Types Of Abdominal Pain
There are several types of abdominal pain, which are based on how quickly your pain starts and how long it lasts:
- Acute pain starts over a few hours or days and may come with other symptoms.
- Chronic pain lasts longer — from weeks to months or more — and may come and go.
- Progressive pain gets worse over time and often comes with other symptoms.
Can Stress Cause Stomach Pain
Anxiety and stress are closely related. But they are technically different conditions. It is possible to experience a significant amount of stress without experiencing anxiety. Yet the causes of stomach pain from stress are similar. Muscle tension, digestive issues all of these are also caused by stress and may contribute to stomach pain.
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.
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General Abdominal Pain With Diarrhea
Possible explanation: gastroenteritis
What is it: In simplest terms, gastroenteritis is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, typically involving the stomach and/or small intestine. Most of the time gastroenteritis is caused by a virus norovirus is one example of a common cause. The viral infection causes the inflammation, and that, in turn, causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes vomiting.
Treatment: As a generally non-serious condition, gastroenteritis is often treated by focusing on managing diarrhea and any other symptoms. A central aspect of this treatment is counteracting the dehydration that often accompanies the infection by pushing fluids. In the past, doctors recommended diet changes such as the BRAT diet, but this is no longer the generally accepted practice.
How To Relieve Stomach Pain Symptoms
There isnt necessarily a cure for the stomach pain symptoms themselves. When your body is under stress, your stomach tends to hurt based on the acids in your stomach and the foods youve already eaten. If you have stomach pain as a result of an anxiety attack, you may need to wait it out.
Water can help a little, however. So consider sipping cool water. Antacids may also be beneficial in some cases, but if you have stomach pain often, you may not want to depend on antacid treatments.
Stomach pain from anxiety can be caused by several stress-related issues, including abdominal tension, digestion issues, and irritable bowel. Although the stomach pain may be caused by anxiety, the acids in the stomach are still very real. There are ways to treat both your stomach discomfort and anxiety.
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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.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Your stomach acid is not pure evil. It is here for a reason.
The main function of your stomach acid is to break down food to prepare it for absorption.
It has another vital function. It kills bacteria and harmful pathogens. Also, your stomach acid prevents the overgrowth of intestinal microorganisms.
PPIs can cause a condition called SIBO . The risk of SIBO increases with the long-term use of omeprazole.
SIBO can be the reason why omeprazole leads to abdominal pain.
This relation between PPI and SIBO is not fully understood nor confirmed. Discuss the issue with your doctor. Dont stop omeprazole without permission from your doctor.
Symptoms of SIBO:
- Stomach pain or cramps .
- Nausea, loss of appetite.
- A feeling of fullness after eating .
- Weight loss.
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Causes Of Stomach Pain
Acute stomach pain arises from the dysfunction of normal intestinal peristalsis, also known as muscle contraction, and can be caused by excessive gas, intestinal irritation due to infection or inflammation, blockage, and even depression.
Chronic stomach pain can occur as a result of inflammation of any internal organs, ulcers, gallstones, and infections called abscesses.
Many other causes of stomach pain can wake you up at night. Some of these are listed below:
Inflammation Of The Pleura
The pleura is the layer lining the lungs. The lungs themselves dont have somatic pain receptors. But the pleura has somatic pain receptors. It means they can feel friction, sharp pain, touch, etc.
Since the pleura surrounds the lungs, they inevitably rub against each other during breathing. So, inflammation of the pleura can cause sharp pain while breathing. This condition is known as pleurisy.
In this condition, its more likely that youll feel pain in your chest. However, the pleura does reach down to the diaphragm. It lines the upper surface of the diaphragm beneath the lungs.
So, any inflammation of the lower pleura can manifest as pain in the stomach when breathing deeply. Pleurisy can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection or even embolism.
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When To Call A Doctor
Bottom line: If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to call a doctor.
- Bloody diarrhea, stools or vomit
- Black stools
- A fever over 102 degrees
- Signs of severe dehydration, like feeling dizzy or a lack of tears or urine
- Unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite
- Diarrhea that lasts for longer than three days
Upper Stomach Pain Or Burning Sensation
Possible explanation: peptic ulcer
What is it: Peptic ulcers occur when damage to the lining of the stomach results in painful sores. The stomach is normally coated with a layer of thick mucus that serves as a barrier between the lining itself and the caustic digestive juices. When the mucus barrier is compromised, which can happen as a result of infection, heavy drinking, smoking, aspirin, or a variety of other digestive illnesses, the digestive juices can actually eat away at the stomach lining. The resulting sores cause stomach pain and even potentially bleeding.
Treatment: Treatment depends on the underlying cause, but most treatment options focus on neutralizing or reducing stomach acid enough so that the sores can heal. In the case of infection, antibiotics may also be used.
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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.
When It’s Not An Emergency
If your stomach pain is not severe or long-lasting, and if you’re not having symptoms like those discussed above, the pain may go away on its own.
