Cramps in the lower abdomen: the most important questions and answers

KrÀmpfe im Unterbauch: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Lower abdominal cramps and abdominal cramps in general are very unpleasant companions. However, abdominal cramps often occur, although they usually turn out to be harmless. Nevertheless, you should make sure to listen to your body and investigate the causes of abdominal cramps, especially cramps in the lower abdomen.

In this article we have compiled the information about cramps in the lower abdomen. Above all, it explains what cramps are, what causes cramps in the lower abdomen can have, but also how to effectively combat cramps in the lower abdomen and when you should see a doctor. Following this, we have also selected important tips & tricks for you with which you can reduce and avoid lower abdominal cramps.

the essentials in brief

  • Pelvic cramps can have a variety of causes, so it's important to localize the pain, such as whether the pain is in the left lower abdomen, right lower abdomen, or middle lower abdomen.
  • It is also important to find out whether abdominal cramps, especially cramps in the lower abdomen, started at a certain point in time, such as in women at the beginning of their period.
  • Pelvic cramps can have different causes in men and women. If the pain persists or recurs, you should see a doctor.

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Definition: What are cramps?

Cramps are usually a sudden, painful muscle contraction, which can be triggered or influenced by many different factors. Cramps can occur in different areas of the human body.

Examples of this are: cramps in the foot, calf cramps or cramps in the lower abdomen.

Background: What you should know about cramps in the lower abdomen

We have selected the most frequently asked questions about cramps in the lower abdomen for you and answered them below.

Before we move on to the solution part, you should read the questions carefully. This allows you to acquire background knowledge and better understand the solution part.

What organs are in the lower abdomen?

There are many organs in the abdomen. In order to be able to better classify the cramps in the lower abdomen, the right lower abdomen, left lower abdomen and middle lower abdomen are usually spoken of.

In general, for example, the following organs are located in the lower abdomen: the appendix, ovary and fallopian tubes, large intestine, small intestine, rectum, ureter, urethra, bladder, testicles and uterus.

What causes cramps in the lower abdomen?

Abdominal cramps occur when muscles in the digestive tract contract spasmodically.

Abdominal cramps can have various causes. Sometimes inflammation is behind the cramping pain, but more serious illnesses can also trigger cramps in the lower abdomen.

Common causes of abdominal cramps are generally stress and excitement (1,2), allergies, poor diet, or even just a passing stomach upset.(3,4)

Other causes that can lead to cramps in the lower abdomen include an intestinal infarction, intestinal obstruction, peritonitis, appendicitis(5), Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome(14) and many more.

The following table gives an overview of the causes of lower abdominal cramps:

left side right side on both sides
diverticulitis appendicitis urinary tract infections
Adhesions after inflammation / operations Adhesions after inflammation / operations invagination
pyelitis inflammation of the renal pelvis inflammatory bowel disease
hernia hernia hernia
Abscess in the lumbar muscle Abscess in the lumbar muscle Abscess in the lumbar muscle
tumors tumors tumors
colon cancer - -

Causes or diseases that can trigger left-sided abdominal pain in men and women are:

  • diverticulitis
  • Adhesions after inflammation / operations
  • inflammation of the renal pelvis
  • hernia
  • Abscess in the lumbar muscle
  • tumors
  • colon cancer

Diverticulitis is a disease of the large intestine. There are bulges in the mucous membrane that causes inflammation. Adhesions are adhesions between organs that are not normally connected. These can lead to digestive problems in the abdomen.

Inflammation of the renal pelvis is usually a bacterial infection of the renal pelvis. This is usually the result of an inflammation of the urethra, bladder or ureter. The hernia occurs when layers of the abdominal wall break through the inguinal canal. This causes palpable swellings that can usually be pushed inwards.

Tumors are usually growths, i.e. an increase in the volume of tissue. A distinction can be made between benign and malignant tumors. An abscess is a pocket of pus, usually caused by a bacterial infection.

Colon cancer is usually a macroscopically visible, pedunculated protrusion of the colon mucosa.

Tip: If you have cramps in the lower abdomen, you should have them checked out by a doctor.

