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Abdominal pain is one of the most common causes of discomfort. Sometimes the pain happens to be so severe that it becomes hard to tolerate and you have to go to the emergency department.

There are several causes of lower abdominal pain. Sometimes it is hard to make the correct diagnosis. Lower abdominal pain can be caused by several factors ranging from slight lifestyle changes to severe disorders that may lead to complications.

The signs and symptoms that you have mentioned point directly towards Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects your large intestine. Pain in the lower abdomen with stomach gurgling and acid reflux are the typical symptoms of this disease.

What causes IBS?

There is no known cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, however, factors such as diet, exercise, and medications are known to play an important role in the development of the disorder. Besides diet, stress is known to have a large impact on a person's digestive system. People who are distressed or tend to worry are prone to develop the disease.

Signs and symptoms

  • Pain in the lower abdomen

  • Gas or bloating

  • Heartburn

  • Frequent gurgling sounds from the stomach

  • Diarrhea alternating constipation

Diarrhea alternating constipation is perhaps the strangest sign of IBS. This happens when a patient suffering from diarrhea develops constipation after a couple of days. In short, there are alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation.

Patients suffering from IBS also complain of unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances.

The intensity of symptoms of this disease varies from person to person. Some patients experience mild discomfort while others experience severe abdominal pain.

Differential Diagnosis

It is very important to confirm the diagnosis because IBS may develop simultaneously with another gastrointestinal disorder. Some other diseases that may present with the same symptoms include:

  • Duodenal ulcer

  • Diverticulitis

  • Appendicitis

  • Bowel obstruction

Tests and a physical examination are required to rule out severe disorders and complications. It is necessary to visit your doctor for a physical examination to make sure that you are not suffering from something very serious.


Before you get your lab tests and physical examination, it is recommended that you cut down on food that is hard on your digestive system. You must drink plenty of fluids, especially plain water, because fluids clear up your digestive system and relieve abdominal pain.

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