What Is A Bad Stomach
The term bad stomach is not a specific diagnosis. It is a common term used to describe gastrointestinal symptoms as well as pain or cramps arising in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen. This includes pain under the left ribcage as most of the stomach is tucked under the lower part of the left ribcage. The stomach sits at the upper left side of the abdominal cavity surrounded by many organs and structures both within the abdominal and thoracic cavity. Therefore a host of non-gastric causes may be responsible for what is commonly termed as a bad stomach. Similarly the stomach is just one section of the alimentary tract and conditions of neighboring parts, namely the esophagus and duodenum, may also be mistaken for a bad stomach.
Learn What May Be Causing Your Stomach Pain And When You Should See A Doctor
Have you ever had stomach pains, but couldnt pinpoint the cause? Fortunately, stomach pain usually isnt cause for concern.
“An upset stomach is very common and can be related to a number of health issues,” explains Dr. Jessica McKee, gastroenterologist at Geisinger Medical Center. “Often, it goes away on its own. Still, it can sometimes be a symptom of something more serious.”
Here are some different causes for an upset stomach and when you may need to see a doctor.
Is It Normal For Your Stomach To Hurt After Sex 7 Reasons You May Be Experiencing A Stomach Ache After Sex
Are you wondering: âWhy does my stomach hurt after sex?â
Youâre not alone. Many people report feeling physically uncomfortable after sexual intercourse. In this section, Iâll cover the top seven reasons that you could be having a stomach ache after sex. As always, if youâre very worried about the pain youâre feeling, you should visit a doctor, who can help diagnose and treat the pain.
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Wide Range Of Symptoms
One of the more surprising issues with some types of anxiety disorder is the way that they change sensations in our body. For example, for many, feeling full is a nice feeling. However, it can lead to a variety of natural body sensations, including:
- Feeling lightheaded
- Slight stomach discomfort
In those without anxiety, these are natural. In people suffering from some degree of anxiety, those sensations feel much more pronounced and can trigger a full-blown panic attack.
How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
The cause of abdominal pain can be diagnosed through a series of tests. Before ordering tests, your doctor will do a physical examination. This includes gently pressing on various areas of your abdomen to check for tenderness and swelling.
This information, combined with the severity of the pain and its location within the abdomen, will help your doctor determine which tests to order.
Imaging tests, such as MRI scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays, are used to view organs, tissues, and other structures in the abdomen in detail. These tests can help diagnose tumors, fractures, ruptures, and inflammation.
Other tests include:
Blood, urine, and stool samples may also be collected to look for evidence of bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections.
Not all forms of abdominal pain are preventable. However, you can minimize the risk of developing abdominal pain by doing the following:
- Eat a healthy diet.
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What Are The Chances Of Having A Gallbladder Attack
While anyone with a gallbladder can develop gallstones, there are many known risk factors for developing them. Here are some common ones, per the NIDDK:
- Being a woman: This is because estrogen can boost biles cholesterol levels and make your gallbladder contract less.
- Being over 40: As you age, the chance of developing gallstones increases.
- Losing weight too quickly: Losing a lot of weight very quickly is hazardous because it makes your liver excrete more cholesterol into your bile, raising your risk of gallstones.
- Obesity and diabetes: Obesity can increase the cholesterol in your bile, so its also a risk factor, as are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Having certain health conditions: Conditions like Crohns disease that screw up your bodys absorption of nutrients can also lead to gallstone formation. Additionally, people with hemolytic anemias, which are conditions where red blood cells continuously break down , are at increased risk. Thats because of how those damaged red cells can increase bilirubin, the chemical we mentioned that can raise your risk of pigment gallstones.
- Having a family history of gallstones: If members of your immediate family have had gallstones, youre at a higher risk of having them, too.
- Being of a certain cultural descent: Indigeneous people have the highest rate of gallstones. The reason: Certain genetic factors can increase the cholesterol in this populations bile. Mexican Americans also have a high risk of developing gallstones.
Middle Of The Abdomen
The upper middle part of the abdomen contains the liver, the cardiac region of the stomach, part of the body of the stomach, the pyloric region of the stomach, and the pancreas.
The liver filters blood and creates bile, which is a substance that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fat in the foods you eat.
The cardiac region of the stomach is where food enters from the esophagus.
The pyloric region of the stomach is the last part of the stomach before food enters into the duodenum of the small intestine.
The pancreas is a large glandular organ that releases digestive enzymes and hormones.
The lower middle part of the abdomen contains the urinary bladder, rectum, and anus.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
The rectum goes into the anus, the final section of the large intestine that carries stool for excretion from the body.
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Home Remedies For Abdominal Pain
Getting an accurate medical diagnosis is the first and safest step to relieve abdominal pain, because a doctor or other healthcare provider can perform an exam and order tests to rule out serious causes. However, if you have generalized abdominal pain and suspect it is due to minor gastrointestinal issues, consider these home remedies:
- Baking soda for heartburn
- Ginger to aid digestion and reduce nausea
- Heated compress on your belly for cramp-like pain
- Liquid diet of broth and watered-down, non-caffeinated sports drinks
- Lying reclined on your left side, which can help you pass gas
- Modifying your diet to exclude problem foods, such as dairy products, beans, broccoli, and potential allergens
- Blackstrap molasses for constipation
- Tylenol for pain or fever
Abdominal Pain Treatment And Home Remedies
The treatment for abdominal pain depends on its cause, and may include:
- Medications to lower inflammation, prevent acid reflux, or treat ulcers or infection
- Surgery to treat a problem with an organ
Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate your stomach and worsen your pain. Donât take them unless a doctor has diagnosed the cause of your belly pain and recommends their use.
