this bacterium. An infection with STEC can proceed without symptoms, be limited to mild diarrhea or cause hemorrhagic colitis. With hemorrhagic colitis, severe abdominal cramps occur suddenly, sometimes accompanied by vomiting and rarely fever. Watery diarrhea follows after 24 hours and after 1 to 3 days the diarrhea becomes bloody. The complaints last an average of 4 days, but shorter or longer is also possible. In general, the complaints go away on their own. 10 to 20 percent of all infections are serious and 5 to 10 percent lead to complications, such as acute kidney failure, blood clotting problems and destruction of red blood cells. Infection with this culprit is the leading cause of kidney failure in children. It is caused by the spread of bacteria and toxins in the bloodstream. Other organs can also be affected, but the kidneys are the most vulnerable.

Risk groups

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (or RIVM) divides people who are more at risk of infection with STEC into 4 groups:

  1. children under 5 years old and people over 60;
  2. persons who cannot maintain good hygiene themselves;
  3. persons with reduced immune system;
  4. people working in healthcare and/or working with small children and/or working on a farm.

Cattle in particular are (asymptomatic) carriers of this intestinal bacteria. The bacterium is sometimes also found in sheep and goats and sporadically in other farm animals and wild fauna. The bacterium can survive in the soil for months.

People can become infected when they come into contact with the feces of an infected animal or person, either directly or indirectly. Most infections occur through the consumption of undercooked or raw beef. Consumption of unpasteurized milk is also associated with STEC infections. There are also risks with other products that may have come into contact with manure, such as (raw, unwashed) vegetables. Drinking or swimming in contaminated water is another possible source of infection. Furthermore, human-to-human contamination can occur, often indirectly through the fecal-oral route. For example, the bacteria can be transmitted via the toilet; the diarrhea is extremely contagious. Animal-to-human transmission on farms or petting zoos is also possible, for example through contact with livestock that carry the infection.

Treatment of EHEC bacteria infection

Without complications, the disease is self-limiting. Most patients recover completely after about 10 days. Antibiotics are contraindicated because they do not make an effective contribution to the control of the disease and can even worsen the course of the disease. Patients with HUS often need to be treated in hospital with blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Nearly 40% of patients who survive HUS are left with permanent damage to the kidneys, nervous system or other organs, such as heart, lungs and pancreas. Early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.

Stool changes

Constipation and diarrhea are often accompanied by abdominal cramps.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is said to be caused by watery stools, which occur much more often than normal. If you suffer from diarrhea, you will have very loose stools three or more times a day. Stool that is slightly less solid than normal is not immediately referred to as diarrhea. Diarrhea is loose, watery stools. Acute diarrhea is a common complaint and usually lasts 1 or 2 days, after which the stool returns to normal. Chronic diarrhea is said to occur when the symptoms last longer than 2 weeks. The time limit is in fact arbitrary.

Acute diarrhea is usually caused by an intestinal infection. With diarrhea there is always a risk of dehydration. Therefore, drink extra to prevent dehydration. Groups at risk for dehydration are babies, children and the elderly. Call your doctor if you have a fever and/or signs of dehydration.

How does diarrhea occur?
Acute diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection. These culprits enter the intestines through the mouth, causing the intestinal wall to become irritated and inflamed. Under these conditions, the intestines can absorb less moisture from the food, causing the stool to remain thinner. If you have an intestinal infection, you can transmit the pathogen to someone else through your feces and saliva. This can be done, for example, via the toilet, fingers, doorknobs, or kitchen utensils. A common form of acute diarrhea is the so-called ‘stomach flu’, which everyone has suffered from at some point. Stomach flu occurs as a result of a virus. There can also be food poisoning, which you contract by eating spoiled food or drinking contaminated water. This can cause you to ingest bacteria that can cause an intestinal infection.

Diarrhea can also be a side effect of some medications, such as antibiotics, certain painkillers and antacids. High consumption of sweeteners, caffeinated drinks (coffee, energy drinks, soft drinks) and sugar can also cause loose stools. Rarely is a food allergy a cause of diarrhea in adults. It is more common for nutritional intolerance such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease (gluten intolerance) to cause diarrhea. Disorders of the gallbladder, liver or pancreas can, among other complaints, cause diarrhea.

