In many cases, stomach and abdominal pain are not signs of serious illness. The sensation is often short-lived, indicating indigestion or another minor ailment that will resolve without medical attention. Some serious medical conditions can cause abdominal pain, however. Pain that does not ease with over-the-counter remedies or that lasts for more than a few days without a known cause should be investigated by a doctor.
Gastroenteritis is the medical term for a stomach bug caused by a viral infection. This is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain, and many people with the infection also experience diarrhea. The pain can be severe enough to be debilitating, but it usually passes within 24 hours, assuming the infected individual has a healthy immune system. In extreme cases, gastroenteritis can last as long as two weeks.
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