The Spiritual Reason Behind Abdominal Pain

Article written by Dr. Michelle Strydom MD, Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

There are many causes for abdominal pain and it is important for you to go to a doctor so that investigations and tests can be carried out to find the exact cause.

Below is a table summarizing the most common causes of abdominal pain that has been present for a short period of time (i.e. acute abdominal pain).46 The underlying spiritual root depends on the cause.

Most of the causes for acute abdominal pain listed in the table (exceptions are mentioned below) can be traced back to fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life. Therefore it is important for you to turn to page 180 to gain a background understanding of the effects of long term fear, anxiety and stress on your body before reading this section any further.

Stage 2 and 3 of stress alters the way in which the central nervous system processes sensory information coming form your gut. The nerves that stimulate your gut (your gut includes your stomach, intestines, colon and rectum) are told what to do by the central nervous system, which is under control of the hypothalamus in your brain. Remember the hypothalamus is the mind-body connection – it translates your thoughts into a physical reaction. When you have long term fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life, the hypothalamus alters the way in which the central nervous system functions (during stage 2 and 3 of stress). This results in an imbalance in the central nervous system where ‘wrong instructions’ are sent to the nerves that stimulate your gut – one of the consequences of this is that it causes malfunction or misfiring of these nerves. Misfiring and persistent stimulation of the nerves can cause irritation and inflammation of different body structures as well as contraction of the muscles in the gut wall which causes pain. Damage to the immune system during stage 2 and 3 of stress, makes you susceptible to infections (which you don’t normally get if your immune system is healthy). So the combination of inflammation and infection leads to some of the diseases in the table above. Abdominal pain is just a symptom of these underlying diseases.

On page 523 is a chapter which will help you to deal with those issues that are robbing you of your peace.

Aneurysms can cause abdominal and/or back pain – this has a different root which is anger, rage and resentment. This is discussed in the chapter on cardiovascular disorders on page 335.

Cholecytitis (inflammation and infection of the gallbladder) and biliary colic is caused by gall stones (This is discussed in detail on page 427). When the gall stones are large, they get stuck in the bile duct. This blocks the flow of bile and the pressure in the gall bladder and bile duct builds up. This stretches the gall bladder, causing inflammation and pain, which is what biliary colic is. The pain is felt in the upper, middle part of your abdomen (70% of patients) or in the right upper part of your abdomen (20% of patients). It can radiate to the upper middle part of your back between your shoulder blades or your shoulder. Less commonly the pain can be in the left upper part of your abdomen or the lower part of your chest.

The pain is typically of sudden onset and lasts for about 2 hours. The pain comes and goes. If the pain lasts continuously for more than 6 hours, this suggests a complication has developed like cholecystitis or pancreatitis. There are two spiritual roots behind the development of gall stones and the subsequent complications of biliary colic and cholecystitis – self-hatred, self-condemnation, self-rejection, people who are very, very angry with themselves plus fear, anxiety and stress.

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) can be a complication of alcohol abuse – the root for this is low self-esteem, insecurity and the need to be loved unfulfilled – this is discussed in the chapter on addictions. The other common cause of pancreatitis is gall stones mentioned under cholecystitis above.

A person with pancreatitis has pain in the upper, middle part of the abdomen that can radiate to the back. The pain is typically eased by leaning forward or getting on all fours. Some people experience pain in one or both loins and gain relief by lying on one side. Sometimes the pain is brought on by eating, especially fatty foods. Application of heat brings relief. The person also has severe nausea and vomiting. When the pancreatitis has been present for a long time, the person loses a lot of weight (because of malabsorption and not eating properly due to pain). The person’s stools become pale, they have an abnormally offensive odour and float on water (this condition is called steatorrhoea which is due to fats not being absorbed in the gut).

The spiritual root of ovarian cysts is bitterness, anger and great resentment of a girl towards her mother – there is a break up in the relationship and unresolved issues between them (this is discussed in detail on page 407).

