Upper Abdominal Pain Between The Ribcage
If you develop an aching or stabbing pain or pressure in the upper abdominal area just under the ribs, this may indicate a heart-related problem. Physicians say this pain is often accompanied by shortness of breath and is concerning if the pain persists. People often assume this type of pain is indigestion, and while that may be the case, anyone with risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Meaning Of Nausea And Stomach Cramps
Both nausea and stomach cramps are symptoms. It occurs with several different diseases. Nausea is a sensation of wanting to vomit although a person may not always vomit even with intense nausea. Sometimes vague digestive symptoms are also described as nausea. Stomach cramps is a muscular type of pain that is felt in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen, including under pain under the left ribcage. However, many people refer to the entire abdomen as the stomach so stomach cramps could therefore refer to abdominal cramps.
A problem in the upper digestive tract usually gives rise to nausea and stomach cramps. However, it is not uncommon for disorders or diseases in other organs within the area of the stomach to also cause similar symptoms. Apart from diseases of the digestive or abdominal organs, both nausea and stomach cramps may also occur with anxiety and therefore be seen with related mental health disorders. Sometimes severe hunger can also cause nausea and stomach cramps, that are usually referred to as hunger pangs.
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.
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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
- Abdominal discomfort that lasts 1 week or longer
- Abdominal pain that does not improve in 24 to 48 hours, or becomes more severe and frequent and occurs with nausea and vomiting
- Bloating that persists for more than 2 days
- Burning sensation when you urinate or frequent urination
- Diarrhea for more than 5 days
- Fever, over 100°F for adults or 100.4°F for children, with pain
- Prolonged poor appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
When To Contact A Doctor
A person should go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately if they notice these symptoms in themselves or someone else. Delaying care can result in death.
There is no safe home treatment for a stroke. A doctor may perform surgery, admit a person to the hospital, or recommend long-term care, such as physical or speech therapy.
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Severe Stomach Pain After Eating A Fatty Meal
If you find yourself doubled over after eating a high-fat meal, you may be experiencing a gallbladder attack. “Women are especially prone to gallbladder disease,” says Hardeep Singh, MD, gastroenterologist from St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA. “Overweight women in their 40s are at highest risk.” The pain becomes worse after eating, lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and may come and go, becoming more constant and severe over time, says Singh.
Other Possible Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Also known as IBS irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. Common symptoms caused due to IBS are stomach pain or cramping, bloated feeling, diarrhea, constipation, gas etc.
Gastroenteritis-Also known as stomach flu, this is a type of stomach inflammation that involves an inflammation to the intestines. Gastroenteritis can lead to the following symptoms
Urinary tract infection-Can UTI cause abdominal pain? Yes it can! UTI includes symptoms such as pressure, pain and bloating in the lower abdominal area. Most infections also cause painful urination, and strong smelling urine. UTI is a very common reason for abdominal pain and is mostly caused by bacteria, primarily the E-coli species.
Constipation-Constipation is another reason that could cause your bowels to cramp. Abdominal pain is caused due to increased pressure inside the bowels.
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How To Suspect Acute Gastroenteritis
- The symptoms suddenly start and often last for few days .
- Abdominal pain: sudden onset of cramps . The colics are usually more severe .
- Sudden onset diarrhea .
- Vomiting: is common with viral gastroenteritis.
- Nausea and loss of appetite.
- Fatigue, and muscle aches .
- Fever, which is usually low grade in viral and protozoal infection. But it may become a high grade with bacterial gastroenteritis.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your specific symptoms, the location of pain and when it occurs will help your provider detect the cause.
LOCATION OF YOUR PAIN
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Is it all over or in one spot?
- Does the pain move into your back, groin, or down your legs?
TYPE AND INTENSITY OF YOUR PAIN
- Is the pain severe, sharp, or cramping?
- Do you have it all the time, or does it come and go?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
HISTORY OF YOUR PAIN
- Have you had similar pain in the past? How long has each episode lasted?
- When does the pain occur? For example, after meals or during menstruation?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, eating, stress, or lying down?
- What makes the pain better? For example, drinking milk, having a bowel movement, or taking an antacid?
