What Is Stomach Churning
Stomach churning and gurgling can be an uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen. Although a queasy stomach is usually only temporary if you have an upset stomach for a week or longer it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
If you have ever experienced stomach growling, especially stomach gurgling after eating, then you may well know the other symptoms that run alongside it. Other symptoms of a sour stomach can include nausea and digestive issues.
Moreover, continue reading to find out what causes upset stomach and gas. We also explain when you should see a doctor, and further signs to look out for.
Stomach Noises such as stomach churning and gurgling and Pain: Causes and Symptoms for Those Belly Noises and Cramps
Right Or Left Lower Abdominal Pain In Women
Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain or left lower abdominal pain can indicate a ruptured ovarian cyst in a woman who is mid-cycle. This kind of pain could also be a sign of ovarian torsion, which is the rotation of the ovary and part of the fallopian tube, or possibly a twisting of the ovary due to compromised blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
Common Causes For A Stomach Ache After Sex
Having a stomach ache after sex can be scary, frustrating, and embarrassing. Sex is supposed to be an intimate celebration of your relationship with another person, so feeling bad after sex can be very disconcerting.
If youâre asking yourself: âIs it normal for your stomach to hurt after sex?â donât worry. There are a number of reasons that you could be experiencing this pain. In this article, Ill cover the most common reasons for experiencing a stomach ache after sex and offer advice for easing that pain.
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It Might Be More Than Just What You Ate
A stomach ache can be tricky to pin down. Sometimes they show up for an identifiable reason , but other times, they may show up for what feels like no reason at all. In many cases, stomach aches can be a strong sign that you need to change your diet and your stress levels.
In some cases, however, there may be more serious causes for your stomach pain.
There are many different situations that can lead to pain in the digestive system, said Geisinger gastroenterologist Dr. Joshua Obuch. Everyones digestive tract is unique, and some people may be more sensitive to certain foods than others. These stomach aches are usually temporary and come and go within an hour or so of eating. Anxiety and stress can cause stomach aches, too, but those are also usually temporary. However, if youre having consistent, painful stomach aches, see a doctorit may be a sign of a gastrointestinal inflammatory disease.
When going to the doctor, bring a list of any medications youre taking, as well as your diet and exercise habits. Include what your symptoms are and what makes the symptoms better or worse.
Here are some of the most serious causes of stomach pain, and what you need to know about them.
DiverticulitisFor many people, especially those over 40, its not uncommon to develop small, bulging pouches in the large intestine. These bulges, known as diverticula, are normally harmless. However, if they get infected, they can cause stomach pain and digestive problems.
Gastroenteritis And Infectious Colitis
These are the terms for inflammation in the lining of the intestines and colon, respectively. Symptoms will vary based on the location and cause. In both cases, the underlying cause could be due to a condition such as Crohns disease or even something more benign such as a lack of blood flow to the abdominal area, says Dr. Dann. Patients with infectious colitis generally have diarrhea associated abdominal pain, which may be severe.
How to treat it: Depending on the severity of symptoms, antibiotics may be needed.
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Remedies For Chest Pain After Eating
Despite the many potential causes of chest pain after eating, there are natural home remedies that can relieve this medical irritation. Avoiding foods that you are sensitive or intolerant to is step number one. You should also avoid foods that are overly acidic or spicy, which includes oily and fatty foods. Maintain a consistent intake of food with each meal to avoid overeating or skipping meals. Make sure to stay upright after eating to help the natural flow of food through your digestive tract.
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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A Bladder Or Kidney Infection
Bladder infections can definitely cause abdominal pain, as well as painful and urgent urination, and/or blood in the urine. If its a kidney infection youre dealing with, you may also have a fever, chills, thigh pain, and joint tenderness.
How to treat it: Most cases can be treated with a course of oral antibiotics, though severe cases may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. In rare cases, surgery may be required, says Dr. Dann.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Some kinds of stomach pain need immediate attention. With others, you can call or visit your healthcare provider. It can be hard to know what you should do. Listen to your body and trust your instincts if you’re not sure.
If you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain, call your healthcare provider within a day or two:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding or blood clots
- Vaginal bleeding that lasts for longer than usual
You should also call your healthcare provider if you have stomach pain while you are being treated for cancer.
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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
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
You Might Have A Food Allergy
A food allergy is a step up in severity from a food intolerance. If you have an allergic reaction to a food, it means your immune system has mistakenly identified that food as a potentially harmful invader and mounted a defense against it, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology explains. That immune system defense is what leads to symptoms like abdominal cramping, a tingly or itchy mouth, hives and overall bodily itching, facial swelling, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and even potentially life-threatening trouble breathing.
According to the AAAAI, the most common food allergens are proteins in cows milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts. If you notice youre constantly dealing with pretty intense symptom flare-ups after eating these foods, an allergy could be to blame.
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.
