What Is Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal pain refers to cramping, dull ache, or a sharp, burning, or twisting pain in the tummy . Abdominal pain is also called stomach, belly, gut, or stomach pain.
- The abdomen contains the major organs such as the stomach, large and small intestines, appendix, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, and pancreas. The largest artery and vein in the body are also in the abdomen.
- Abdominal pain can be very serious, but most abdominal pain is caused by a minor upset or stomach âbugâ and does not last long. Minor abdominal pain is very common, and people may experience an upset stomach or cramping every few months. You can usually treat abdominal pain yourself and it will go away within a few days.
- Localized pain is defined in one area of ââthe abdomen. This type of pain is usually caused by a problem in a particular organ. Stomach ulcers are the most common cause of localized pain.
- Cramping-like pain may be associated with diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas. In women, it can be connected with menstruation, miscarriage, or reproductive complications. This pain comes and goes, and may go away on its own without treatment.
- Colonic pain is a symptom of more serious conditions, such as gallstones or kidney stones. This pain comes on suddenly and can look like a severe muscle spasm.
How Can I Feel Better
Most bellyaches don’t have a serious cause. They can happen for many different reasons, but most are easy to treat.
If stress or anxiety seem to be behind the pain, the doctor may recommend that you talk to a counselor or therapist. They help people figure out what’s behind their stress and give advice on how to fix problems or handle them better.
Treatment For Abdominal Pain In Adults
Your treatment depends on what is causing your pain, but may include:
- Pain relief your pain may not go away fully with painkillers, but it should ease.
- Fluids you may have fluids given into a vein to correct fluid loss and rest your bowel.
- Medicines for example, you may be given something to stop you vomiting.
- Fasting your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink anything until the cause of your pain is known.
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When Should An Adult Seek Medical Care For Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal pain that lasts more than six hours or continues to worsen
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain that worsens when a person tries to move around
- Pain that starts all over, but settles into one area, especially the right lower abdomen
- Pain that awakens a person up at night
- Pain with vaginal bleeding or pregnancy, even if a female only thinks she might be pregnant
- Pain accompanied by a fever over 101 F
- Pain along with an inability to urinate, move the bowels, or pass gas
- Any other pain that feels different from a simple stomach ache
- Any other pain that alarms a person, or concerns them in any way
If the person has any of the following, or cannot reach their doctor, go to a hospital emergency department:
- Very severe pain
- Pain so bad the affected person passes out or almost passes out
- Pain so bad the affected person cannot move
- Pain and vomiting blood, or any vomiting that lasts more than 6 hours
- Pain and no bowel movement for more than three days
- Pain the person thinks might be in their chest, but they aren’t sure
- Pain that seems to come from the person’s testicles
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Take Some Deep Breaths
Deep breathing may help with gas pain. But this only tends to work if it’s something you practice regularly.
Since deep breathing from the diaphragm is so effective for reducing stress, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to do it. You can then use this breathing technique as needed for future gas attacks.
How To Get Rid Of Poop Cramps & Bowel Movement Pain
Management of cramps of pain during bowel movement requires an interplay of different medications and non-pharmacological interventions. This interplay speeds up the process of healing while preventing the worsening of the condition and other complications that may arise.
There are home remedies that you may use but if the condition persists, do not insist. See a doctor or a gastroenterologist. Pregnancy could also lead to pregnancy-related constipation which leads to pain during bowel movements and therefore, this needs to be corrected.
Anti-cholinergic and antispasmodics:
Hysocine-S-butylbromide, hyoscyamine, dicyclomine, drotaverine and dicyloverine are good medications that treat colonic spasms that lead to cramping pain.
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Is Stomach Flu Contagious
Yes! Usually a virus causes the stomach flu. Symptoms appear one to three days after exposure, so you are contagious before you begin to develop symptoms.
And even after youve recovered from your symptoms, you can remain contagious for up to two weeks. Children can remain contagious for an even longer period afterward.
To decrease the risk of passing it onto others, do not go to work or school with symptoms. If you have a fever, wait until its gone for 24 hours before returning to your routine.
General Abdominal Pain With Bloating
Possible explanation: irritable bowel syndrome
What is it: As a syndrome, IBS refers to a group of symptoms that have been identified in addition to abdominal pain and bloating, many people also experience changes in bowel habits like constipation and diarrhea. It is not well known what causes IBS, but it may be related to genetics, food sensitivity, stress, or an infection.