Some diet and lifestyle changes may help belly pain caused by gas and indigestion. Here are some things you can try:
- Eat smaller portions at more frequent meals
- Eat slowly
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Home Remedies For Nausea
There are also some very effective ways to treat nausea at home.
- Drink ginger tea to help alleviate feelings that you want to throw up. A scientific study from 2016 found that active ingredients in ginger help to prevent nausea, abdominal pain, and indigestion.31
- While you are suffering from feelings of nausea, change to a bland diet. A diet consisting of bland foods puts less strain on your digestion and reduces digestive upset.
- Avoid foods that have strong odors.
- Avoids fried, greasy, sweet, or fatty foods.
- Increase your fluid intake to prevent the complications of dehydration if you have been vomiting or have diarrhea.
How Can Bad Posture Cause Abdominal Pain
If you slouch your upper back, you are prone to have reflux. On the other hand, when you sag the lower back, you will experience bloating after a meal. In any case, this can only lead to digestion problems.
Furthermore, slouching can affect the ability of our diaphragm to function. The diaphragm is a muscle that helps us breathe.
Firstly, the diaphragm assists the contractions that move food through the esophagus. The esophagus crosses right through the muscular part of the diaphragm. Every time the diaphragm contracts, it lets the food pass and blocks stomach acid from rising into the mouth. If there is excessive tension or contraction in the diaphragm due to bad posture, this can have an effect on this mechanism and cause acid reflux.
Can bad posture cause abdominal pain: Read on for more information
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Secondly, the diaphragm performs a role in peristalsis, which is the passage of food through the intestine. The vagus nerve controls this movement from the brainstem to the diaphragm in the intestine. If we press the diaphragm while we slouch, it can affect the nerve signals that pass through it and slow it down.
Third, the vagus nerve stimulates the creation of hydrochloric acid that affects the way we digest food in the stomach. When this is disturbed, food can remain in the stomach for long. This causes unpleasant symptoms such as gas, bloating and constipation.
So How Does Bad Posture Really Cause Abdominal Pain?
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When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have a variety of causes, some of which you can address by resting, avoiding heavy and spicy foods, taking medication, or using a heating pad. Others, however, may require urgent medical care.
While it can be hard to determine this on your own, at least with total certainty, there are some guidelines you can use to figure out if you should head to the ER, your doctor’s office, or try some at-home solutions. Regardless of how your case matches up if you feel severe, out-of-the-norm pain that you think needs immediate attention, seek it.
What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is discomfort anywhere in your belly from ribs to pelvis. Its often called stomach pain or a stomach ache, although the pain can be coming from any number of internal organs besides your stomach.
A brief episode of pain is called acute, which means ‘of recent onset.’ When you have abdominal pain for three months or longer, its considered a chronic or ongoing problem, although this time period is not exact. For example, acute appendicitis is nearly always an acute condition, in contrast to irritable bowel syndrome, which may result in chronic cramping that can span years or longer.
Abdominal pain comes in many forms, and may range from cramps that come and go to sudden, stabbing pains to constant, dull abdominal aching. Even mild pain can be an early sign of a serious condition, which is why healthcare providers often monitor these patients for changes in their conditions.
Keep in mind that abdominal pain is a subjective symptom that cannot be reliably measured by healthcare professionals. The intensity of the pain is what you say that it is.
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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.
When To See A Doctor About Abdominal Pain
Go straight to your doctor or the emergency department of the nearest hospital if you have any of:
- severe pain
- pain lasting for several hours
- pain and/or vaginal bleeding if you are pregnant
- pain in your scrotum if you are a male
- pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- pain and vomiting blood
- blood in your bowel motions or urine
- pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulder
- fever and sweats
- unable to move your bowels or pass gas
- any other concerns.
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When To Call Your Doctor
No matter what treatment youâre following, get medical help right away if the pain gets intense, your joint suddenly becomes inflamed or deformed, or you can no longer use the joint at all.
CDC: “QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Reporting Joint Pain or Stiffness – National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2006,” âGout.â
Collyott, C.L. Orthopaedic Nursing, 2008.
Palmer T. The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 2004.
Vangsness, C.T. Jr. Arthroscopy, 2009.
Gallbladder Attack Symptoms To Look Out For
Chances are you barely know what your gallbladder is, let alone the gallbladder attack symptoms to look out for. When you have really bad stomach pain, its easy to chalk it up to that double bean burrito you ate an hour ago. Or, if its abnormally painful, your mind may jump to appendicitis.
But theres another health condition that can cause bad stomach pain and probably isnt on your radar: a gallbladder attack. Keep reading to learn what the heck your gallbladder is and what it does, plus the signs of a gallbladder attack you should know about.
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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.
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
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When To Go To The Er With Stomach Pain
You should seek immediate medical attention or go to the ER if you have:
- Constant or severe abdominal pain
- Pain associated with a high fever
- Changes in pain intensity or location, such as going from a dull ache to a sharp stab or starting in one area and radiating to another
- Pain accompanied by other serious or unusual symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or change in behavior
- Pain localized to one particular area
- Right lower quadrant could indicate appendicitis
- Right upper quadrant could indicate cholecystitis or a gallbladder infection
- Left lower quadrant could indicate diverticulitis or a colon infection
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.
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