Right-sided abdominal pain is usually based on the following causes or diseases:

  • appendicitis
  • adhesions
  • inflammation of the renal pelvis
  • hernia
  • Abscess in the lumbar muscle
  • tumors

Appendicitis is also referred to as appendicitis and represents an inflammation of the appendix at the end of the appendix. If, on the other hand, one speaks of appendicitis, one usually speaks of typhlitis.

The following causes and diseases can cause bilateral cramps in the lower abdomen:

  • urinary tract infections (6)
  • invagination
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • tumors

Invagination is usually referred to as the invagination of one section of the intestine into another along the longitudinal axis. This can result in an intestinal obstruction, for example.

In the case of tumors, it is important to note that a distinction can be made between benign and malignant tumors. With benign tumors there is sometimes the option of leaving them in the body, with malignant tumors they should be removed.

In principle, one should not immediately assume the worst illnesses in the lower abdomen, but if the abdominal pain lasts longer or is very acute, one should consult a doctor quickly.

What should be considered in case of cramps in the lower abdomen in women?

In women, it should be noted that abdominal cramps in the lower abdomen are sometimes due to the menstrual cycle and the genitals. Here, especially left-sided abdominal pain is central. Conditions that can cause left-sided lower abdominal cramps in women include:

  • Middle pain during ovulation in the middle of the cycle
  • cramping pains of the uterus during menstruation (7)
  • At the beginning of pregnancy, by stretching the ligaments of the uterus
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • fibroids
  • endometriosis
  • inflammation of the uterus
  • Inflammation of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Fibroids are benign tumors in or on the uterus. These can often remain in the body.

However, endometriosis can also cause abdominal pain on the right side!

Endometriosis is growths in the lining of the uterus. Although these are usually benign, they often trigger other symptoms or diseases such as peritonitis. Ovarian cysts and/or an ectopic pregnancy can also cause right-sided lower abdominal cramps.

What should be considered in the case of cramps in the lower abdomen in men?

Men can also experience left-sided lower abdominal pain. Inflammation of the prostate is usually responsible for this. This is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Inflammation of the prostate is usually easy to treat.

What medications help with cramps in the lower abdomen?

When it comes to treating abdominal cramps, including cramps in the lower abdomen, there are many options with medication. There are different types of drugs that can be distinguished. Examples include: digestive aids, antiflatulents, antispasmodics, pain relievers, herbal medicines, probiotics and alternative medicines.

The following table lists different types of medication and examples:

digestive aids anticonvulsants Painkiller
Iberogast (15) Buscopan (18) Dalgan (21)
Creon(16) Duspatalin(19) Algifor(22)
Motilium(17) Spasmo-Urogenin(20) Aleve (23)

Digestive agents are mainly used for digestive problems. Antiflatulents are medicines that are effective against flatulence. Especially herbal bitters, bile and digestive enzymes are to be regarded as digestive aids.

The active ingredient scopolamine butyl bromide is often used as an antispasmodic, as this is one of the antispasmodic active ingredients from the group of parasympatholytics. This is particularly suitable for the treatment of cramps and movement disorders of the digestive tract, but also of the bile and urinary tract. (8th)

But common painkillers can also help with abdominal cramps in the lower abdomen.(9) The active ingredients include paracetamol (10), ibuprofen (11) and naproxen.(12) These are often taken for menstrual pain, for example.

Probiotics are mainly used to treat and prevent diarrheal diseases because they normalize the intestinal flora.(13)

When taking medication, you should generally note that medication always has advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • quick effect
  • different dosage forms
Disadvantages
  • side effects possible
  • Problems with the right dosage/li>

    The main advantage of medicines is that they usually take effect very quickly. They are also available in various dosage forms such as tablets, capsules, granules or juices.

    However, one should always keep in mind that drugs can also have disadvantages. For example, finding the right dosage is not always easy, especially when it comes to self-medication. Furthermore, most drugs also have side effects that can occur.

    Which home remedies help with cramps in the lower abdomen?