Treatment: There is no cure for IBS at this time, so treatment revolves around managing whatever symptoms are present. Medications to treat diarrhea and constipation can be supplemented by some changes to diet one highly recommended regimen is a low-FODMAP diet, which refers to foods that contain certain fermentable components.
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How To Get Rid Of Stomach Cramps
Dont eat solid food while you have the cramps or for a few hours following. When you resume eating again, eat simple items such as rice, applesauce, bananas, toast, or plain crackers.
- Dont eat dairy products, acidic foods such as tomatoes, and fast food .
Eat small meals. Large meals can also strengthen intestinal contractions. Aim to eat small meals frequently throughout your day so as to not strain your system.
Avoid any complex drinks, alcohol, or any caffeinated or carbonated drink. Sip water or clear fluids.
Avoid fatty foods. Fatty foods contain substances that can exaggerate the strength of intestinal contractions, thus resulting in increased stomach ache and cramping. Aim to eat low-fat meals, avoiding anything greasy, fried or fatty.
Avoid overloading your digestive system with food that will add to the digestive burden. Keep things simple for a while until the cramps pass if you experience any vomiting, dont eat until 6 hours have passed.
Go to the restroom. It may seem impossible, but sometimes all a stomach ache is asking for is a good, solid bowel movement.
Try to exercise the cramps away. Take a walk around your house, or in the garden. This can be helpful when you find that sitting or lying down is uncomfortable. Its not advised to walk too far from a bathroom, though, just in case the cramps are signaling the onset of diarrhea.
Ginger Tea As A Stomach Pain Remedy
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger neutralize excess acids that cause stomach pain.
Drinking ginger tea may help to stimulate proper digestion by promoting the production of digestive juices while fighting harmful free radicals that cause disease.
Drink two to three cups of ginger tea daily.
- Cut one medium-sized ginger root into thin slices.
- Add the ginger to one cup of boiling water and boil for three minutes.
- Lower heat and simmer for five minutes.
- Strain and add honey for flavor.
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If Youre Not Sure Whats Causing Your Pain
The remedy: Give yourself a massage
A little TLC can go a long way, says Joubert. “Place one hand on top of the other in the area of pain. Apply gentle pressure and make circular motions 10 to 20 times. Focus on breathing into this areabreathe in 1-2-3 through the nose, hold 1-2-3, exhale through the mouth 1-2-3-4. The increased oxygen will help blood flow and pain management.”
If that doesn’t do the trick, Joubert suggests changing up your position. “Lay on the floor, bring your knees to the chest so that feet are above the heart level, and gently rock 10-20 times while focusing on your breathing.”
If none of this advice makes any differenceor you’re getting stomach aches several times a monthcall your doctor. You may have a digestive disorder that needs treatment, or you may need to revamp your diet. Its possible that a lack of fiber or a food sensitivity could be causing your discomfort.
How To Get Rid Of Gas Pains And Bloating
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Is gas normal?
The average adult passes gas between 13 and 21 times a day. Gas is a normal part of the digestion process. But if gas builds up in your intestines and youre unable to expel it, you may start to feel pain and discomfort.
- swallowing air while you eat or drink
- gum chewing
Make an appointment with your doctor if your gas symptoms:
- cause you distress
- change suddenly
- are accompanied with constipation, diarrhea, or weight loss
Your doctor can determine the underlying cause. If you dont already have a primary care provider, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
The type of pain can vary greatly. When abdominal pain occurs, it can:
- be sharp, dull, stabbing, cramp-like, twisting or fit many other descriptions
- be brief, come and go in waves, or it can be constant
- make you throw up
- make you want to stay still or make you so restless that you pace around trying to find just the right position
- vary from a minor problem to one needing urgent surgery.
Check For Bloody Stool
Ensure that there is no blood in the stool. This seems obvious for children still in diapers, but make sure to check the stool of those who are potty-trained, as they may not mention this to you. If you do find blood in the stool, see your childs doctor right away.
Sometimes blood in the stool can be microscopic, so your childs pediatrician may ask for a stool sample to test for blood if there is any concern.
In addition, talk to your doctor if your child has diarrhea along with weight loss or poor weight gain, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, or stools that are greasy or oily.
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Causes Of The Stomach Flu
The stomach flu is usually caused by any number of different viruses that can attack your gastrointestinal system. Its not caused by the influenza virus, which gives you the seasonal flu.
