When To See A Healthcare Provider
If your stomachache is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider:
- Nausea and vomiting for several days
- Bloody stools
- Significant abdominal tenderness
- Pain persists for several days
- Signs of dehydration
Any of the aforementioned symptoms signal something may be wrong, such as an infection or illness, that requires medical attention.
What Causes Upper Stomach Pain
Potential causes of upper stomach pain include:
- Obstruction of the bowel
- Stomach virus
While the ailment has many causes, the nature of your discomfort gradual or sudden, aching or sharp can indicate to your doctor what is causing your upper stomach pain. Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe an appropriate treatment.
What Even Causes Gas Pain
Why does gas sometimes hurt so bad that you want to cry and check yourself into the ER? Good question. There are a few main causes of gas to keep in mind:
1. Youre swallowing a lot of air: We touched on this above, but its worth emphasizing as a gas pain cause. While its unlikely that youre actually trying to suck down a bunch of oxygen, certain habits like regularly using a straw, drinking a lot of carbonated beverages, eating too quickly, and chewing gum can cause you to take in more air than normal. When this causes gas, its typically via burping, since the air comes back up before it can go all the way to your stomach.
2. Youre eating foods youre sensitive to: Your stomach and small intestine dont entirely break down certain carbohydrates you eat, so they end up getting to your large intestine intact, according to NIDDK. There, bacteria make gas as they process these undigested sugars, fibers, and starches. Certain foods, like dairy products and cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, are more likely to cause gas than others, but everyones triggers are different.
3. You have a health condition: Gas can happen if you have health conditions that affect your digestive system, like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, or Crohns disease, or bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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When Is Stomach Pain Most Likely To Occur
If you have anxiety, stomach pain can occur at any time even when no anxiety is present. However, many people experience stomach pain during panic attacks.
The exact link between an anxiety attack and stomach pain is not clear, other than the fact that during a panic attack, your body is under a considerable amount of stress, and your hormones are often on overdrive. Also, those with anxiety attacks are prone to hyperventilation, which may lead to symptoms that create stomach pain.
What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is pain felt anywhere in the area between the bottom of the ribs and the pelvis. Most Australians will experience abdominal pain at some point in their lives.
Abdominal pain can be serious, but most abdominal pain gets better on its own without needing any special treatment.
People sometimes refer to abdominal pain as stomach pain, stomach ache, stomach cramps, tummy pain, sore stomach, wind pain or belly ache.
Pain or discomfort in the abdomen can be mild or severe. It may come on suddenly it could be something that you experience from time to time or it could be an ongoing symptom that lasts for more than 3 months . It can also start off mild and steadily worsen . Pain that comes and goes in waves is referred to as colicky pain.
This page is about abdominal pain in adults, or anyone over the age of 12. Go to this page for information on abdominal pain in children.
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Intraperitoneal Gas Pain Relief
Intraperitoneal gas pain results when gas becomes trapped in the abdominal cavity and is usually the result of laparoscopic surgery. While this kind of gas pain may be unpleasant, laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that typically has a shorter recovery time with less overall pain.
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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Abdominal Pain In Adults
Abdominal pain can be treated by a variety of doctors depending on the cause of the pain. It is usually best to start off with a primary care physician who can start the process of diagnosing the origin of the pain. Depending on the final diagnosis you will be treated by a primary care doctor or referred to a surgeon , gastroenterologist, or gynecologist. If the pain is severe you might end up in the emergency department where an emergency medicine physician will be the first one to take care of you.
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Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
There are many reasons why you may have pain in your abdomen. People often worry about appendicitis, gallstones, ulcers, infections and pregnancy problems. Doctors also worry about these, as well as many other conditions. Abdominal pain may not come from the abdomen. Some surprising causes include heart attacks and pneumonias, conditions in the pelvis or groin, some skin rashes like shingles, and problems with stomach muscles like a strain. The pain may occur along with problems in passing urine or with bowel motions, or period problems.With so many organs and structures in the abdomen, it can be hard for a doctor to be absolutely sure about the cause of your problem. The doctor will ask you several questions and then examine you carefully. The doctor may perform no further tests. The cause of your pain may be quite clearly not serious. Another scenario may be that the doctor is unable to find a cause, but the pain gets better within hours or days. All the doctor can do is to be sure that the pain does not require surgery or admission to hospital.
Learn The Common Causes And Home Remedies For Stomach Pain
My stomach hurts. If you have children, chances are youve heard this statement at least once.