Chronic diarrhea is usually related to a functional disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or chronic intestinal inflammation such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or proctitis (rectumitis). ..

What symptoms can be associated with an intestinal infection?
Diarrhea due to an intestinal infection can be accompanied by abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, feeling tired and weak. Some infections that cause diarrhea can also lead to fever and chills or bloody stools. You may also have difficulty holding your stool and you always have to go to the toilet quickly.

Diarrhea can also lead to dehydration. Dehydration is especially dangerous in children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Dehydration must be treated immediately to avoid serious health problems such as organ damage, shock or coma. Signs of dehydration in adults include:

  • thirst
  • urinating less frequently than normal
  • dark-colored urine/pee
  • dry skin
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • light-headed feeling

GP examines baby / Source: Istock.com/Zdenka Darula

Signs of dehydration in infants and young children include:

  • dry mouth and tongue, dry lips
  • no tears when he cries
  • no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
  • sunken eyes sunken fontanel (collapse between skull bones)
  • high fever
  • lethargy or irritability

Consult your doctor or go to the GP post if signs of dehydration develop despite taking ORS (ORS-junior is available for children), especially in small children and older people. ORS is an abbreviation of the English ‘oral rehydration salts’. ORS is a mixture of sugars and salts that the body needs to absorb and retain fluid. If there are signs of severe dehydration, your GP will refer you to the hospital.

When should you contact your GP if you have diarrhea?
If you have diarrhea in the following cases, contact your doctor:

  • if you have constant stomach pain

Fainting / Source: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

  • if the diarrhea has not diminished after a week
  • if you have diarrhea and vomit every sip of water
  • if there is blood or mucus in the stool
  • if you feel drowsy, confused or think you are going to faint
  • if you haven’t urinated for a day

If a child with diarrhea is younger than two years old, you should contact your doctor immediately in the following cases:

  • if the child continues to cry or whine
  • if the child has watery diarrhea for more than twelve hours
  • if it does not want to drink if it becomes drowsy or confused
  • if it hasn’t urinated for a day
  • if it keeps throwing up

People over 70 years of age with diarrhea should contact their doctor immediately:

  • if they have watery diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • if the diarrhea is accompanied by fever
  • if they constantly suffer from abdominal pain
  • if they can’t keep fluids down (and vomit every sip of water)
  • if there is blood or mucus in the stool
  • if they are drowsy, confused or have a tendency to faint
  • if they haven’t urinated for a day if they use diuretics

Constipation

Constipation indicates an inability to defecate properly; the stool comes less than three times a week.

What causes constipation?
Constipation is usually caused by insufficient fiber in the diet or a disruption in the normal diet or routine. Chronic constipation can be the result of a poor diet, dehydration, certain medications (such as antidepressants or strong painkillers), stress, or the pressure of other activities that force you to ignore the urge to empty the bowel. You won’t poop even though you have the urge; you hold in your stool.

Drinking enough water prevents constipation / Source: Mimagephotography/Shutterstock.com

Various medical conditions can also cause or worsen constipation. Some of the most common medical conditions that cause constipation are endocrine problems, such as reduced thyroid function or diabetes. Colon cancer is another medical condition that can cause constipation, but it is also usually accompanied by other symptoms, including blood in the stool and weight loss. Common causes of constipation include:

  • a low-fiber diet
  • not drinking enough water
  • lack of exercise
  • travel or other change in routine
  • eating large amounts of milk or cheese
  • stress or resist the urge to poop
  • medicines:

Some medications cause constipation and abdominal cramps / Source: Stevepb, Pixabay

    • strong painkillers such as narcotics
    • antidepressants (medicines against depression)
    • antacids or antacids containing calcium or aluminum
    • iron tablets
    • allergy medications such as antihistamines
    • certain blood pressure medications
    • medications for psychiatric problems
    • herbal supplements
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • pregnancy
  • neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • slow passage of the large intestine (slow intestinal function)

How is constipation treated?
Take the following measures in case of blockage:

  • Drink two to four extra glasses of water per day.
  • Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Eat plums
  • A fiber-rich diet.
  • If necessary, use a very mild laxative (and don’t use them for too long).