This kind of pain is often caused by minor problems such as constipation, gas, or something you ate. Waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas may help.
Try taking these steps:
- Limit yourself to clear liquids for a few hours.
- If you have vomiting or diarrhea, stick with the BRAT diet. Eat mild foods until you feel better.
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest. Fatty, fried, or spicy foods can cause stomach pain. So can drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Try an over-the-counter antacid or a product to relieve gas.
- Try to have a bowel movement. Eating raw fruit, vegetables, beans, or high-fiber cereal can help.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. Place the pad on your abdomen for a half hour at a time, and be sure to place a towel under the pad to protect your skin.
Your symptoms may improve within a day or two. If they do not, call your healthcare provider.
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How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms seen by GPs .
Information about your symptoms and the location of the abdominal pain can help a doctor diagnose the cause of your pain. They will want to know how long you have had the pain and may want to do a physical examination. If you are female, this may include a pelvic examination. If you are male, it may include checking your penis and scrotum.
They may suggest you have some blood tests or other diagnostic procedures done, especially if you have had the symptoms for some time.
Tests and procedures that may help in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain include:
Other procedures that may be suggested, depending on your gender, include:
- pregnancy test and/or pelvic ultrasound
- ultrasound of the scrotum
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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
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Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Sex The Bottom Line
Many people ask the questions âis it normal for your stomach to hurt after sex?â
Experiencing a stomach ache after sex is perfectly normal many women have some type of abdominal cramping after intercourse, and, in most cases, the pain is benign and will go away quickly.
If, however, you experience chronic or overwhelming pain, make sure you see a doctor to see whatâs going on and discuss treatment options.
What You Need To Know:
Omeprazole causes abdominal pain in 5% of cases. Possible causes include untreated h. pylori infection and the overgrowth of intestinal bacteria. However, abdominal pain can just be an association, not a result of omeprazole intake.
Discuss the issue with your doctor. Dont stop omeprazole without medical advice.
possible causes of stomach pain with omeprazole:
- A side effect of omeprazole. 5% of patients taking omeprazole experience abdominal pain.
- Untreated h. pylori infection.
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .
- PPIs are not your fit.
- Stomach pain may be just an association .
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Full Body Discomfort Or Malaise With Diarrhea Or Constipation
Possible explanation: lactose intolerance
What is it: Lactose is a component of milk-based products that requires an enzyme called lactase in order to be digested. In many people, this enzyme stops being produced in sufficient quantities and the lactose gets passed to the large intestine. Once there, it promotes the growth and activity of some gut bacteria that in turn cause a variety of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms.
Treatment: There is no cure for the gradual lessening of lactase production, but the condition can be mitigated by avoiding milk-based products or by taking lactase supplements that aid in the digestion of lactose.
Gastroenterologist AppointmentSome reasons for your stomach pain are no big deal at all, and theyll usually resolve on their own. But some can indicate a deeper or potentially more dangerous problem. If you have been having stomach pain that lingers, it may be time to talk with a gastroenterologist. Contact Carolina Digestive today to make an appointment and find some much-needed relief.
Right Side Of The Abdomen
The upper right side of your abdomen contains the gallbladder, liver, and first part of the small intestine.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile made by the liver. The duodenum, known as the first portion of the small intestine, is where food empties from the stomach into the small intestine.
The center right side of the abdomen contains the ascending colon and the transverse colon. Food then passes from the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
The cecum of the large intestine with the appendix and the small intestine are in the lower right side of the abdomen. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine that the end of the small intestine connects to.
Some experts believe the appendix plays a role in the immune system. Others think it has no purpose.
If your doctor performs a physical exam and then suspects a medical condition is causing your abdominal bloating or pain, theyll run various medical tests.
The types of tests they order will depend on your medical history and physical exam results.
Some common tests for abdominal problems include the following:
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Can Stomachaches Be Prevented
Not all belly pain can be prevented. But to help avoid common types of stomachaches:
- Wash your hands before eating or preparing food, and after using the bathroom.
- Don’t overeat, and try not to eat right before going to sleep.
- Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to keep food moving through your digestive system.
- Avoid foods that have passed their expiration date or or weren’t stored properly.
- If you have a food allergy or intolerance, avoid eating foods that make you sick. If you have a food allergy, always carry two epinephrine auto-injectors, and know when you should use them.
Left Side Of The Abdomen
This part of the abdomen contains a portion of the body of your stomach, the tail of the pancreas, and your spleen.
The spleen is an organ that filters blood and supports the immune system.
Center left and center middle:
The transverse colon and the small intestine make up the center left and center middle of the abdomen. The small intestine is where most food digestion occurs.
The transverse colon is the upper part of the large intestine, where unabsorbed food is carried after going through the ascending colon. The small intestine is the organ that takes up most of the abdomen.
The descending and sigmoid colon portions are the part of the digestive system that stores unabsorbed food remains and waste before they leave your body.
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