How Is Abdominal Pain Treated
The treatment of abdominal pain will depend on its underlying cause.
Mild abdominal pain may go away on its own within hours or days. Mild pain and related symptoms can also often be treated with medicines from the pharmacy. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on what type of product is best suited to your situation.
You should not use aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, to treat abdominal pain, other than period pain. These medicines may cause or irritate a stomach or bowel problem.
If you are treating mild abdominal pain with a known cause at home:
- use a hot water bottle or warm wheat pack on your abdomen
- eat bland foods when you can start eating again, or as advised by your doctor
Specific treatments, depending on the cause of your abdominal pain, include the following:
Gas Medicines designed to break down gas bubbles, such as antacids containing simethicone, are available over the counter. Gas-reducing medicines such as charcoal products, may help with ongoing wind problems. Dietary changes may also help. An Accredited Practising Dietitian or your doctor can help with dietary advice.
Gastroenteritis This usually only lasts a few days and clears up by itself. Rehydrating by drinking plenty of clear fluids is the most important treatment.
Pain due to muscle spasms Spasms in the wall of the bowel may be eased by antispasmodic medicines. Several are available, so talk to your pharmacist or doctor about which are right for you.
Common Causes Of Upper Abdominal Pain
The common causes of upper abdominal pain are typically the byproducts of the digestive process. The pains are usually felt in the upper area of the abdomen, as well as in the chest, neck or shoulders. The common symptoms are:
- bloating and gas
- loss of appetite
The management of the pains and symptoms can usually be accomplished by changes to the diet, eating habits and lifestyle. The avoidance of caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol will reduce the symptoms.
There are cases where people have described the warning signs of a heart attack as upper abdominal pain or heartburn. The pain can feel like a burning in the chest, or the chest being pressed by something heavy. This type of pain may also be felt in the jaw, the neck or the arms.
Heart attack victims may also experience breathlessness, sweating and nausea along with the burning or the chest pain. A person experiencing these symptoms, together with a family history of heart conditions, should seek immediate medical attention in an emergency room in New Braunfels, Texas.
Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea After Eating Signs Causes Treatment Prevention
Many factors can cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea after eating. Diarrhoea simply means having a loose or watery stool. According to research, most people experience diarrhoea or stomach discomfort once or twice every year. Typically, it lasts for less than three days, and its often treated with over-the-counter medicines. This condition is however very common and in most cases not serious. If you experience stomach cramps and diarrhea after eating and then it goes away, it means that it is caused by food.
You May Experience The Following Symptoms
- A Sudden need to have a bowel movement
- Belly bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
If you experience watery stool for a more extended period, you should drink more water. Diarrhea causes you to lose fluids, and if they are not replaced, you may become dehydrated thereby causing severe complications.
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When To See A Doctor For Your Stomach Pain
Stomach pain after eating that results from overeating or indigestion is not very serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. However, persistent pain accompanied by other symptoms that do not seem to be getting better may be something concerning.
If you have any medical conditions that can cause stomach pain, you should call your doctor. If the stomach pain continues to occur right after you eat or while you are eating, and lifestyle and diet changes are not working, it may be something serious or deeper, and medical attention becomes necessary. It could be some undetected health issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, schedule an appointment at Manhattan Gastroenterology today. The experienced and award-winning gastroenterologists offer expert advice regarding matters of the gastrointestinal tract and help you find relief from the pain and discomfort you experience right after eating food. They specialize in diagnosing and treating pain that affects your gastrointestinal tract and offers a variety of treatments, including medications and home remedies to protect you from gastrointestinal damage. The top-rated doctors study why you feel uncomfortable or your stomach hurts after eating, including food and medical causes, and come up with the best solutions to ensure you enjoy healthy digestion.
You Have Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder disease is especially common among women in their 40s and refers to multiple issues that cause pain in the mid- to upper-right upper quadrant of your abdomen and around the back, says Jeffrey Jacobs, MD, a gastroenterologist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.
Because the gallbladder is stimulated by fat, mild to severe abdominal pain can occur after eating a greasy meal . Inflammation caused by gallstones blocking the ducts to your small intestines can also result in severe pain. Waking up in the middle of the night from severe stomach pain is usually a warning sign that something may be wrong with your gallbladder, says Dr. Jacobs.
Issues with your gallbladder will typically not resolve on its own, so if you have frequent or recurring stomach pain after eating and other concerning symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately. They may prescribe medication to help with the pain, but surgery to remove the gallbladder may also be necessary for more severe cases.
