Abdominal pain with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite often indicates a gastrointestinal infection caused by a bacteria, virus or parasite (commonly called ‘stomach flu’). Food poisoning and another common cause. However, the complaints can also indicate other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a stomach ulcer, gastritis or Crohn’s disease. In this article we discuss the conditions just mentioned. Of course, there are many more possible causes of abdominal pain with nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea and loss of appetite, but these are beyond the scope of this article in which we discuss the most common causes.
Abdominal pain and diarrhea, no appetite, vomiting, tired, headache
- Diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort due to stomach flu
- What is stomach flu?
- Additional complaints
- Diarrhea and stomach ache due to food poisoning
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- No appetite and stomach pain due to stomach ulcer
- Inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis)
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea and loss of appetite due to Crohn’s disease
Stomachache / Source: Leszek Glasner/Shutterstock.com
Diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort due to stomach flu
What is stomach flu?
Stomach flu is a common cause of abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue. It is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the digestive system.
Stomach flu should not be confused with flu (influenza). Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is the collective name for complaints that are often caused by gastrointestinal infections. Flu is a disease caused by the influenza virus and is an acute infection of the respiratory tract. Stomach flu can be caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. Symptoms of gastroenteritis or stomach flu include:
- abdominal cramps
- stomach ache
You may also experience fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes, depending on the microorganism causing the stomach flu. In severe cases of gastroenteritis, you can lose so much body fluid that it leads to dehydration, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Diarrhea and stomach ache due to food poisoning
Every year, many people suffer from food poisoning as a result of eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites, which causes a pathogenic digestive upset. Food poisoning is caused by eating spoiled or contaminated food and symptoms vary depending on the source of the infection. Common symptoms include:
- stomach ache
- mild fever
Painful area in IBS / Source: Http:www.scientificanimations.com, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-4.0)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome – abbreviated IBS – is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder of unknown cause. It can occur at any age, but often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Common symptoms include:
- abdominal cramps or abdominal pain
- bloated feeling
- problems with bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation)
You may also experience all kinds of other complaints such as headache, fatigue, irregular menstruation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, muscle pain and/or joint complaints, nausea, etc.
Helicobacter pylori / Source: Yutaka Tsutsumi, Wikimedia Commons (CC0)
No appetite and stomach pain due to stomach ulcer
A stomach ulcer (peptic ulcer) is an ulcer in the stomach wall. Most are caused by an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Another cause is the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Symptoms of a stomach ulcer include:
- abdominal pain, just below the rib cage
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- blood in the vomit or stool
- symptoms of anemia (anemia, such as light-headedness)
Inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis)
Gastric mucosal inflammation or gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. This mucous membrane covers the inside of the stomach. This condition can be caused by irritation and damage to the stomach lining due to (a combination of):
- excessive use of alcohol
- chronic vomiting
- the long-term use of certain medications such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
You may experience bloating and abdominal pain, especially in the upper abdomen or stomach area. Nausea and vomiting, fatigue and loss of appetite also occur.
Abdominal pain, diarrhea and loss of appetite due to Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract, in which inflammation occurs from the mouth to the anus. However, the inflammation mainly occurs in the small and large intestine. Slightly more women than men suffer from Crohn’s. The condition is mainly characterized by the constant presence of gastrointestinal complaints, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, weight loss and reduced appetite.
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