- What medicines are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
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How To Suspect Ibs
Interestingly, up to 50% of people with IBS dont even know they have it . This means that you may have IBS, but the symptoms are not severe enough to seek medical advice.
IBS can cause chronic stomach pain that comes and goes in waves. The waves are called colic, which usually originates from colon spasms.
According to ROME IV criteria for IBS diagnosis, IBS is considered when:
- Abdominal pain: You will feel a crampy sensation, that is variable in its intensity. It comes as a wave of colic that lasts for a minute or two disappears, and reappears as a waves.
- The pain usually is related to bowel movements. Commonly, it decreases or disappears after defecation.
- In a small subset, the pain may increase after bowel movements.
- Altered bowel habits: periods of either constipation or diarrhea or alternating constipation and diarrhea.
- To diagnose IBS, You should experience stomach pain consistently for a long period. The pain should come at least a day per week for several months.
If you think your symptoms are consistent with IBS, please read this great article. It is about the diagnosis of IBS, from a doctors perspective.
The ultimate diagnosis of IBS requires a medical evaluation by your doctor. This is important to exclude similar conditions that mimic IBS.
Causes Of Recurrent Stomach Pains
- Stress or Worries. The most common cause of frequent stomach pains is stress. Over 10% of children have a “worried stomach.” These children tend to be sensitive and too serious. They often are model children. This can make them more at risk to the normal stresses of life. Examples of these events are changing schools, moving or family fights. The pain is in the pit of the stomach or near the belly button. The pain is real.
- Abdominal Migraine. Attacks of stomach pain and vomiting with sudden onset and offset. Often occur in children who later develop migraine headaches. Strongly genetic.
- Functional Abdominal Pains. Functional means the stomach pains are due to a sensitive GI tract. The GI tract is free of any disease.
- School Avoidance. Stomach pains that mainly occur in the morning on school days. They keep the child from going to school.
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What Do Upper And Lower Abdominal Pain Signify
If the pain is coming from higher up in your stomach, it could be caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. You might also have heartburn and belching and the pain may either be made worse or relieved by food.
If you feel pain right across your stomach area or low down, its probably coming from your bowel. You may also have bloating and wind. If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause is probably gastroenteritis. If you are very ill for example, with chills or a fever you may have a more serious condition, such as food poisoning.
See Your Doctor As Soon As Possible If:
- your pain is no better after 2 hours of home care
- your abdomen is very painful
- your pain gets worse over time, or becomes sharper or stronger in one particular place
- your abdomen feels bloated or sticks out more than usual
- you cant stop vomiting
- you havent had a bowel motion or passed wind for 3 days
- youve lost your appetite
- there is blood in your vomit, urine or bowel motion, or vaginal bleeding that isnt a period.
You also need to see your doctor if you have other symptoms along with the pain such as fever or dizziness especially if those symptoms get worse over time or new symptoms develop.
Call Healthline if you are unsure what you should do.
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What Can Cause Constipation With Back Pain
Back pain in constipation may sometimes be because of stool stored in the rectum. There is other constipation related back pain which are:
Fecal impaction is a severe condition that causes pressure on your organs, this is because stool passage may sometimes be blocked and be unable to pass through your colon. This condition arises from constant untreated constipation. When there is difficulty passing bowel activity, it leads to stool buildup in the rectum or colon. This is because constipation restricts these areas and creates tightening up from straining. Symptoms are back pain, bloating, vomiting, nausea, headache.
This occurs when the blockage of waste in the digestive tract affects your bodys muscles and nerves. This disrupts the normal process of metabolism and gives out sensations as trapped stool grows and increases in size. Some signs involved are acute or chronic back pain while defecating, abdominal cramping and swelling.