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Diagnosis Of Stomach Pain After Meals
Your doctor will ask you a number of questions about your diet, lifestyle, and medical history. All of these can significantly affect the digestive system.
Doctors can use computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans to diagnose gastrointestinal pain, but it is not always easy to generate accurate images of the digestive system using these methods.
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What Are Abdominal Muscle Spasms
In more serious cases, uncontrolled and sometimes painful muscle movements, or spasms in the stomach are known by the NHS as dystonia.
Dystonia symptoms include10:
- Uncontrollable muscle cramps and spasms
- Parts of your body twisting into unusual positions such as your neck twisting or your feet turning inwards
- Shaking or tremors
- Uncontrolled blinking
Dystonia is not common, however, in rare cases it can lifelong condition that affects people in different ways. You can get help and advice about dystonia from your GP or the UKs Dystonia Society.
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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.
How Are Helicobacter Pylori Transmitted
Even though there are many hypotheses for how Helicobacter pylori are transmitted, their major mode of transmission is not specifically known. Possible routes of infection include oral-oral , fecal-oral , and sometimes spread via inadvertent use of unsterile medical equipment such as probes or endoscopes.
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He Had Severe Abdominal Pain And A Fever It Wasnt Food Poisoning
He was too weak to even get out of the bed to go to the bathroom. What could be causing this devastating illness?
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To the 33-year-old man, the workday seemed to stretch on forever. He had felt bad for a couple of days at that point but just wanted to push through because he and his girlfriend would get to spend the next day Christmas and most of the following week with his mother, his sister and her baby. It would be his first vacation since SARS CoV-2 pushed the Hackensack University Medical Center, where he worked, into overdrive. When his shift finally ended, rather than go straight home, he took a detour through the emergency department. He tested negative for Covid recently, but feeling this sick, he wanted to get checked out before he saw his family.
Whatever he had, Bak decided, it seemed to be in his gut. She ordered a CT scan, which showed swollen lymph nodes in his abdomen and chest. And both his liver and his spleen were enlarged. It was probably an infection, but where? His illness still didnt fit any pattern that Bak recognized. She started the patient on broad-spectrum antibiotics she didnt feel comfortable withholding treatment from a man this sick and admitted him to the hospital.
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If Your Skin Turns Yellow
Yellowing of your skin can signal a serious issue with your liver or gallbladder. Many patients will describe a deep and severe pain in the upper abdomen which radiates to the right side within an hour or two of eating, Dr. Pinckney says. This may be a gallbladder attack due to gallstones. Most gallbladder problems can be resolved without having to remove the organ.
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You Might Have A Food Intolerance
If you find that your cramps keep happening after you eat certain things, you might have an intolerance to a specific food substance. Common culprits of intolerances are foods that are designated as fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols , which is a fancy designation for poorly-digested carbohydrates, Dr. Ahuja says. Examples include fruits like apples and pears, veggies like cauliflower and lentils, and dairy products. In fact, trouble processing lactose is the most common type of food intolerance, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition to getting abdominal pain when you eat that particular food, you might also deal with symptoms like nausea, bloating, gas, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, and more, the Cleveland Clinic says. And keep in mind that different people can be intolerant to the same food to different extents. For example, Dr. Krishnareddy explains, someone who is mildly lactose intolerant may be able to digest cheese and yogurt but not a milky latte, whereas someone with a severe intolerance may not be able to digest any form of dairy very well.
Food Alcohol And Medications
Flushing and alterations in gastrointestinal motility occur with a variety of medications and chemotherapeutic agents including cholinergic agents, morphine, catecholamines, vancomycin, rifampicin, doxorubicin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tramadol and cyclosporine ., Gastrointestinal symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The mechanism precipitating symptoms and the presence of other clinical features vary depending on the offending agent., Treatment involves symptomatic management, dose adjustment or discontinuation of the responsible medication. Pretreatment, in some cases, with anti-histaminergics can prevent the development of symptoms.
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Sudden Severe Stomach Pain And Diarrhea Can Be Quite Scary
Acute severe abdominal pain and diarrhea implies severe intestinal inflammation, says Larry Good, MD, a practicing gastroenterologist for 40+ years. He has a private practice based in Lynbrook, NY and is affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians, a leading provider of personalized care in the U.S.
It is important to understand the difference between the stomach and the abdomen, continues Dr. Good.
Of course, when a person feels intense pain in this area, the term stomach and abdominal become interchangeable to that person, because the way they see it, stomach refers to the section of their body between their bellybutton and sternum.
Severe abdominal pain with urgency to defecate is usually caused by an intestinal infection or by a chronic inflammatory disorder like ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease.