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Heartburn Or Acid Indigestion
One of the most common digestive complaints, heartburn is described as a feeling of burning behind the sternum, with the discomfort often radiating upwards towards the mouth. It can also be described as a cramping, bloating, or a stabbing feeling. Heartburn happens when a sphincter in the stomach doesnt close properly, allowing stomach acid into the wrong areas of the intestinal tract. In many people, heartburn can be exacerbated by large meals, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine. While taking an antacid may bring on relief, Adam Prinsen, a naturopath based in Peterborough, Ont., says suppressing stomach acid may not be the best long-term solution. Stomachs produce acid for a reason: to digest the protein in your stomach, he explains. If you dont have enough of it, you will compromise your digestion. And that could make the problem worse. Because sphincters are affected by stress, Prinsen recommends calming your nerves as a first step. Your digestive system wont work properly when youre stressed, he explains, because your body is in a fight-or-flight response-so all your blood goes to your muscles, rather than to your digestive system. Because people are always in a chronic state of stress, the digestive system eventually just shuts down. Thats why the secret to easing heartburn may be as simple as slowing down.
When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Stomach pain can sometimes be caused by a life-threatening condition. Some examples are:
- Bowel obstruction, which is when food or waste blocks the intestine
- Bowel perforation, which is a hole in the intestine that leaks food material
These emergencies usually cause pain that feels extreme. Your stomach pain may be urgent if:
- You are pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of abdominal surgery
- Your pain started after a procedure in your stomach area, such as an endoscopy
- You have ever had surgery on your digestive tract, such as gastric bypass, a colostomy, or a bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after an abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen is bruised or rapidly expanding
Even if you don’t have these symptoms, get help if you feel unusually severe pain.
Sometimes stomach pain is mild at first but gets worse after a few hours. You may also develop other symptoms. Get help right away if you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain:
- Extremely hard abdomen
- Inability to have a bowel movement, along with vomiting
- Pain in neck, shoulder, or between shoulder blades
- Vision changes
If you have these symptoms, call for an ambulance or have someone drive you to the emergency room. You should not “wait and see” or take medicine for the pain. Get help right away.
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How Is Abdominal Pain Treated
Treating abdominal pain depends on its cause. Options include:
- Medications for inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease or ulcers.
- Antibiotics for infection.
- Changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages.
- Local or spinal injections of numbing agents or corticosteroids by pain management physicians.
In more severe cases like appendicitis and hernia, surgery is necessary.
Emotional Reaction To Sex
Many people experience abdominal pain after sex because of a negative emotional reaction. If youâre feeling anxiety, stress, sadness, or irritation before sex, you may feel physical symptoms of nausea, pain, or gas after sex. Similarly, if you feel emotionally uncomfortable during intercourse, your feelings may translate into physical symptoms after intercourse.
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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.
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
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Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Most abdominal pain goes away without special treatment. Be guided by your doctor, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain, including:
- Place a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag on your abdomen.
- Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids such as water.
- Reduce your intake of coffee, tea and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
- When you are allowed to eat again, start with clear liquids, then progress to bland foods such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
- Take mild painkillers such as paracetamol. Please check the packet for the right dose. Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs unless advised to take them by a doctor. These drugs can make some types of abdominal pain worse.
A Diet Your Stomach Does Not Appreciate
In order for all parts of your body to work correctly you have to consume the right dietary nutrients. If your diet does not include enough fluids or fiber your insides are going to dry up, causing constipation and ultimately belly pain. If you eat too many bad things, like foods rich in fats or heavy in dairy, you can also upset your stomach.
Its not just food that can impact your stomach. You should really keep track of everything you consume, including gum. A 2008 study found that people chewing 16+ sticks of gum each day are at risk for stomach pain, along with excessive diarrhea. This is due to the ingredient sorbitol, which is found in sugarless gum, and many other sugar-free products.
While some people can handle gluten or lactose products no problem, that doesnt mean that you can. If you are frequently burdened by belly pain, start keeping track of what you eat and when you experience stomach pain, this can help you track down your trigger foods.
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Hard Stomach During Pregnancy
Generally, you expect a hard stomach when youre pregnant. Your hard-feeling stomach is caused by the pressure of your uterus growing and putting pressure on your abdomen.
The hardness of your stomach while pregnant can be more pronounced if you eat a low-fiber diet or drink a lot of carbonated beverages.
If your experience severe pain along with your hard stomach, you should see your OB-GYN or seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes severe pain in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is an indicator of miscarriage.
Although more common in the third trimester, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, discomfort can come from labor contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions. Typically Braxton-Hicks contractions pass. If the contractions dont pass and become more persistent, it might be a sign that youre going into labor.
Overwhelming Amounts Of Stress
When you get anxious for a big presentation, you get butterflies in your tummy. When you rocket along the tracks of a rollercoaster, your stomach drops. And when you are under a lot of stress, your stomach can physically hurt. Your gut is deeply intertwined with your nervous system, what you are thinking does impact how your stomach is feeling, and reacting. Lab tests show exposure to stress increases the amount of bacteria in the stomach, making one more susceptible to pathogens.
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How Do Doctors Find The Cause Of A Stomachache
To find the cause of a stomachache, doctors ask about:
- your symptoms
- illnesses you’ve had in the past
- health conditions that other family members have
Be honest with your doctor, even if a symptom seems embarrassing.
The doctor will do an exam and sometimes might order tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or blood test. It all depends on what the doctor thinks is causing the problem.