ZocdocAnswersWhy do I keep getting these sharp pains in my stomach?

Question

Why do I keep getting these sharp pains in my stomach?

I keep getting sharp pains in my stomach but when I have a bowel movement they go away. Does that mean that I just have irritable bowel or something? Or could it be a serious stomach condition like a virus?

Answer

Since these symptoms have been going on for a while, I do suggest that you go see your doctor for an evaluation. You could start with your primary care doctor, or you could see a gastroenterologist. Irritable bowel syndrome is one potential cause of your symptoms, as you suggest in your question. This is a condition in which periodic abdominal pain or cramping occurs, sometimes in associated with diarrhea or constipation. The discomfort from irritable bowel syndrome tends to be worse in times of fatigue or stress. Also, usually the pain is better after a bowel movement. There are several effective treatments for irritable bowel syndrome but, prior to making this diagnosis, it is always important to rule out other, more serious, intestinal problems. For example, inflammatory bowel disease is a condition in which the intestines are inflamed (they are not inflamed in irritable bowel syndrome), leading to symptoms like weight loss, blood in the bowel movements, and trouble with nutrition. There are also several food intolerance syndromes, such as lactose intolerance and celiac disease, which should be considered. Chronic constipation is also on the list. Start by making an appointment with your primary care doctor or a gastroenterologist, and they will help you figure out what is going on!

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