Home Treatment For Stomach Pain And Cramping
Here are some ways to treat stomach pain at home:
Place a warm compress on your stomach to help calm stomach cramps. A study from 2012 reported that a warm heating pad on your abdomen has an analgesic effect. Heat therapy was as effective as ibuprofen in relieving stomach pain.30
Consume baking soda and water. Mix ½ teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water and drink after each meal to reduce stomach pain caused by indigestion. Use for up to 2 weeks.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Stomach Pain And Nausea
Stomach pain and nausea can be troubling symptoms, and finding the cause is not always an easy endeavor. In many cases, these symptoms do not indicate a serious illness, although it is always wise to consult a doctor to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Some possible causes of stomach pain and nausea include a stomach virus, lactose intolerance, or appendix or gallbladder disorders. Diverticulitis may also be to blame. Treatment options vary according to the direct cause of the stomach pain and nausea and may include dietary changes or the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications.
One of the most common causes of nausea, along with stomach pain, is infection with a stomach virus, also known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms of gastroenteritis include stomach pain or cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. Fever may or may not be present with this condition. Medical treatment is not usually necessary for gastroenteritis, as it usually goes away on its own within a few days, although it is important to drink plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration. In some cases, prescription medications may be given to help ease some of the symptoms.
Increased Passing Gas Nausea Or Vomiting And Upset Stomach
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Reviewed on 8/31/2020
Your symptoms can be associated with different gastrointestinal conditions including indigestion, gastritis, peptic ulcer, or irritable bowel syndrome . Nausea and vomiting frequently accompany may different disturbances of the GI tract. Keep track of your symptoms. Your doctor can determine the cause of these or any troubling symptoms.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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Vague Upper Abdominal Pain Associated With Nausea And Belching
Sometimes stomach pain is hard to identify or comes with multiple symptoms. Vague pain in the upper and mid-abdominal area that is linked to nausea, burping, or belching could be signs of a heart attack, particularly in older patients. Physicians say tests like an ECG or cardiac markers can be lifesaving. They also warn that vomiting with back or jaw pain and shortness of breath can also be a sign of a life-threatening emergency.
Chronic Constipation: What It Is And How To Recognize It
Generally, a case of constipation will start to resolve within a week or so and is typically easily treated with some diet changes, home remedies, and a gentle over-the-counter laxative like Genexas Kids Senna Laxative.
In some cases, though, your childs constipation may actually be chronic, and this requires medical attention.
Chronic constipation is very much associated with feelings of nausea, and many children who have chronic constipation actually end up with a large intestine that has been stretched out of shape which results in your child having extremely large bowel movements, and yes, they might even be big enough to clog the toilet.
If your child does have chronic constipation, these large bowel movements will be constant and can cause extreme pain because of their potential to create anal fissures, which are small tears or rips around the anus that sometimes cause bloody stool. If this does happen, you should keep in mind that they are not necessarily dangerous, but they can be very painful and will likely frighten your child.
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When To See A Doctor
Most cases of abdominal pain are not serious, and symptoms resolve with basic home care, such as rest and hydration, within hours to days.
Acute or chronic abdominal pain, however, are often signs of conditions that do require medical attention and treatment.
Symptoms that require medical attention include:
- unexplained weight loss
- unexplained exhaustion
- changes or disturbances in bowel movements, such as chronic constipation or diarrhea, that do not resolve within a few hours or days
- minor rectal bleeding or blood in stool
- unusual vaginal discharge
- chronic pain that continues after taking over-the-counter medications or returns after stopping prescribed medication
- signs of urinary tract infection
Symptoms that require emergency care include:
- sudden, severe pain, especially if accompanied by a fever over 102°F
- severe pain that is very concentrated
- bloody or black stool that may be sticky
- uncontrollable vomiting, especially if vomit includes blood
- the abdomen is extremely painful and sensitive to the touch
- being unable to urinate
- pain that gets dramatically worse quickly
- pain in the chest, especially around the ribs, extending into the abdomen
- severe abdominal pain that improves with lying very still
Though rare, it is important for people experiencing these symptoms to seek emergency medical attention.
Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Most abdominal pain goes away without special treatment. Be guided by your doctor, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain, including:
- Place a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag on your abdomen.
- Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids such as water.
- Reduce your intake of coffee, tea and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
- When you are allowed to eat again, start with clear liquids, then progress to bland foods such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
- Take mild painkillers such as paracetamol. Please check the packet for the right dose. Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs unless advised to take them by a doctor. These drugs can make some types of abdominal pain worse.
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