What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is discomfort or other uncomfortable sensations that you feel in your belly area. Just about everybody at one time or another will get a bellyache.
Most causes of abdominal pain aren’t reasons to worry, and your doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of a serious illness that needs medical attention.
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.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
SIBO happens when theres an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine which causes the stomach to bloat. It can have similar symptoms to food intolerances, candida, or a leaky gut. However, SIBO tends to cause more bloating towards the end of the day. One of the symptoms of SIBO is stomach cramps after eating.
Holistic nutrition consultant, Mary Vance recommends the low FODMAP diet to reduce bloating and relieve the pain that you feel in your stomach. The low FODMAP diet eliminates certain type of foods which break down easily into sugars and continue to feed the bad bacteria in your small intestine. She has more information on the low FODMAP diet here.
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Root Cause Of Stomach Pain After Fasting
The root cause of stomach pain during fasting is more production of gastric juices. Gastric juices are acidic in nature. This causes heartburn and initiates stomach discomforts. The feeling is often described as too dull to tolerate but strong enough to make you uneasy.
When you are fasting for quite a long interval of time, your stomach remains relatively empty. The gastric juice continues being secreted and increases the acidic pH of the stomach contents. This causes acidity.
For this reason, you might feel hunger punches in modes of pain in your stomach. These are light and repetitive. Not to worry, there will be no stomach pain after eating.
On the other hand, after you eat the stomach feels bloated. As you were on an empty stomach for a long time, your brain will tell you to eat more, and in turn, it will burden the stomach. Bloating can progress to gas formation in the stomach and initiate light pain in your epigastrium. It is possible to feel pain and tenderness with movements too. At times, the pain radiates to the chest and back.
Pancreatitis And Upper Left Abdominal Pain
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. This gland produces enzymes that help with digestion and also produces hormones that regulate blood sugar.
The pancreas usually causes pain around the center and left side of the upper abdomen.
There are two main types of pancreatitis:
- Acute: symptoms develop quickly and can last for a few days. Sometimes the pain is very severe and immediate medical help might be required. The most common triggers of acute pancreatitis are gallstones and alcohol consumption.
- Chronic: the number one cause of chronic pancreatitis is long-term alcohol consumption. Unlike acute pancreatitis, stomach pain may not go away in this case.
When experiencing upper stomach pain after drinking alcohol, you should always consult with your doctor!
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Abdominal Pain And Nausea After Eating
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Sudden And Severe Onset Stomach Pain
When mid-abdominal pain occurs suddenly especially in people with a history of peptic ulcer disease or in those who take excessive amounts of aspirin or NSAIDs it may be a sign of a perforation that could require emergency surgery. A tear could leak air and gastric content which can lead to a condition called peritonitis, and eventually, septic shock. Surgery would be required to seal the perforation.
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What Causes Abdominal Pain In Children
Common causes of abdominal pain in children include:
- trapped wind
- lower urinary tract problems, such as cystitis
Most abdominal pain is mild and will go away without treatment after a few days. However, your child should see a doctor if the pain is severe or doesnt go away, especially when they also have other symptoms, such as a fever. In this case, you should ensure they are monitored closely and they may need further medical assessment.
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.
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Heartburn Can Cause Abdominal Pain Or Stomach Ache After Eating
Heartburn is felt as a burning sensation below the sternum and causes pain in epigastrium and stomach after eating. Heartburn is also known as GERD . The stomach content or juice containing acid regurgitate into lower 1/3rd section of esophagus and causes irritation of mucosal membrane resulting in ulcer formation. Such condition causes severe abdominal pain or stomach ache after eating.
Symptoms of Heartburn
- Abdominal Pain- Pain is mostly localized behind lower end of sternum and upper abdomen. Pain is often severe and continuous. Pain is felt like burning and squeezing pain.
- Hematemesis- Rarely patient may vomit or spit stomach mucosa that contains spots of blood.
- Belching- Occasional individual emits stomach gas through mouth that contain stomach juice and causes acidic taste.
- Acidic stomach juice regurgitation in mouth
Investigations to Diagnose Heartburn
Radiological Studies- X-ray, CT scan and MRI images are examined to rule out cancer or several other gastrointestinal diseases.
Blood Examination- Most blood examination results are normal
Endoscopy- Esophagus and stomach examination is performed using gastroscopy. The procedure is known as esophagascopy and gastroscopy. The images of esophagus shows inflamed mucosal membrane, mucosal erosion or ulcer.
Esophageal Motility Test- Test shows abnormal esophageal muscle contraction and peristalsis.
Ambulatory Acid Probe Tests- Patient suffering with celiac disease may show abnormal esophageal pH.
Stomach Pain After Eating: Causes And Natural Treatments
Mealtimes are supposed to be enjoyable occasions when we can spend time with family and close friends. However, it can be very frustrating if immediately after eating, you suffer from stomach cramps, discomfort, or abdominal pain. Very often there are some simple home remedies that can help you relieve and treat the post-meal intestinal pain.
Lets look at the most common reasons for this type of pain as well as ideas on how to relieve stomach ache after eating.
