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Why do I have a sharp pain in my stomach?

I have a sharp pain in my stomach that feels like it is right in the middle. It is almost like it is behind my navel. What might cause this? Is it is the muscles or something in my organs or intestines?
There are a wide variety of causes of abdominal pain, and unfortunately it is difficult to provide an accurate diagnosis with such limited details. Fortunately, a thorough medical history and physical exam by your primary care doctor should be able to pinpoint an accurate diagnosis. If indicated, blood work and/or imaging can be ordered to help establish the cause of your pain, if the diagnosis is still in doubt. Centralized abdominal pain could certainly be due to muscular strain, espcially if someone has recently strained themselves lifting something heavy or just started a new exercise routine. However, given the presence of several organs in the abdomen, other causes of abdominal pain can include inflammation of the stomach (such as with peptic ulcer disease), pancreas, and intestines. Some of the conditions originating in the intestines may be benign (such as lactose intolerance associated with bloating), and some may be more serious (such as inflammatory bowel disease). Your doctor can help determine if there are any red flag symptoms (such as weight loss, vomiting, blood in the stool) that would warrant further testing to rule out any potentially dangerous underlying cause of your symptoms. Again, please discuss with your physician.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
Who answers these questions?
Answers are written by doctors from top institutions:
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Mass General Hospital
  • Beth Israel Medical Center
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