Severe abdominal cramps due to ileus

An ileus, also called an ‘intestinal obstruction’ or ‘intestinal obstruction’, is an acute disturbance in the passage of food through the small or large intestine due to a restriction or obstruction of the passage. If the stool cannot leave your body, you can suffer from serious complaints. A life-threatening situation may even arise. A complete intestinal blockage is called ‘ileus’ and those cases in which passage is still possible to some extent are called ‘sub-ileus’. One of the most common symptoms are attacks of severe abdominal pain or severe abdominal cramps (colic).

Fatigue due to inflammatory bowel disease / Source: Istock.com/dolgachov

Abdominal pain due to inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a collective name for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions are chronic inflammations of the gastrointestinal tract and are accompanied by recurring complaints, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue.

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is an intestinal inflammation throughout the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease most often affects the lower part of the small intestine (ileum), although it can occur in any part of the large or small intestine, stomach, esophagus, or even the mouth. It can occur at any age, but it is most common between the ages of 15 and 30. Crohn’s disease can disrupt the normal function of the intestine in several ways. The intestinal tissue can:

  • Swelling, thickening, or forming scar tissue, which can lead to blockage of the intestinal passage.
  • Developing ulcers that may involve the deep layers of the intestinal wall.
  • Losing the ability to absorb nutrients from digested foods (malabsorption).
  • Abnormal passageways (fistulas) develop from one part of the intestine to another part of the intestine, or from the intestine to nearby tissues such as the bladder or vagina, or even the skin.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the lining of the colon and rectum. People with this condition have small ulcers and small abscesses in their colon and rectum that flare up periodically and cause bloody stools and diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by alternating periods of flare-ups and remission during which the disease appears to have resolved. Remission periods can last weeks to years.

The inflammation usually starts in the rectum and then spreads to other segments of the colon. How much of the colon is affected varies from person to person. If the inflammation is limited to the rectum, the disease may be called ulcerative proctitis. Ulcerative colitis, unlike Crohn’s disease, does not affect the esophagus, stomach or small intestine.

Formation of gallstones / Source: Arteminda/Shutterstock.com

Colic pain due to gallstones

Gallstones are relatively common: in as many as 10 percent of adults. Gallstones are formed from components of the bile, but little is (yet) known about the exact cause of the formation of gallstones. Gallstones usually do not cause any complaints, unless, for example, the bile duct to the intestine becomes blocked. In that case, you may suffer from colicky pain: intense pain in the upper abdomen, which can sometimes radiate to the shoulder.

Stomach cramps due to stomach flu

What is commonly called ‘stomach flu’ is often a gastrointestinal infection, also called ‘gastroenteritis’. Stomach flu has many causes, but the most common cause is an infection with a bacteria or virus. When these troublemakers cause inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, you may experience one of the following complaints: (severe) abdominal cramps, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, bubbling in the intestines, diarrhea (with or without blood and mucus). ) and weight loss.

Pain in the left lower abdomen due to diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition in which diverticula bulges appear on the outside of the intestine, which are inflamed. These bulges are caused by the mucous membrane that covers the inside of the intestine bulging through the muscle layers of the intestine. Diverticula mainly occur in the large intestine, especially in the last part, the rectum. Diverticula are caused by a low-fiber diet, too little exercise and other factors that cause the stool to thicken too much. as a result, the pressure in the intestine to continue massaging the amount of stool increases. This allows the inside to locally bulge through the outer wall of the intestine. Diverticula do not have to cause any complaints. A common complaint is local pain, which may be accompanied by fever. You will often feel (severe) abdominal cramps in the lower left abdomen, as this is where the rectum is located.

Cramping pain in the lower abdomen due to dysmenorrhea / Source: Istock.com/Stefano Lunardi

Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) is a painful period that can significantly hinder yo