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Is It Stomach Pain Or Abdominal Pain
Some people refer to all abdominal pain as stomach ache or tummy ache. Abdominal pain is any pain that occurs in the area between your chest and your groin.
Your liver, appendix, pancreas and intestines as well as other organs sit in this part of your body. So, conditions affecting any of these organs can cause abdominal pain.
The different conditions that can cause abdominal pain tend to affect specific areas. The 4 locations to consider are:
- upper abdomen
- right side of the abdomen
- left side of the abdomen
Read more about these 4 types of abdominal pain and what you can do about them here.
Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, recommending acetaminophen instead.
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Food Allergy Or Intolerance
Some people may be allergic to certain foods. These can irritate the stomach and may cause pain after eating.
An intolerance is a milder form of an allergy. Both allergies and intolerances can be caused by many different foods.
Common intolerances include gluten, wheat, and lactose.
People can keep a food diary if they think they might have an allergy.
A food diary is a written record of what they have consumed at each meal, including drinks and snacks. They should also include a note of when their stomach hurts.
Keeping a diary can help determine the foods causing an issue. People can then cut this food out of their diet.
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Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten that can impact sufferers in different ways. One is stomach pain after you eat gluten, Bedford says. BTW: Your stomach can also hurt if you have a mild gluten intolerance , but this is different from Celiac disease. With Celiac, a person’s small intestine becomes damaged when they eat gluten with a gluten intolerance, someone may simply have a physical reaction like diarrhea or gas after eating gluten. Your doctor can help you determine what might be at the root of the problem.
If youre struggling with chronic pain after you eat and are also dealing with weight loss, anemia, vomiting, trouble swallowing, or blood in your poop, it could be a sign of an ulcer, Gabbard says. Ulcers, which are sores that develop in the lining of your esophagus, stomach, or small intestine, are usually treated with acid-reducing medication and antibiotics in some cases, so you really need to see a doctor about this.
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When In Doubt About Your Abdominal Symptoms Physicians Say Its Best To Call Your Doctor Or Head To The Er
The egg salad didn’t taste quite right, but you were hungry. Or maybe your craving for cheesecake overrode the punishment you knew your lactose intolerance would inflict. You expect stomach distress in situations like these, but other times, abdominal pain can come out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s severe enough or lasts for so long that you know it’s not simply a matter of eating something that didn’t agree with you.
Digestive system issues account for 51 million visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The severity of the pain, its location within your abdominal area, and accompanying symptoms may provide clues to the origin of the pain and whether or not you should seek help immediately. Here are some of the most common signs your tummy troubles need more than an over-the-counter remedy.
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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Why Do I Have Pain In My Stomach After Eating
You could have gall stones. If you feel discomfort after eating fatty foods, and the pain comes and goes your probably looking at gall stones. Loading Guest over a year ago You could have an intolerance to sugar. Loading Guest over a year ago I have very discomfort to the stomach, some headaches, and then feeling very tired after eating.
How Long Will Indigestion Last
Indigestion might go way as soon as you change your diet and habits. If you do take medication for your upset stomach, only do so with your healthcare providers approval. Some medications, especially acid reducers, can have long-term side effects. These may include an increased risk of infections or low levels of important nutrients.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
Sometimes, what seems like one problem food poisoning, for example can turn out to be something more serious, like appendicitis.
- the pain is very strong
- you’re vomiting a lot
- you already have another health condition
- the pain gets worse over time, doesn’t go away, or wakes you up from sleep
Also let the doctor know if you:
- have a fever
- have pain when you pee
- have trouble pooping or peeing
- have blood in your poop or pee
- think the belly pain is from an injury
- might be pregnant
Other Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain of any sort is never something that should just be shrugged off. In this article, I am limiting my overview to stomach cramps that accompany eating, which are rarely a cause for concern and may benefit from home remedies.
However, severe abdominal pain that precedes the ingestion of food persists over time, and is generally making you so uncomfortable you canât sleep or sit still should always lead to a trip to the local emergency room.
Here are a few reasons why this may be necessary.
There are some rules about eating that most of us heard growing up: Clear your plate before you leave the table. Dont swim on a full stomach. If you swallow a watermelon seed, youll grow a watermelon in your stomach. Unfortunately, these rules are based on myths and old wives tales, and they arent especially helpful. What we could have used was some practical advice to avoid stomach pain after eating.
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Causes Of Acute Stomach Pain
- Eating Too Much. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach and mild stomach pain.
- Hunger Pains. Younger children may complain of stomach pain when they are hungry.
- GI Virus . A GI virus can cause stomach cramps as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Food Poisoning. This causes sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. It is caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. Most often, symptoms go away in less than 24 hours. It often can be treated at home without the need for medical care.
- Constipation. The need to pass a stool may cause cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Strep Throat. A strep throat infection causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever.
- Bladder Infection. Bladder infections usually present with painful urination, urgency and bad smelling urine. Sometimes the only symptom is pain in the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis . Suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child wonât hop and wants to lie still.
- Intussusception . Sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years.