Prognosis Of Abdominal Pain
How long your abdominal pain lasts, and whether it gets better or worse, will depend on the cause of your pain and how the pain responds to any treatments.
Many forms of abdominal pain tend to respond to self-care measures or simply get better on their own, including pain caused by constipation, food allergies or intolerances, or stomach viruses.
Foods Natural Remedies And Otc Treatments For Certain Causes Of Abdominal Pain
If you arent sure if you need to seek medical advice for belly pain, contact your doctor or other health care professional before using any home remedies.
Common home remedies and over-the-counter medicines include:
- Eat less food
- Medications such as bismuth subsalicylate , loperamide , ranitidine and other over-the-counter substances
Some of these may help reduce symptoms, but if symptoms persist, seek medical care. Beware of “cures” advertised as a single treatment that can cure all causes of this problem because no such remedy or cure exists.
Understanding Why You Have Chronic Abdominal Pain
To understand abdominal pain, you need to understand the way pain receptors in your abdomen function.
Nerves travel from your abdomen to your spinal cord. Signals are sent to different areas in your brain. Different parts of your brain are set aside to sense abdominal pain. Some parts focus on the location or the intensity of the abdominal pain, while other areas focus on the memories and emotions connected to this pain.
Because of this physical/emotional connection to abdominal pain, stress may make your pain worse. Abdominal pain after repeated physical traumas may cause the nerve receptors in the stomach to become overly sensitive. This can lead to even normal activities being experienced as painful.
Your brain can turn down the intensity of the pain signals it gets from your body. Unfortunately, for many chronic abdominal pain sufferers, this ability to regulate the severity of pain in their abdomen has been turned down.
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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.
Related Conditions Of Abdominal Pain
Some of the most common conditions associated with abdominal pain include the following:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome This condition is characterized by symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
Constipation If you arent having regular bowel movements, you may feel bloated and full and experience sharp gas pains in your abdomen.
Peptic Ulcer When a sore develops in the lining of your stomach or upper small intestine, you may experience a burning sensation similar to hunger pangs, along with nausea, vomiting, or heartburn.
Pancreatitis Inflammation of your pancreas may cause sharp, severe pain in the upper middle area of your abdomen, along with nausea, vomiting, or fever. This condition can be either acute or chronic.
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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
What Medications Can Be Used To Treat Certain Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Medications that are used for the treatment of underlying cause of the pain are the medications of choice. For example, medications are not needed for the treatment of simple viral gastroenteritis , while surgery and/or chemotherapy may be the best approach to treat certain cancers in the abdomen. Other causes may require antispasmodics, antimicrobials, H2 blockers, or even nitrates or morphine. The diagnosed cause usually narrows the choice of medications. A few causes can only be treated by surgery , although some medications may be used while the person is waiting to have surgery.
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When It’s Not An Emergency
If your stomach pain is not severe, persistent, or associated with concerning symptoms like those already discussed, it is likely to resolve on its own. Abdominal pain is usually caused by minor problems such as constipation, trapped gas, or eating something that didn’t agree with you, like a high dairy meal or a spice that you aren’t used to.
Waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas usually helps. There are a few things you can do so that you can be more comfortable and to help relieve your symptoms as your pain resolves:
- Limit yourself to clear liquids for a few hours.
- If you experience vomiting and/or diarrhea, stick with the BRAT diet and other mild foods until your symptoms start to subside.
- Avoid foods that are tough on the digestive system, such as food that is high in fat, fried foods, spicy foods, and drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Try an over-the-counter antacid or gas-relieving product.
- Try to have a bowel movement. Often, eating raw fruit, vegetables, beans, or high-fiber cereal can help.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. This may help to soothe your pain. Place the pad on your abdomen for half-hour intervals and be sure to use a towel under the pad to protect your skin.
Your symptoms may completely improve within one to two days. If they do not, call your doctor’s office for advice.
When To Call Your Doctor
There’s a bit of a gray area in terms of which stomach pain cases need immediate attention and which would warrant a call or visit to your doctor instead, as there can be symptom overlap. Again, listen to your body and your instincts if you’re not sure.
If you don’t have any of the symptoms listed above and instead have any of the following features of your abdominal pain, it is important that you contact your doctor within a day or two:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding or blood clots
- Vaginal bleeding that lasts for longer than usual
You should also call your doctor if you experience stomach pain while you are being treated for cancer.
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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
What Lifestyle Choices Can I Make To Prevent Abdominal Pain
Lifestyle changes really depend on the cause of the pain.
- Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption to reduce the chances that you will experience certain causes.
- Good hygiene, especially hand washing and avoiding materials and foods contaminated with viruses and bacteria will reduce your chances of developing illness from many infectious causes.
