What Causes Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain has many potential causes and is not entirely understood in some cases. More sudden symptom onset could suggests an organ condition that should be addressed by a medical professional.
In general, abdominal pain is brought about by a few specific conditions:
- Digestive issues that cause bloating or burning sensations in your intestines such as irritable bowel syndrome can make your abdominal section ache.
- Distended organs can lead to painful complications in your abdominal area as well.
- Low or impeded blood flow to an organ in the area can cause abdominal pain, as can general inflammation of an organ in your stomach region.
While the causes of left / right side, upper or lower abdominal cramps are multiple, most forms of common treatment point to one or two sources of medication bought from a drugstore. For seriously painful cases of abdominal muscle cramps or lower back pain you should always consult your doctor , but most of the time you can opt for natural medicine to get rid of abdominal cramping symptoms.
How Can I Prevent Amebiasis
Proper sanitation is the key to avoiding amebiasis. As a general rule, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before handling food.
If youre traveling to places where the infection is common, follow this regimen when preparing and eating food:
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Avoid eating fruits or vegetables unless you wash and peel them yourself.
- Use bottled water and soft drinks from sealed containers.
- If you must drink tap water, boil it for at least 1 minute, or use a store-bought absolute 1 micron filter and add disinfecting chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or iodine tablets to the filtered water.
- Avoid ice cubes or fountain drinks.
- Avoid peeled fresh fruit or vegetables.
- Avoid milk, cheese, or other unpasteurized dairy products.
- Avoid food sold by street vendors.
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea
Most people occasionally experience abdominal pain and diarrhea for a short time. Changes to your diet, consuming too much alcohol, and indigestion may cause these symptoms.
Frequent, constant, or severe abdominal pain and diarrhea may indicate a disease or a more serious medical issue. Diarrhea that gets progressively worse and is bloody can also be a sign of a more serious issue. Possible causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea include:
The above conditions and disorders can cause inflammation in different parts of your digestive tract, like the stomach and intestines. When your digestive system is inflamed, you might have cramps and trouble with typical digestive processes. This usually results in abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Abdominal pain and diarrhea that last for more than a week or keep coming back may be a sign of an intestinal disease or disorder. Talk with your doctor if youve experienced these symptoms for more than a week or on a reoccurring basis.
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Lowering The Effects Of High Fat Meals
In 2011, researchers concluded that diets rich in antioxidant spices, including cinnamon, may help reduce the bodys negative response to eating high fat meals.
Six people consumed dishes containing 14 g of a spice blend. Blood tests showed that antioxidant activity increased by 13%, insulin response fell by 21%, and triglycerides fell by 31%.
When Should I Call My Doctor
- Blood in your diarrhea or black, tarry stools.
- A fever that is high or that lasts more than 24 hours.
- Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days.
- Nausea or vomiting that prevents you from drinking liquids to replace lost fluids.
- Severe pain in your belly or anus.
- Diarrhea when you come back from overseas travel.
Also, call your doctor immediately if you have diarrhea and any of these signs of dehydration:
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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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Home Remedies For Upset Stomach
The severity of an upset stomach can range from slightly annoying to extremely uncomfortable and even painful. But if treated timely and effectively, it is usually not a serious problem.
An upset stomach often is coupled with diarrhea, which is the frequent passage of stools that are loose and watery.
There can be many causes of this problem, including food poisoning, an infection, an allergic reaction, overeating, too much stress, excessive drinking, motion sickness, a side effect of medication, a gastrointestinal disease or even pregnancy.
Symptoms vary depending on the cause, but may include watery or loose stools, abdominal bloating, cramps, heartburn, chills, nausea and vomiting.
To quickly alleviate symptoms and prevent health complications, try some simple home remedies at the first sign of trouble to soothe an upset stomach and restore regularity to your GI system.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for upset stomach.
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Why Can Diagnosis Of The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Be Difficult
Modern advances in technology have greatly improved the accuracy, speed, and ease of establishing the cause of belly pain, but significant challenges remain. There are many reasons why diagnosing the cause of it can be difficult.
Symptoms may be atypical
- For example, the pain of appendicitis sometimes is located in the right upper abdomen and diverticulitis on the right side. Elderly patients and those taking corticosteroids may have little or no pain and tenderness when there is inflammation, for example, with cholecystitis or diverticulitis. This occurs because corticosteroids reduce inflammation.