    If you don't want to resort to classic medicines, there are also herbal medicines and classic home remedies. The most important home remedies for cramps in the lower abdomen are: heat, tea, no heavy food and sufficient rest.

    Thermophores filled with warm water can help to ensure sufficient heat. However, you should be careful not to burn yourself. Thermophor or hot water bottles help in particular with period pain.

    Tea is very easy to dose!

    But tea is also helpful, as the warm drink provides sufficient fluid and warmth. For example, digestive teas such as fennel, anise, caraway, and chamomile are good for abdominal cramps, especially lower abdominal cramps.

    The diet should also be generally adjusted in the case of lower abdominal cramps and abdominal cramps. It is therefore advisable to eat only easily digestible food, also known as bland food, if you have stomach cramps. Easily digestible food is low-fat, low-sugar and non-spicy ingredients or dishes. For example, oatmeal with yoghurt and an apple would be recommended as a light diet.

    Another well-known home remedy is avoiding stress or getting enough rest. Because stress can also lead to stomach cramps, since the intestines have a stomach brain and too much tension in the head activates the immune cells. This releases inflammatory substances, which can cause muscle cells to contract. Therefore, it is important to avoid stress and ensure adequate rest when fights occur.

    However, home remedies can also have advantages and disadvantages. These are shown below:

    Advantages
    • no chemical agents
    • readily available in supermarkets and drugstores
    • well tolerated
    Disadvantages
  • effect may not occur
  • Basic knowledge of home remedies should be available
  • Side effects and/or interactions due to incorrect consumption
  • The biggest advantage of home remedies is that they do not contain any chemical agents. In addition, most home remedies are easily available, for example in the supermarket or drugstore, since numerous foods and teas can help to combat abdominal cramps, especially lower abdominal cramps. Furthermore, home remedies are characterized by their good tolerability.

    However, home remedies can also have disadvantages, such as ineffectiveness. In the case of wrong knowledge or mistakes in the application, it can happen that no effect or a wrong effect is achieved with home remedies. Furthermore, it may be that home remedies, despite correct use, do not remedy the pain. It should also be noted that interactions or side effects can also occur when using home remedies.

    When should I see a doctor for lower abdominal pain?

    In general, abdominal cramps, especially lower abdominal cramps, occur relatively frequently and are mostly harmless. Stomach cramps can occur relatively quickly, especially after eating food that is difficult to digest. However, there are also some warning signs that require immediate medical attention.

    These warning signs include the following symptoms:

    • Vomiting blood, black stools, visible blood in stools
    • Not being able to urinate and/or have a bowel movement, although there is an urge to do so
    • very severe pain
    • Persistent colicky pain that cannot be relieved by painkillers, fasting and rest
    • in the presence of concomitant diseases, abdominal surgery in the past and new, unexplained complaints
    • Acute clinical picture with severe pain, fever and severe physical weakness
    • in children and the elderly when there is a risk of dehydration due to fluid loss through diarrhea and/or vomiting

    If abdominal cramps occur during pregnancy, you should pay special attention to them and consult a doctor. Pregnant individuals should also be careful not to self-medicate without knowing whether it could be harmful.

    Basically, it is better to see a doctor more often than to ignore or misjudge symptoms. It is important that recurring abdominal cramps are checked by a doctor.

    get rid of cramps!

    Try our liposomal magnesium now


    • Enriched with zinc, selenium, chromium and taurine đŸ§Ș
    • Developed for people who often suffer from cramps đŸ’Ș
    • Get a 21% discount now 💰*

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    *The discount is automatically applied to the product

    Cramps in the lower abdomen: The best tips & tricks against cramps in the lower abdomen

    To combat pelvic cramps, there are some measures that can help to avoid the pain or at least alleviate it. We have selected and summarized the best tips and tricks for you.

    Find out the causes of cramps in the lower abdomen

    At the beginning it is important to find out where the lower abdominal cramps are coming from. This is also important for making a diagnosis at the doctor's. Therefore, one should always try to find out in advance whether the lower abdominal cramps are in the left lower abdomen, right lower abdomen or in the middle lower abdomen.

