Abdominal Pain Treatment And Home Remedies
The treatment for abdominal pain depends on its cause, and may include:
- Medications to lower inflammation, prevent acid reflux, or treat ulcers or infection
- Surgery to treat a problem with an organ
Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate your stomach and worsen your pain. Donât take them unless a doctor has diagnosed the cause of your belly pain and recommends their use.
Some diet and lifestyle changes may help belly pain caused by gas and indigestion. Here are some things you can try:
- Eat smaller portions at more frequent meals
- Eat slowly
The Pain Has Stuck Around For More Than A Day And Its Spreading Into Your Back
Keep in mind that the amount of time youve been in pain isnt usually enough to tell you whats up on its own. The duration of pain is often not a reliable indicator of serious versus benign conditions, says Dr. Lee. But persistent stomach pain that wont stay put and actually starts spreading into your back can indicate something serious like acute pancreatitis or cholecystitis .
With pancreatitis, the pain typically starts in your upper abdomen and may extend into your back from there, the NIDDK says. While thats usually the main symptom of this condition, others include fever, nausea and vomiting, a quickened heartbeat, and a swollen or tender abdomen. If its cholecystitis, on the other hand, severe pain may first start brewing in your upper right or center abdomen before spreading to your right shoulder or back, according to the Mayo Clinic. Just in case these conditions dont seem similar enough, cholecystitis can also cause nausea, vomiting, fever, and stomach tenderness. Point being: Call your doctor. Both issues are serious, and itll be too hard to figure out whats up on your own .
Should You Keep Her Home
If your child comes down with an achy stomach just before school , think twice before letting her stay home, advises Dr. Richard Gilchrist. Kids often get stomach pain from a stressor like a big test or a bully, he says you’re better off teaching her simple slow-breathing techniques to calm her nerves, or promise you’ll speak to her teacher and send her on her way. Even kids with known GI diseases shouldn’t stay home unless their symptoms are severe, he says. “By using guidelines developed with your child’s physician and spelled out in advance, you’ll avoid repeat battles.” Plus, at school she’ll be able to distract herself more easily when she’s keeping busy and among friends.
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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
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
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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.
What Are The Causes Of Severe Abdominal Pain
- Appendicitis the swelling of the appendix , which causes unbearable pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, and removal of the appendix is needed.
- Acute cholecystitis Gallstones causes inflammation of the gallbladder which results in removing of a gallbladder.
- Kidney stones small stones may come out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and that needs to be broken down.
- Diverticulitis small pouches in the bowel leads to inflammation that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in a hospital.
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Is Postprandial Pain Life
Some causes of postprandial pain such as pancreatitis can be very serious and severe. According to a large epidemiologic study from the United States, approximately 15-25% of patients with acute pancreatitis develop severe pancreatitis . Severe pancreatitis can result in fever, hypotension, and organ failure and require monitoring in the intensive care unit. It is important to not ignore symptoms of pain in the upper abdomen and seek medical attention before the condition worsens.
When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them aren’t 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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Fennel Seeds To Relieve Stomachache
The phrase volatile oil is not normally associated with relieving stomach pain, but thats just what anethole, found in fennel seeds, can do. Anethole will stimulate the production of digestive juices, which, if you have indigestion, can be just the thing to provide natural pain relief for inflammation of the stomach.
Pregnant women, however, should not use fennel seeds.
- Chew on one-half to one teaspoon of fennel seeds after each meal.
- Or, add one teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to one cup of boiled water. Steep for eight to 10 minutes before straining tea. Add a dab of honey for taste. Drink tea after each meal.
Peppermint Tea To Relieve Stomach Pain
For more generalized pain relief, try peppermint tea, or even sucking on a candy cane if youre feeling festive. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, a natural analgesic known to help nausea and upset stomachs. Whether you get it from a candy, tea, chewing on the leaves, or sniffing some extract, peppermint can alleviate stomach pain and any accompanying nausea.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to one cup of boiling water.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes before straining.