Tests are not always abnormal.
- Ultrasound examinations can miss gallstones, particularly small ones.
- CT scans may fail to show pancreatic cancer, particularly small ones.
- The KUB can miss the signs of intestinal obstruction or stomach perforation.
- Ultrasounds and CT scans may fail to demonstrate appendicitis or even abscesses, particularly if the abscesses are small.
- The CBC and other blood tests may be normal despite severe infection or inflammation, particularly in individuals receiving corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system.
Diseases can mimic one another.
The characteristics of the pain may change.
- Examples discussed previously include the extension of the inflammation of pancreatitis to involve the entire abdomen and the progression of biliary colic to cholecystitis.
Home Remedies For Stomach Cramps
Dietary and eating habit changes can help provide stomach cramps relief. To ease and prevent mild stomach cramps and promote digestive health, try the following:
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and with meals
Eating smaller meals throughout the day
Increasing fiber in your diet by eating foods, such as beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains
Limiting gas-producing foods, dairy, and fatty or fried foods
Reducing the amount of air you swallow by avoiding straws, chewing thoroughly, eating slowly, and quitting
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Common Medications That Can Cause Constant Diarrhea:
- Antibiotics: Any type of antibiotic can kill the beneficial bacteria inside your colon.
- Some anti-diabetes medications: Metformin and gliptins can cause diarrhea and stomach gurgling.
- Laxative overuse.
- Stomach/GERD medications: PPIs and H2 blocker inhibit stomach acid. This inhibition will allow for the overgrowth of bacteria inside the small intestine and colon causing stomach gurgling and diarrhea.
- Others such as chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications can also cause such conditions.
The complete list of medications causing diarrhea is HERE and HERE.
Prevent Diarrhea And Stomach Cramps
Diarrhea can be easily prevented with these simple methods:
- Observe proper hygiene.
- Keep your kitchen utensils especially your chopping board, clean at all times. Run hot water on your chopping boards every after use.
- Regular exercise is a good way of preventing abdominal cramps due to menstrual period.
- Avoid touching your face especially your nose and mouth with your hands.
- Wash your hands properly and frequently to avoid contamination. Using alcohol or hand sanitizer is highly recommended when soap and water is not available.
- Prepare your food well and if possible, eat your food while it is still hot and store left over on the refrigerator and reheat them before eating.
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Figuring Out The Cause
When youre suffering from stomach pain, diarrhea, or both, one of the most important things is to try to determine the root cause. Quite often, this type of abdominal pain is due to stomach flu or another virus, spoiled food, or food that one has developed a sensitivity to. Unless diarrhea and pain are accompanied by other severe symptoms, such as a high fever, the best course of action is to wait it out.
If you feel that it is a reaction to food, most times symptoms will subside in a day or two. However, there are some instances of food poisoning that definitely warrant a doctor visit but again, you will see other severe symptoms along with general GI upset.
If you think you may be having a reaction to food, such as those with celiac disease who have a sensitivity to gluten, its worthwhile to try an elimination diet to confine the source of the upset. It is possible to suddenly develop a food sensitivity later in life its also estimated that up to 20 percent of Americans have food sensitivity. Please note that celiac is a serious condition and ongoing exposure to gluten can cause increasing damage. Celiac should not be self-diagnosed.
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.
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How To Relieve Gas And Diarrhea
When you have gassy diarrhea, your bowel movements are loose and watery. Its very common and although it feels bad, its usually not severe.
It normally lasts 2 to 3 days, and if you need to treat it, there are non-prescription medications, which suggests they do not require a prescription.
For many people, diarrhea strikes one or two times each year. If you have particular conditions, such as cranky bowel syndrome, it can happen more often.
Treating And Healing Chronic Wounds
Research from 2015 says that scientists have found a way to package antimicrobial compounds from peppermint and cinnamon into tiny capsules that can both kill bacterial biofilms and actively promote healing.
In this way, peppermint and cinnamon could become part of a medicine for treating infected wounds.