Intestinal obstruction can be caused by constriction of your gut wall by scars from previous surgery to your abdomen. There is no spiritual root here – it is just a complication of surgery. All that is needed is to in faith ask God for a creative miracle and heal the tissue that has been damaged. However what was the reason for your surgery? Is there a spiritual root associated behind the disease that lead to you needing surgery? Hernias result from weakening of the abdominal muscles. When the abdominal muscles are weakened, a portion of your gut can push (i.e. herniate) through the abdominal muscle walls. The abdominal weakness can be exacerbated by a build up of intra abdominal pressure during straining (constipation), coughing or lifting heavy weights. I am not sure of the spiritual roots behind hernias, although according to the Bible there is sin and disobedience behind it. 2 Chronicles 21 v 4, 6 and 12 – 20 tells the story of King Jehoram who disobeyed God and did evil in His sight. The Bible says that as a consequence of this he got a sickness in his bowels where his “bowels fell out”. That sounds like the description of a hernia to me. There are many other causes of intestinal obstruction and the spiritual root depends on the underlying disease causing it.

Chronic Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain that has been present for a long time is called chronic abdominal pain. As I mentioned previously, it is important for you to go to a doctor, so that the appropriate investigations and tests can be done to establish the exact cause of your abdominal pain. There are also many causes for chronic abdominal pain. Some common causes are:

Indigestion, stomach ulcers, constipation, diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, muscle cramps (neurological misfiring), abscess (infection) in the abdomen, diabetes mellitus – the spiritual root for all of these conditions, as discussed above is fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life. Diabetes also has an autoimmune component to it which has an additional spiritual root – self-hatred, self-rejection and guilt – this is discussed in more detail on page 200.

If you have been diagnosed with atherosclersosis (high cholesterol that deposits on the walls of your blood vessels), and your abdominal pain is provoked by food – then you could have mesenteric ischaemia (insufficient blood supply to the tissues around your intestines). In this case you need to look up the spiritual root for atherosclerosis, which is discussed on page 335. You also urgently need to go see a doctor as surgery may be necessary to remove tissue that has died (tissues eventually die when they don’t have enough blood supply. Dead tissue quickly becomes infected leading to potentially life threatening complications).

Pain in the upper part of the abdomen which radiates to the back, with a history of alcohol abuse, weight loss and diarrhea suggest pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or pancreatic cancer. You need to go to a doctor to have an ultrasound, CT scan and pancreatic function tests. This is a complication of alcohol abuse – the root for this is low self-esteem, insecurity and the need to be loved unfulfilled – this is discussed in the chapter on addictions on page 216.

Recurrent attacks of abdominal pain that radiates to the flanks or is in the loins, with problems experienced when passing urine can indicate kidney stones.

Crohns disease can cause abdominal pain because the inflammation of the gut walls and abscesses block the lumen of the gut causing an obstruction. This disease and the spiritual root behind it is discussed in detail previously in this chapter on page 364.

Many of these conditions that cause abdominal pain require urgent medical attention as they have complications that can be life threatening. That is why it is essential for you go and see a doctor if you have abdominal pain that fits one of the descriptions mentioned here. Often antibiotics and surgery may be necessary to get you back into a place of safety, so that you have time to sort out the underlying issues. If you don’t sort out the root problem, the illnesses are just going to keep coming back.


Before reading about colic, please read the chapter on genetically inherited diseases on page 153 which has essential background information.

A baby will cry continuously if it is:

• Tired, hungry or thirsty.

• Has a dirty or wet nappy.

• Too hot or cold.

• Itchy – itchy clothes or labels or eczema.

• Needs to be winded.

