Severe abdominal pain

Rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 1 indicating very little pain and 10 being the worst pain you have ever experienced. Then look below to find the appropriate term to apply to the level of severity of your pain.

  • 0 = No pain
  • 1 to 5 = Mild pain
  • 6 to 7 = Moderate pain
  • 8 to 9 = Severe pain
  • 10 = Worst pain possible

Most severe abdominal pain is cramping pain which comes and goes. Cramping pain is spasmodic pain caused by irritation of the intestinal lining. Cramping pain often occurs with diarrhea and is usually relieved by passing gas or stool. Less frequently, cramping pain may mean the presence of a kidney stone, gallbladder stone, or a blockage of the intestine (bowel obstruction).

Severe abdominal pain that begins suddenly and is not relieved by passing gas or stool may mean that a serious problem has developed, such as a hole in the intestine from a perforated peptic ulcer or a tearing of a large blood vessel in the abdomen (aortic aneurysm).

Last Updated: January 13, 2009

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