    Furthermore, the time when the pain starts can play an important role for the doctor. For example, whether the lower abdominal cramps always occur after eating or, for example, in stressful situations. It can be helpful to keep a pain diary to determine when and where lower abdominal pain occurs.

    Fight cramps in the lower abdomen with home remedies

    There are a few home remedies that you can use to relieve or combat abdominal cramps. The 4 most important home remedies are summarized below.

    stress relief

    Stomach cramps can be triggered by stress. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid stress. The best way to do this is to know what factors are causing the stress. Therefore, one should analyze the stress factors at the beginning.

    If you are already in the midst of stress, there are also some measures you can try to manage the stress:

    • Relaxation: Just take a break and do nothing.
    • React: Sometimes it is helpful to react in a controlled manner, for example by stamping your foot or shouting loudly.
    • Distraction: Try to focus your perception on something completely different, for example look carefully out of the window or look at an analog picture.
    • Reduce stress factors: Noise sources such as the radio or mobile phones can be stress factors, to reduce them simply turn them off.

    The measures are particularly helpful for short-term stress or in an acute stressful situation. However, you can also reduce stress in the long term. For example, by changing your inner attitude, because stress factors often have a psychological origin.

    In order to change your attitude, you should start by reflecting on your own behavior. It can also help to engage in positive self-talk to reduce stress.

    Other methods that can help are relaxation methods such as meditation or yoga.

    yoga

    Yoga and autogenic training help to cope with stress. (Image source: ammentorp / 123rf)

    Autogenic training is primarily used to reduce psychological stress. But exercise can also help reduce stress.

    Basically, it would be important to avoid the stress factors. In order for this to work, there are a few points to keep in mind:

    • Use a time management method
    • Avoid conflicts
    • Refrain from multitasking
    • Reduce distraction
    • Avoid crowd stress

    In order to avoid stress factors, it is often helpful to rethink your time management. It is important to separate the important from the unimportant so that you don't take on too many tasks.

    It is also helpful to avoid conflicts with other people. This can be done simply by addressing critics to solve problems and reduce stress. It is also helpful to avoid multitasking. Because by multitasking you don't achieve more overall than if you do the tasks one by one.

    Reducing distraction is a key point. Above all, the reduction caused by the distraction of electronic devices such as mobile phones, TVs and computers, as these constantly provide new stimuli for the brain. Therefore, treat yourself to a digital break at the end of the day.

    Crowds of people can also be stress factors. For example, when shopping during a rush hour. You can easily avoid this by moving your purchases to another time.

    Eat

    In order to relieve abdominal cramps, one should avoid hard-to-digest, high-fat and high-sugar foods. In the case of abdominal cramps, a light diet is generally recommended. Light food is defined as food that does not cause any problems for the digestive system.

    light food

    Bland foods do not put as much strain on the digestive process. Therefore, if you have cramps in the lower abdomen and abdominal cramps in general, you should resort to bland food. (Image source: Drew Taylor /Unsplash)

    It is important that if you have decided to go to a doctor the next day as an emergency, you should remain sober until the cause and further action have been clarified with the doctor.

    Drink

    It is always important to drink enough. Teas are a particularly good option for lower abdominal cramps. Above all, digestive teas such as fennel, anise and caraway or chamomile can provide pain relief for lower abdominal cramps and abdominal cramps in general.

    warmth

    Another tip is heat. The influence of the heat allows the cramped muscles to relax, which relieves the cramps. Hot water bottles, which you simply place on your stomach, are very suitable for this. However, you should be careful not to use too hot water to avoid burning yourself.

    Conclusion

    Abdominal cramps, especially lower abdominal cramps, can have various causes. However, there are also some measures that are effective against cramps in the lower abdomen. It is therefore important that you listen to your body and find out, for example with a pain diary, when and why the lower abdominal cramps occur.

    But there are also things you can do to prevent cramps in the lower abdomen. For example, avoiding stress. Furthermore, a healthy and balanced diet is helpful to avoid stomach upsets. If lower back cramps have already occurred, they can be treated with medication or home remedies.

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