• Is in pain for example due to a nappy rash or an underlying medical problem, for example a bladder or kidney infection or intestinal obstruction,

Colic affects babies in the first 4 months of life. This is a condition where a baby cries uncontrollably for none of the above mentioned reasons. The crying lasts several hours a day over a few weeks. If usually gets worse in the late afternoon and evening and can disrupt the baby’s sleep. Whilst crying the babies arch their backs, draw their legs towards their tummy, become red in the face, pass wind and scream continuously. However the baby is not in pain although it may appear to be. Colic is not a serious condition in that the baby will continue to grow and develop normally. The main problem with colic is the stress and anxiety that it creates in the home, especially if it is the first child. The parents find it difficult to cope with the constant crying and the feeling of not being able to comfort their child or provide something the child desperately wants or needs. This can result in stress, anxiety, feelings of helplessness, a low self-esteem and depression. The sleep deprivation that the parents experience as a result of the crying exacerbates the problem.

Research done at the Colic Clinic at Brown University showed that half of babies with colic had gastrooesophageal reflux which is heart burn (discussed in detail on page 368). Symptoms of this include vomiting and difficulty sucking. Behind gastro-oesophageal reflux in a baby is fear, anxiety and stress which is inherited.

Colic is directly caused by an inherited spirit of fear, often from the mother. The medical research has linked colic with prenatal stress, birth trauma and/or maternal stress. The excessive crying is the baby’s way of expressing and releasing the internal stress.

Firstly in dealing with colic, it is necessary for the parents to repent for fear – both personally and for fear in previous generations. I explained in detail how to deal with genetically inherited diseases in the chapter on page 153 which I initially referred you to. Secondly you must understand that fear is not just an emotion, it is an evil spirit (see 2 Timothy 1 v 7). In order for the child to be healed of colic, the spirit of fear has to be cast out. Now I don’t Colic is directly caused by an inherited spirit of fear, often from the mother. know if that is part of your theology but if your baby can be healed another way, then God bless you! All I know is that when the spirit of fear is gone – babies have recovered from colic. People are so afraid of the term “evil spirit.

Colic is directly caused by an inherited spirit of fear, often from the mother.

Mark 16 v 17: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My Name they will drive out demons. They will speak in new languages; they will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well”

All you have to do is say “On the authority of the Name of Jesus I command the spirit of fear to leave! Be gone in Jesus Name!” (I explain more about deliverance in the chapter on page 449). If fear, anxiety and stress dominate your thought life as a parent, I strongly recommend that you deal with it as this has the potential to cause over 100 incurable diseases. These two chapters have important teaching on fear, anxiety and stress:

 “How Long Term Fear, Anxiety and Stress Affects the Body” – page 180.

• “Dealing with Fear, Anxiety and Stress” – page 523.

Dr. Caroline Leaf who has been involved in research on the brain for over 25 years teaches that the best may to relieve stress in a child is touch and love. The baby needs lots of close contact. The best place to put the baby is on your chest where it can hear your heart beat (carry your baby in a front sling). The close contact and sound of your heart beat will stimulate the baby’s parasympathetic nerves as well as the release of hormones such as endorphins, encephalins, serotonin, dopamine and many other healthy chemicals. The parasympathetic nerves calm the baby. The endorphins and encephalins are natural destressing hormones as well as pain killers. Serotonin makes you feel good and dopamine is the pleasure chemical. These hormones will also be released if you sing or talk softly to your baby. Pray and speak the Word over your baby!

In Henry Wright’s book “A More Excellent Way”, there is a testimony of a baby who was healed of colic through dealing with the spirit of fear behind it: “When the baby was born, they brought her home and she began to have all night colic and they couldn’t sleep. They even put her on a clothes basket on the dryer one night and turned the dryer on hoping the vibration of the dryer would make her go to sleep. They were frustrated. The daughter had an inherited spirit of fear. This is an iniquity of the generations, a familiar spirit, a fear of abandonment…they dealt with it and she slept 7 hours. And they slept 7 hours too. She never had colic ever again. When they had another daughter, the first thing they did when they brought her home is that they set her before the Lord by faith and they broke the power of iniquity that was travelling in her also, and that child never had colic one time.”

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