Home Remedies For Immediate Relief
If your stomach spasms are bothering you, there are ways you can get immediate relief or treat them at home. Some at-home treatments will treat the underlying cause of muscle spasms, while others relax the stomach muscles so that they stop spasming.
If youre having stomach spasms in pregnancy, talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies. Some home treatments may not be safe during pregnancy.
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You Have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
SIBO occurs when there is an abnormal amount of bacteria in your small intestines. When there are too many bad bacteria, it overwhelms the good bacteria that is needed for digestion. It can cause bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain after meals due to poor digestion.
Risk factors of SIBO include advanced age, prior abdominal surgery, autoimmune disorders, or chronic constipation, says Dr. Vanderheyden.
Treatment involves antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria overgrowth and dietary changes, so Dr. Vanderheyden recommends checking in with a gastroenterologist if you suspect you have SIBO.
Causes Of Stomach Pain Based On Location
- Upper right: Gallstones, cholecystitis, stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, hepatitis.
- Upper center: Heartburn/indigestion, hiatal hernia, epigastric hernia, stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, hepatitis.
- Upper left: Functional dyspepsia, stomach ulcer, gastritis, pancreatitis.
- Middle right: Kidney stones, kidney infection, inflammatory bowel disease , constipation.
- Middle center: Umbilical hernia, appendicitis, stomach ulcer, IBD, pancreatitis.
- Middle left: Kidney stones, kidney infection, IBD, constipation.
- Lower right: Appendicitis, IBD, constipation, pelvic pain.
- Lower center: Bladder infection, prostatitis, IBD, inguinal hernia, pelvic pain.
- Lower left: Constipation, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, IBD, pelvic pain, inguinal hernia.
When to Seek Medical Help
According to Dr. Kingsley, you should call your primary care physician if mild pain lasts more than a couple of days, or if the severe stomach pain is accompanied by other symptoms.
When to seek immediate medical attention
Get medical help immediately if:
- You have abdominal pain that is very sharp, severe, and sudden.
- You also have pain in the chest, neck, or shoulder.
- Youre vomiting blood, have bloody diarrhea, or have black, tarry stools .
- You have a high fever.
- Youre having difficulty breathing.
- You develop consistent nausea and/or vomiting.
- Your abdomen is stiff, hard, and tender to the touch.
- You cant move your bowels, especially if youre also vomiting.
When to make an appointment to see your doctor
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Causes Of Vomiting And Severe Stomach Cramps
Vomiting and stomach cramps typically signal a problem in the upper portion of the digestive system, namely the stomach and small intestine. Although commonly referred to as stomach cramps, this type of pain usually arises from the intestines. Illnesses caused by ingesting contaminated food, water or other beverages are the leading cause these symptoms. A bowel blockage is another important consideration with vomiting and severe abdominal cramps.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating
- Have you experienced any nausea?
- Any fever today or during the last week?
- Have you lost your appetite recently?
- Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
First Up: Is It Actually Your Stomach That Hurts
Before we get into the most common causes of a crampy middle after eating, lets clear up something many of us have been unknowingly getting wrong since we were kids. When you say your stomach hurts, chances are youre talking about the part of your torso between your chest and your hips. This part of your body is technically your abdomen. Your stomach starts a bit under your chest on your left side and extends down into the middle of your torso.
Its no surprise, then, that figuring out exactly what hurts in this general area can be tricky. There are organs that overlap, Nitin Ahuja, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the gastroenterology department in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, tells SELF. The small intestine occupies a lot of space, and the colon sort of drapes around the entire abdomen and overlaps of the stomach as well.
Also, depending on what is going on, the nerves in the abdomen may not be as good at localizing pain, Dr. Ahuja says, so it might be hard to tell where the pain is coming from. Keep all of this in mind as you try to figure out what might be causing your post-eating cramps. Now, for the next bit of background information you need to know, since high school biology was a long time ago for some of us
Stomach Ache After Eating During Pregnancy
Among the numerous minor complications of pregnancy, you may also experience stomach pain after eating. This discomfort may be caused by more than just the type of food you have consumed.
During pregnancy, the digestive process slows down, and there is an increase in the production of stomach acid. This may stimulate gas, bloating, and constipation, all leading to stomach cramping.
Incidences of acid reflux may also occur, causing pain. This happens when the esophageal sphincter loosens, allowing the excess acid to enter the esophagus.
Stomach pain after eating may also be caused by the decreased amount of space in the stomach as the fetus continues to grow.
Each pregnancy is different, and by maintaining a food journal of products that cause pain after eating, you may narrow down the culprit.
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