Stomach pain is one of the most common complaints among children and teens. It can range from mild discomfort to severe cramping, burning or nausea. While most cases arent serious, its helpful to know what can cause stomach pain and when to call a doctor.
Here are some of the most frequent causes of stomach problems in small children and teens:
Gas pain or indigestion is common in kids of all ages. Diet often plays a role. Carbonated drinks, such as soda may upset the stomach, especially if the child drinks through a straw. Spicy foods, beans, citrus and caffeine may cause gas.
Younger kids may not know what constipation is or that it can lead to stomach pain. If your child complains of stomach pain around the belly button or the left lower side of the abdomen, ask them when they last pooped, or if theyre having problems doing it.
Too much of anything, from pizza and popcorn to Halloween candy, can cause abdominal pain. Kids often eat quickly and dont realize theyre full until theyve overdone it. Plus, eating too quickly can contribute to discomfort.
Milk allergy is a reaction to a protein in milk that may cause cramps. It is not the same as lactose intolerance.
When to call the pediatrician
Home treatment for tummy aches
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Listen To A Hypnotherapy Recording
Hypnosis has strong research support for easing the symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain. Ideally, you want to be engaged in an ongoing hypnotherapy treatment program for best results. But when you are in immediate pain, you may be able to benefit from the relaxation of listening to a hypnosis CD or recording that focuses on the gut.
The quickest way is to download an app on your smartphone or other mobile device. There are quite a few IBS-specific hypnotherapy apps available. Its best to find one thats backed by research, like Nerva.
What Is The Medical Treatment For Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
The patient’s treatment will depend on what the doctor thinks is causing the abdominal pain.
The patient may be given IV fluids. The doctor may ask the patient not to eat or drink anything until the cause of the pain is known. This is done to avoid worsening certain medical conditions or to prepare the patient in case they need to have surgery.
The patient may be given pain medication.
- For pain caused by bowel spasm, they may be given a shot in the hip, arm, or leg.
- If the patient is not throwing up, they may receive a drink that has antacid in it or pain medication.
- Although the patient’s pain may not go away completely, they have the right to be comfortable and should ask for pain medicine until they are made comfortable.
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Liver Gallbladder Or Pancreas Issues
When a person experiences pain in the upper right abdomen, just under the ribs, it could signal a problem with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.
Gallstones are one of the most common culprits. Without treatment, gallstones can block the bile duct and cause liver function problems or an infection in the pancreas called pancreatitis. The gallbladder may even rupture.
Typically, gallstones cause intense pain in the upper right abdomen that lasts for 46 hours. Some people may also vomit.
Gallstones are not usually a medical emergency, but they do warrant a visit to the doctor. This is because the complications of gallstones, such as pancreatitis, can be life-threatening.
Other conditions, such as porcelain gallbladder, can also cause pain in the upper right abdomen. Porcelain gallbladder occurs when calcium deposits build up in the gallbladder.
If the pain comes with a fever, vomiting, yellow eyes or skin, white or pale stools, or feelings of intense illness, a person should go to the emergency room.
How To Treat Abdominal Pain
How can you ease the discomfort of abdominal pain symptoms? Your treatment options depend on the underlying cause and severity of your abdominal pain. At The Pain Center, we offer both traditional and state-of-the-art therapies for pain treatment.
Treatment may start with conservative therapies, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and home care such as drinking plenty of water, eating certain foods such as fiber, or avoiding certain foods, and using antacids.
The pain management specialists at The Pain Center may also recommend one or more interventional pain therapies to reduce your abdominal pain, such as:
Some of the interventional medical therapies we provide at The Pain Center include:
Our pain specialists can prescribe and regulate medication to help control your pain. We provide you with the knowledge you need to take your mediations properly. The Pain Center takes a conservative approach with medication management. We limit prescription medications whenever possible, to help avoid dependence.
A nerve block is an injection therapy that reduces pain caused by nerves. The injection contains a combination of local anesthetic agents. Peripheral nerve blocks provide relief that can last from a few weeks to a few months, depending upon your condition.
Contact The Pain Center today to learn more about how we can help you effectively manage your abdominal pain.
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Gas: Whats Normal And What Isnt
7 min Read Time
Everyone burps and passes gas. Some do these things more often than others. It can be loud and sometimes smelly, but gas is a normal part of the digestive process even if its uncomfortable or embarrassing.