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When Should You Seek Medical Care
Diarrhea can usually be treated with home care. In some cases, it may become more severe. A person should go to a hospital emergency department in the following situations:
- If the person has the condition along with high fever, moderate-to-severe abdominal pain, or dehydration that cannot be managed by drinking fluids
- If the diarrhea appears to contain blood
- If the person is sleepy and is not acting like their usual selves
- Vomiting and inability to tolerate any food or to keep liquids down
- Signs of dehydration
- High fever, significant abdominal pain, frequent loose bowel movements, or bloody diarrhea
- If he or she is elderly or has serious underlying medical problems, particularly diabetes, heart, kidney, or liver disease, or HIV/AIDS
- A parent or caregiver needs advice about preventing dehydration in newborns and infants
- Symptoms do not improve in two to three days or appear to become worse
- If he or she develops diarrhea after travel within their home country, or foreign travel or if a woman is pregnant
For cases of chronic diarrhea, your primary care provider may consult with a gastroenterologist .
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How Is Ibs Diagnosed
See your doctor if you think you may have IBS. Your doctor will ask you questions about your health, ask about your symptoms, and examine you. He or she may even perform a rectal exam. There are no tests that can show for sure that you have IBS.
Your doctor may also perform medical tests to rule out other diseases if you have red flag symptoms such as:
- Rectal bleeding
- Family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or celiac disease
Medical tests include a colonoscopy . The doctor looks inside the large intestine by inserting a scope with a tiny camera to spot inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. People over age 50 with IBS symptoms should also have a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, even if they donât have any âred flagâ symptoms.
A doctor may also perform a blood test to check for celiac disease if you have certain types of IBS. These types are IBS-D or IBS-M . A doctor may also check for celiac disease if you have bloating or pass a lot of gas.
Lactose intolerance may also be a concern for some people, and can be checked with a breath test.
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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.
Risk Factors For Bacterial Gastroenteritis
If you have a weakened immune system because of an existing condition or treatment, you may have a higher risk of bacterial gastroenteritis. The risk also increases if you take drugs that decrease your stomachs acidity.
Handling food incorrectly can also raise your risk of bacterial gastroenteritis. Food thats undercooked, stored too long at room temperature, or not reheated well can aid in the spread and survival of bacteria.
Bacteria can produce harmful substances known as toxins. These toxins can remain even after reheating food.
. To find out which type of bacteria is causing your infection, you may be asked to provide a stool sample for analysis.
Your doctor may also take a blood sample to check for dehydration.
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How To Get Rid Of Lower Abdominal Pain
Women often experience pain in the lower abdomen due to their periods or menstruation. But abdominal pain is not just a womens issue, men also experience this problem.
Lower abdominal pain is common and often easily remedied. But if you have such pain on a regular basis, do not take it lightly.
Simple problems like swallowing excess air, eating high-fat foods that lead to delayed stomach emptying, food poisoning and even stress can cause lower abdominal pain. But certain health issues can also cause this problem.
Some of the health-related causes include constipation, lactose or gluten intolerance, gastroenteritis, colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease , intestinal obstruction, gastroparesis, Crohns disease, diverticulitis, kidney disorders, appendicitis, hernias, gonorrhea, liver cirrhosis and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few.
In some cases, lower abdominal pain in women can be related to the reproductive system, including pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, menstrual pain, premenstrual syndrome , ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease.
As there can be so many reasons behind lower abdominal pain, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor to find out the exact cause of the problem.
However, for mild cases, you can use some home remedies and lifestyle changes to see improvement in your condition.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of lower abdominal pain.
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When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them arenât serious, but some are, and you need to be able to recognize their warning signs.
If you rest, avoid certain foods, take medication, or use a heating pad, you may get relief from some kinds of pain. For others, you may need urgent medical care.
This article explains which symptoms mean you should head to the ER. It also lists symptoms that mean you should visit your healthcare provider. Finally, it provides some at-home solutions to try.
Verywell / JR Bee
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Abdominal Pain And Stomach Cramps
It is normal to have abdominal pain from time-to-time, caused by gas, stomach bugs, or even food poisoning. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing abdominal pain that you would describe as intense, crampy, and the pain doesnt go away in a day or two, or has been present on and off for weeks or longer, its time to see a healthcare provider to find out whats wrong.
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