- Add a dab of honey for taste.
- Or, chew on one fresh peppermint leaf throughout the day.
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Drink Warm Lemon Water To Relieve Stomach Pain
Since pregnant women should avoid fennel, they can try warm lemon water instead. The high acidity of the lemon will trigger extra production of your stomachs hydrochloric acid to further break down food and keep things moving smoothly.
- Squeeze the juice from one-half of a lemon into one cup of warm water.
- Mix well and drink while warm.
Try Not To Avoid School
If the stomachache is stress-related, explain that not going to school today can make kids more anxious about going tomorrow.
Some kids rarely get stomachaches. For others, its a common occurrence especially on school days. They often wake up with pain thats bad enough to make them want to stay home or not attend class.
Whats causing their frequent stomach problems? It might be something physical, like constipation or lactose intolerance. But stomachaches can also be caused by stress.
Doctors sometimes call this type of stomachache psychosomatic because its triggered by thoughts. While the cause isnt physical, the pain is real.
Stress doesnt only cause pain it can also affect our tolerance for pain. For example, a gas bubble might not bother us much when were happy and well-rested. But it might be very uncomfortable when were tired and stressed.
Frequent stomachaches or visits to the school nurse can sometimes be a sign that kids are struggling in school. The challenges may be academic or social.
No matter what the cause, starting a dialogue is a good first step to find out whats going on.
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Crampy Pain With Diarrhea Or Constipation
Lower “crampy” abdominal pain accompanied by bloating and diarrhea or constipation can be signs of irritable bowel syndrome , says Singh. “It’s exceptionally common and affects 15% of the U.S. population, particularly younger women, although it can happen at any age.” Symptoms of IBS can usually be controlled by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Medication and counseling may be needed in some cases.
When Should An Adult Seek Medical Care For Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal pain that lasts more than six hours or continues to worsen
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain that worsens when a person tries to move around
- Pain that starts all over, but settles into one area, especially the right lower abdomen
- Pain that awakens a person up at night
- Pain with vaginal bleeding or pregnancy, even if a female only thinks she might be pregnant
- Pain accompanied by a fever over 101 F
- Pain along with an inability to urinate, move the bowels, or pass gas
- Any other pain that feels different from a simple stomach ache
- Any other pain that alarms a person, or concerns them in any way
If the person has any of the following, or cannot reach their doctor, go to a hospital emergency department:
- Very severe pain
- Pain so bad the affected person passes out or almost passes out
- Pain so bad the affected person cannot move
- Pain and vomiting blood, or any vomiting that lasts more than 6 hours
- Pain and no bowel movement for more than three days
- Pain the person thinks might be in their chest, but they aren’t sure
- Pain that seems to come from the person’s testicles
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Dyspepsia Or Upset Stomach
Dyspepsia is also called upset stomach or indigestion. It is a condition characterized by a painful or burning feeling in the upper abdominal region or stomach.
The most common dyspepsia symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating, cramping in the stomach, a growling stomach, nausea and vomiting, gas and belching, constipation, diarrhea, and a burning sensation in the stomach or upper abdomen.
What Questions Will My Doctor Ask About My Abdominal Pain
Diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain is one of the hardest tasks for a doctor. Sometimes all that the professional can do is be sure that the pain does not require surgery or admission to the hospital.
The healthcare professional may ask these or similar questions to try to determine what is causing the patient’s pain. Some may seem unrelated to the patient’s current condition, but it is important to try to answer them as completely as possible. The answers to these questions can help the healthcare professional find the cause of the patient’s pain more quickly and easily.
- How long have you had the pain?
- What were you doing when it started?
- How did you feel before the pain started?
- Have you felt OK over the last few days?
- What have you tried to make the pain better? Did it work?
- What makes the pain worse?
- Where is the pain located?
- Right side?