Less often, bacteria can cause it, typically due to contaminated water or food that was prepared inadequately or in an unhygienic environment.
How To Get Rid Of Gas Pain
If youve ever experienced waves of sharp pain in your belly along with the feeling that your waistline is inflating like a balloon, you might be experiencing bloating and cramps due to intestinal gas.
Everyone gets gas on occasion. Its a natural byproduct of the bacteria in your intestines doing their job and breaking down the fibers, sugars and starches in the food you eat. Though gas pain is usually nothing serious, the discomfort can be intense.
Intestinal gas and its discomfort are likely to resolve on their own. Burping or passing gas through the rectum is usually enough to ease your physical discomfort.
Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Hazel Marie Galon Veloso provides some perspective on bloating and gas cramps, including when to see a doctor.
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What Not To Eat
Generally, avoid dairy, fibrous foods, and anything fatty or spicy.
- Dairy: Not everyone has a problem with milk when they have the stomach flu, but it could be hard to digest and can aggravate gas and diarrhea.
- Fiber: You dont need the extra fiber if your bowels are loose.
- Grease: Avoid greasy and salty foods like bacon.
- Spices: Stay away from tomato-based dishes, curries, and chili sauces.
Acupressure has been shown to be effective in treating some types of nausea. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center suggests finding pressure point P-6 by measuring the width of three fingers down from the bottom of your palm.
Press below that width with your thumb and youll feel a sensitive spot between two tendons. Gently massage with your thumb for two or three minutes.
Sea-Bands are a product worn on the wrists. These can be useful in treating nausea if the P-6 acupressure point gives you relief.
How Do I Know If Its Anxiety And Not An Ulcer
Its not uncommon to find yourself concerned that your struggle with stomach pain is not from anxiety or stress at all. For example, you may find yourself concerned that instead of anxiety, what you are really struggling with is an ulcer.
Only a doctor can diagnose whether or not your pain is from an ulcer, but there are some clues. The clearest signal is if you have any blood in your stool or acid burps . Thats often a clear sign of an ulcer. Also, if the pain or discomfort tends to occur after eating and isnt related to a similar condition, GERD , its possible you may have an ulcer.
However, this is complicated by the fact that ulcers can be caused by long-term stress and anxiety, as they stimulate the production of extra stomach acid. This excess acid in the stomach breaks down the gastric or intestinal lining and cause open wounds that may harm your health.
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How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps 10 Secret Weapons
Ever wonder how to get rid of period cramps? I know. It might seem strange that, as a man, Im offering advice on how to combat painful periods. But with so many women suffering from painful PMS symptoms each month, its a topic Ive wanted to tackle for some time now.
Sharp Jabbing Pain In The Upper Right Abdomen
Possible explanation: gallstones
What is it: The gallbladder stores some of the bile that is used in digestion it combines with digestive juices from the liver and pancreas to break down the partially digested food that has left the stomach and entered the small intestine. The most frequent cause of gallstones is when the liver excretes excess cholesterol that excess cholesterol can collect in the gallbladder and harden into gallstones. The gallbladder sits next to the liver, and it is in this location in the upper right abdomen that sharp pain can be felt when the body attempts to pass the gallstones through the narrow biliary duct.
Treatment: Some people have gallstones without any symptoms at all, but when pain begins, the condition needs to be treated soon. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments range from oral medication to dissolve the stones to surgery to remove the gallbladder.
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Finding The Source Of Your Stomach Cramps
Try to pinpoint the area of your pain. Doing this is important from the point of view of knowing how to treat them or knowing whether a doctors visit is essential. Abdominal pain is considered to be pain felt anywhere from below your ribs to your pelvis. The following indicators might assist you:
- Sharp, localized pains that stab or pierce can be a sign of a very serious condition such as appendicitis or a ruptured organ.
- A dull, generally-spread pain might be indicative that your cramps, while painful, are not dangerous, but may require off the counter medication.
- Menstrual cramps are clearly experienced only by those of menstruating age. These cramps usually occur in the first days of menstruation and do not last more than a few days.
- Stomach cramps after eating a large amount of food quickly, greasy food, foods youre allergic to, etc., can indicate a digestive system reaction.
- Lower back pain that persists might be a sign of kidney stones. See your doctor for advice.
- Pain and burning sensations on urinating or passing stools can be a sign of a urinary tract infection or constipation.
- Muscle spasms can bring about cramps when exercising or swimming.