The human body is an intricate machine. At any given point, a multitude of factors are impacting how well it functions, and how you feel — including what you've eaten, environmental factors, and how you're feeling emotionally. Thus, when you're feeling under the weather, it can be hard to determine why. For instance, there are a number of sources of stomach pain that could help explain your cramps, bloating, sharp pains, or whatever else is ailing you. Find the source, and you have a better chance of alleviating your discomfort.
Stomach (or abdominal) pain can be categorized based on the specific area where you're experiencing it. Commonly, the abdomen is divided up into four sections, says Medscape, although science has also identified up to nine regions. The four include the right upper, left upper, right lower, and left lower quadrants. Determining the location of your pain can also help pinpoint the cause. For example, according to the Physician Partners of America, pain in the left upper quadrant could be happening in your stomach, spleen, or part of your colon.
Most of us aren't doctors; and understandably, we're not well enough versed in human anatomy to understand anything other than we have a pain in our stomach. If abdominal discomfort is leaving you in agony, here are 12 common causes that could be behind it — but remember, you should always consult a doctor for an actual medical diagnosis before making any assumptions or engaging in any self-treatment.