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When To Contact A Clinician
Persistent or severe abdominal pain, especially if unrelieved by vomiting or passing a bowel movement
Fever greater than 101 degrees F, not relieved by acetaminophen, or any fever that lasts more than three days
Vomiting or diarrhea without any improvement for more 24 hours
Blood in vomit or stools
No urination for more than 8 hours, or painful urination
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Common Causes Of Stomach Pain
Harmless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours.
- Gas: Formed in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food, this can cause general stomach pain and cramps. This often can be indicated by belching or flatulence.
- Bloating: Related to gas, this occurs when excessive gas builds up in your digestive tract. Your stomach will usually feel full, and you may experience cramps.
- Constipation: This occurs when you are having difficulty making bowel movements. If you are having two or fewer bowel movements a week, constipation is the likely cause. In addition to feeling bloated and nauseous, you may experience cramping and pain in your rectum.
- Indigestion: You typically experience this as an upset stomach, burning, or belly pain after eating.
- Stomach flu: Your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
Calm Your Mind And Body
When we are in pain, we tend to get anxious. Unfortunately, anxiety brings with it a heightened state of physical arousal that can make our pain worse. Taking a few minutes to calm down can be quite effective.
Relaxation exercises are a way to break the cycle of anxiety and pain. They offer a way to “turn off” the state of heightened physical arousal. Of course, they work better with regular practice, but can still offer some benefits for immediate pain relief.
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Could It Be Norovirus
Christopher Ramos, MD, a gastroenterologist at Medical City Alliance and Medical City Fort Worth, says that the difficulty when dealing with stomach painespecially in the upper abdomenis knowing whether it’s heartburn or something more serious.
Dr. Ramos has seen many norovirus cases in North Texans returning from cruises.
“Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S., so it’s very common but sometimes hard to diagnose,” he says. “Members of the same family can have the same disease process but different symptoms and duration.”
Dr. Hanscom agreed, adding that there is no point-of-care test for norovirus.
“We don’t have a test for norovirus in the ER,” he says. “Diagnosis is done by looking at the patient’s symptoms and other clues, such as if there’s a local outbreak, if the patient has been on a cruise or if it’s during the colder parts of the year when people congregate indoors and spread germs.”
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.
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Chamomile Tea To Cure Stomach Pain
Chamomile tea is known to work as an anti-inflammatory along the digestive tract.
If your stomach pain is caused by gastritis or indigestion, a cup of chamomile can offer relief. It does this by relaxing muscles along the stomach and the esophagus, easing the contractions that push food along, and lessens any cramps or spasms you are experiencing.
- Place one teaspoon of dried chamomile in one cup of boiled water.
- Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and add lemon or honey for taste.
- Drink up to three cups daily
How To Relieve Stomach Ulcer Pain
A stomach ulcer is a peptic ulcer which is in the stomach, it is also known as a gastric ulcer. These are open ulcers that originate in this area when it is burst or is unprotected from the strong gastric acids found in this organ. These wounds are due to a bacterial infection mostly, though excess acids and stomach juices can also be the cause. Medical intervention is usually necessary to help ulcers heal completely, so in this article you an see what resources are available to relieve stomach ulcer pain at home, as these remedies are meant to accompany the medication prescribed by a doctor.
The most common cause of stomach ulcers is an infection caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Though we must highlight that not all patients that have this bacteria in their stomachs develop a gastric ulcer. Moreover, it can also be caused by excess formation of gastric acid and due to bad habits.
The main symptoms of stomach ulcers may include nausea, diarrhea and severe pain in the stomach. You tend to feel a burning sensation. When stomach ulcers gets serious, a sudden weight loss process will start and blood may be visible in stools.
When you notice the aforementioned symptoms, you must consult your doctor to get the convenient tests in order to be prescribed with the adequate treatment. Remember you should never take medicine on your own behalf as it could put your health at risk.
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What Do Upper And Lower Abdominal Pain Signify
If the pain is coming from higher up in your stomach, it could be caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. You might also have heartburn and belching and the pain may either be made worse or relieved by food.
If you feel pain right across your stomach area or low down, its probably coming from your bowel. You may also have bloating and wind. If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause is probably gastroenteritis. If you are very ill for example, with chills or a fever you may have a more serious condition, such as food poisoning.
When Should I See My Doctor
Sometimes, abdominal pain can signal something serious. You should see your doctor immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if you:
- have pain that is severe and is getting worse
- have pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulders
- have pain that lasts for several hours or longer
- have pain and vaginal bleeding and you are pregnant
- have pain in the scrotum
- have pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- have pain and vomiting blood
- have blood in bowel motions or urine
- cant pee , do a poo or fart
- are experiencing vomiting that wont go away
If you have a sudden, severe, debilitating pain in your abdomen, go to your nearest hospital emergency department or call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. It may be a sign of a serious illness that requires urgent treatment.
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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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