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You Have Intense Stomach Cramps In Your Lower Abdomen But You Feel Better After You Poop
This can be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome , a disorder thats related to how your brain and gut work together , the NIDDK says. Basically, IBS can cause your gut to be more sensitive and change how the muscles in your bowel contract, the NIDDK explains. That can lead to myriad issues, like persistent stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more. With IBS, the abdominal cramping is usually in the lower abdomenand often improves after completing bowel movements, Dr. Tripathi says. IBS is a chronic disorder, but its symptoms can come and go, the NIDDK says.
Stomach cramps that recede post-poop can also sometimes be a sign of good old-fashioned constipation. Since IBS can cause constipation , the lines are a little blurred here. If these symptoms havent been an issue for you in the past, theres a chance youre just dealing with regular constipation, Dr. Tripathi says. But if this is a recurrent thing for you, definitely mention that to your doctor and ask if it could be a sign of IBS based on other symptoms you may or may not have.
Treatment And Home Remedies For Abdominal Pain
How abdominal pain is treated is highly dependent on the diagnosis. Medications that reduce inflammation may help with stomach pains resulting from ulcers.
But other conditions, like kidney stones, may require more intensive treatment like shock wave lithotripsy. Inflammation of the gall bladder might require gall bladder surgery.
If you and your doctor have determined that your abdominal pain is not the result of a serious medical condition, there are a number of home health remedies that may provide relief. Heres a brief list:
- bitters and soda
- BRAT diet
Not all forms of abdominal pain are preventable. But you can minimize the risk of developing abdominal pain by:
- eating a healthy diet
- exercising regularly
- eating smaller meals
If you have an intestinal disorder, like Crohns disease, follow the diet your doctor has given you to minimize discomfort. If you have GERD, dont eat within 2 hours of bedtime.
Lying down too soon after eating may cause heartburn and abdominal pain. Try waiting at least 2 hours after eating before lying down.
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Using Alcoholic Bitters To Relieve Stomach Pain
You may raise an eyebrow, but did you know that alcoholic bitters can naturally relieve stomach pain?
Many common brands of bitters contain a mix of mint, ginger, cinnamon, and fennel, all of which are known to help ease stomach pain in one form or another. Five to six drops in a glass of club soda or ginger ale might surprise you.
The Pain Is Pretty Intense And Accompanied By Bloody Diarrhea
Unfortunately for you , this could be one of a few things. If these symptoms came out of nowhere, they could be a sign of foodborne illness like salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, or E.coli. And, as if you dont have enough on your plate between the pain and the bloody poop, foodborne illness will usually also cause other symptoms like fever, Mindy Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, tells SELF. Some important questions to ask yourself, per Dr. Lee: Did you eat anything recently that you suspect might have been contaminated? Do you know of anyone else who ate the same thing and now has similar symptoms? If you split an order of shrimp wontons with a friend who also happens to have developed similar stomach issues, thats worth noting. In any case, even though food poisoning often goes away within a few days, according to the Mayo Clinic, seeing blood in your poop is as good a reason as any to ask your doctor what might be up.
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Why Does My Stomach Hurt
There are numerous reasons for abdominal pain. It can come from any of the organs in your belly gallbladder, pancreas, liver, stomach and intestines or the abdominal wall the outer shell of the body. Sometimes you feel the pain in your belly, but its actually coming from the chest, back or pelvis.
Abdominal wall pain is common and easy to miss as healthcare professionals may direct their attention to internal organs as a cause of the pain. Once the abdominal wall is considered as a suspect, it is generally easy to nail down this diagnosis. If a patient strains the ab wall muscles from exertion, he may tell his doctor that he has right sided stomach pain. Clearly, this pain is not caused by a diseased internal organ such as the gallbladder or the stomach.
Healthcare providers can often determine where pain is coming from by taking a detailed history from you. Depending upon the physicians style, you may be simply asked to relate your medical story in your own words as a narrative. Other physicians may prefer to ask a series of detailed questions. Others may utilize both techniques. This medical history is paramount, even more important than the physical examination. After the history and physical, certain diagnostic tests may be advised to make an accurate diagnosis.