Gastrointestinal cramps

What Causes Gastrointestinal (GI) Cramps?

Gastrointestinal (GI) cramps are an uncomfortable symptom that can range from mild to severe in intensity. They can feel like a tight or cramping sensation in the abdomen and can also cause lower back pain. GI cramps can be caused by a variety of things, such as:

  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as IBS or GERD
  • Infections such as bacterial or viral
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Consumption of certain foods or beverages
  • Low fiber diet
  • Medications, including antibiotics

Mild GI cramps can usually be managed on your own, with rest, avoiding certain foods and fluids, and taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or antacids. However, if symptoms persist or become severe, it is important to contact your doctor to rule out more serious underlying conditions. In some cases, a doctor may recommend further testing, such as an endoscopy or imaging, to diagnose a specific gastrointestinal disorder.