What are the causes of lower abdominal pain & bloating?

Updated June 13, 2017

Lower abdominal pain and bloating can result from many diverse conditions, most of which originate in the gastrointestinal tract. Learning to identify the triggers and accompanying symptoms of lower abdominal pain and bloating can help identify the underlying cause.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

According to the National Institutes of Health, inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis are often characterised by abdominal pain and bloating. Other symptoms may include bloody diarrhoea, fever and increased gas, or flatulence.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Symptoms typical of IBS include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and alternating constipation and diarrhoea. According to E Medicine Health, IBS is thought to be caused by abnormal intestinal contractions triggered by food sensitivities, stress and other factors, though the exact cause is not known.

Bacterial and Viral Infection

Infection occurs when harmful bacteria or viruses enter the gastrointestinal tract and multiply. Infection can result from food poisoning or contraction of a contagious virus, such as adenovirus or enterovirus. Signs and symptoms of infection may include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and abdominal bloating and pain.

Other Causes

In some cases, lower abdominal pain may originate outside the gastrointestinal tract. Possible non-gastrointestinal causes of abdominal pain and bloating include endometriosis, bladder infection and pelvic inflammatory disease (infection of a woman's repoductive organs), according to Web MD.


Severe abdominal pain that comes on suddenly may indicate a serious condition. If you experience lower abdominal pain accompanied by bloody diarrhoea, muscle weakness, or fever over 38.9 degrees C, seek immediate medical attention.

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About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Tracii Hanes is a freelance writer specializing in health and psychology with over seven years of professional experience. She got her start as a news reporter and has since focused exclusively on freelance writing, contributing to websites like Wellsphere, Education Portal and more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.