Understanding what causes gas can help you feel less self-conscious and find some relief. Its also important to recognize when gas, bloating and belly pain are actually warning signs of a more serious health condition, according to Brian van der Linden, MD, an HCA Healthcare gastroenterologist.
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Causes Of Abdominal Pain
The answer to what is causing your abdominal pain depends on the underlying condition. Causes of abdominal pain can include numerous conditions, such as:
- Crohns disease
- Ulcers: peptic, gastric, or duodenal
- Inflamed appendix
- Gynecological issues such as fibroids and cysts
- Acid reflux
- Vascular conditions
It is important to find out what causes your pain, as there are many potential causes. At The Pain Center, we can help diagnose the cause to help you find relief.
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What Foods Can Relieve Stomach Pain
Here are some foods that can act as natural remedies for stomach aches and other symptoms of an upset stomach.
BRAT is a diet doctors recommend for diarrhea. These are starchy foods that help to bind the stool and make it firmer. They can also help reduce the number of times you need to go to the toilet. Plus, they are bland foods that do not irritate the stomach lining. They can help soothe tissues irritated by stomach acids in vomit. Lastly, the foods in a BRAT diet contain nutrients like magnesium and potassium to replace the ones lost during vomiting and diarrhea.
Spices like cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds, and cumin are used in Chinese medicine to relieve an upset stomach. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can speed up slow digestion. These spices can help ease cramps, acidity, indigestion, gas, bloating, belching, and other digestive tract symptoms. You can add these spices to your food or make a tea by adding them to boiling water and sipping on the liquid 2-3 times a day.
Sharp Abdominal Pain Symptoms
When abdominal pain is severe, it indicates an underlying problem. Severe abdominal pain is often referred to by the medical term acute abdomen. Severe abdominal pain, in some cases, requires emergency care. You know your body best, so if the pain becomes unbearable, seek care immediately. A few other symptoms you may be experiencing in addition to your severe abdominal pain are listed below.
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Diagnosis Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
If examinations and tests are needed, these may include:
- a rectal exam to check for hidden blood or other problems
- if you are a man, the doctor may check your penis and scrotum
- if you are a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in your womb , fallopian tubes and ovaries, and do a pregnancy test
- a blood test to look for infection or bleeding
- other blood tests may look at enzymes in the liver, pancreas and heart to sort out which organ may be involved
- a urine test to look for a urine infection or blood
- an ECG to rule out a heart attack
- other tests, including x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- sometimes you may be referred to another doctor to help find the cause of the problem.
- endoscopy is an examination where a flexible tube with a light and video camera at the tip is used to examine some internal organs without the need for surgery. Different names are used depending on which organ is being looked at.
If you do have tests, the doctor will explain the results to you. Some results may take a number of days to come back and these will be sent to your local doctor.
Avoiding Smoking And Drinking Alcohol
Smoking can irritate the throat, increasing the likelihood of an upset stomach. If the person has vomited, smoking can further irritate the tender tissue already sore from stomach acids.
As a toxin, alcohol is difficult to digest and can cause damage to the liver and stomach lining.
People with an upset stomach should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol until they are feeling better.
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Home Remedies For Stomach Pain May Work For You
Stomach pain is a common complaint that can range from mild stabs of pain to debilitating painful cramps.
Causes of stomach pain may be linked to an underlying health condition such as appendicitis or kidney stones, or it may be a reaction to a food product that irritates the stomach lining.
Many cases of discomfort are mild and may be alleviated by home remedies for stomach pain.
Using natural and widely available products like herbal teas and probiotic yogurt may offer fast relief without causing the additional pain sometimes triggered by the irritants in shelf medications.
Sudden and severe stomach pain may indicate a serious health condition. If it is accompanied by a fever, breathing difficulty, or bloody vomit, seek immediate medical attention.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number if you:
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- Are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
- Are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have pain in, or between, your shoulder blades with nausea
- Have tenderness in your belly, or your belly is rigid and hard to the touch
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen
- Have difficulty breathing
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Abdominal Pain
While we dont usually feel the inner workings of our abdomen, pain can occur when there is a disruption of the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue inside.
Abdominal pain can be caused by inflammation , organ distention or stretching , or loss of blood supply .
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary supplements, can cause stomach pain. Medications can do this by irritating the stomach, leading to nausea, pain, and diarrhea, or by slowing digestion, leading to constipation. Be sure to check the label of any drug you take to see if abdominal pain is listed as a possible side effect.
- Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
- Emotional upset
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