What Causes Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is frequently caused by a problem in the digestive tract . However, it can also be caused by other organs located in the abdomen, such as the kidneys. Large blood vessels, such as the aorta are also found in the abdomen and may give rise to pain. Abdominal pain can even be caused by some medicines.
Causes of abdominal pain connected to the gut include:
- trapped wind or indigestion
- gallstones, gallbladder problems, liver problems
- medicines to help manage the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
Some of the causes of abdominal pain are short-term , whereas others are long-term or ongoing conditions. Find more information about the underlying causes of abdominal pain here.
Symptoms Of Celiac Disease Include:
- Diarrhea, usually chronic, and fatty or greasy.
- Bloating, stomach gurgling, and loud noises.
Some people may experience atypical celiac disease such as intermittent diarrhea and stomach gurgling.
Even more, some people may have asymptomatic forms of the disease .
when celiac disease is suspected, your doctor may need to take a biopsy from the small intestine or perform blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Gluten-free diet is the only and the best treatment for people with celiac disease. cutting gluten from the diet improves all the symptoms of celiac disease.
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What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is pain felt anywhere in the area between the bottom of the ribs and the pelvis. Most Australians will experience abdominal pain at some point in their lives.
Abdominal pain can be serious, but most abdominal pain gets better on its own without needing any special treatment.
People sometimes refer to abdominal pain as stomach pain, stomach ache, stomach cramps, tummy pain, sore stomach, wind pain or belly ache.
Pain or discomfort in the abdomen can be mild or severe. It may come on suddenly it could be something that you experience from time to time or it could be an ongoing symptom that lasts for more than 3 months . It can also start off mild and steadily worsen . Pain that comes and goes in waves is referred to as colicky pain.
This page is about abdominal pain in adults, or anyone over the age of 12. Go to this page for information on abdominal pain in children.
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Foods That Hurt: Greasy Foods
If you have stomach pain, pass on the cheeseburger and fries. Fat takes longer for your body to digest, and it may make your intestines tighten up and cause cramps. High-fat foods may also make irritable bowel syndrome worse. Thatâs a gut condition that affects as many as 1 in 6 people. It can cause bloating, pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
Three Things To Look For With Stomach Pain
Here are three things you can look for that might help provide some clues about the source of abdominal pain, including:
- Type of pain: Is it a dull, achy, constant pain? Or more of a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes? This can tell doctors a lot about what might be going on.
- Location of pain: Pinpointing the exact location can be difficult, but try to narrow it down to the upper abdomen, the lower abdomen, the right side or the left. The abdomen has multiple organs, Dr. Sharif says, and as such any organ can cause abdominal pain.
- Additional symptoms: Are there other symptoms associated with your abdominal pain, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or indigestion? Your doctor will take all of these into account when making a diagnosis.
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Dietary Stomach Cramps Causes
Causes of stomach cramps may be related to your eating habits, especially if you change them suddenly.
- Overeating: If you overeat, your stomach will be forced to stretch to accommodate a higher volume of food.
- Spicy or oily foods: Eating new or rich dishes that your digestive system isn’t used to can cause stomach discomfort.
- Dairy products: Some people’s bodies are not able to break down dairy products like milk, yogurt, or ice cream.
- Gluten: This is a type of protein found in grains like wheat and barley that should be avoided by people with Celiac Disease.
Conditions That Cause Severe Abdominal Pain
Appendicitis: This illness happens when the appendix, which is part of the large intestine, becomes infected and inflamed. If the appendix ruptures, it can become life-threatening. Surgery to remove the appendix, called an appendectomy, is the usual treatment.
Stomach ulcers: Crater-like sores in the lining of the stomach and small intestine. They can bleed or burst and be life-threatening if not treated. Medication to reduce your stomach acid can help treat them.
Gallstones: Hard stones, made up of cholesterol and other materials, can form in the gallbladder, which is just below the liver. They can cause inflammation of the gallbladder, which can lead to inflammation known as acute cholecystitis. Treatment for these problems includes removal of the gallbladder.
Kidney stones: Crystals of varying sizes that form in your urine can build up in your kidneys and cause severe pain. You can pass some on your own through urination, or doctors may remove them surgically.
Inflammatory bowel disease : A chronic inflammation in the digestive tract that can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and rectal bleeding. Examples of IBD include Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
Pancreatitis: The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon the two hormones that manage how your body processes sugar and aids in digestion. Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis, which can affect its performance and cause severe stomach pain.
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What To Do If You Think You Have Covid
COVID-19 symptoms can occur 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and range from minor to severe. If left untreated, it can impair the immune system and lead to complications such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Consult a doctor as soon as you notice COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person. If a diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed, take action right away and follow all safety protocols to avoid spreading the virus and worsening your condition.
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What Are The Four Types Of Abdominal Pain
Since your abdomen it is home to many organs, your healthcare provider may want to narrow down the kind of pain youre having by narrowing down the region youre feeling it in. Healthcare providers often divide the abdomen into quadrants or four parts. They may ask if your pain is in the:
- Right upper quadrant.
- Left lower quadrant.
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Follow My Babys Growth
If something feels out of the ordinary, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Understanding the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy cramps, can help you figure out what is normal and when to call your health care provider.
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms during early pregnancy:
- Normal cramping pain Normal pregnancy cramps are very similar to period cramps, which are usually not very severe. In early pregnancy, you may experience short cramps in your lower abdomen.
- Light bleeding Light spotting during early pregnancy might be linked to implantation bleeding.
If youre not sure if youre pregnant and experience cramping along with nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, and spotting, make sure to take a pregnancy test. These can be early symptoms of pregnancy.
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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Food That Helps: Ginger
This plant root tamps down inflammation in the body. This may help ease stomach and menstrual cramps. Scientists found that taking a ginger supplement during the first 3-4 days of your period can lower menstrual pain. Add fresh or dried ginger to your stir-fries and sauces. Or brew a tea with fresh ginger.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Abdominal Pain
While we dont usually feel the inner workings of our abdomen, pain can occur when there is a disruption of the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue inside.
Abdominal pain can be caused by inflammation , organ distention or stretching , or loss of blood supply .
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary supplements, can cause stomach pain. Medications can do this by irritating the stomach, leading to nausea, pain, and diarrhea, or by slowing digestion, leading to constipation. Be sure to check the label of any drug you take to see if abdominal pain is listed as a possible side effect.
- Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
- Emotional upset
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Where Is The Pain
Doctors and other health professionals will first ask you where you feel the pain. Pain above the umbilicus but below the ribcage on the right may be gallstone pain. Gallstone pain may spread to the right shoulder or the back.
Pain from kidney stones is felt in the right side or left side, more in the back than the front of the abdomen, and tends to radiate downwards into the groin on the same side.
Pain in the very centre of the abdomen is more likely to be coming from the intestines, however in males, testicular pain is also felt in the centre of the abdomen.
Signs And Symptoms That Warrant A Trip To Your Healthcare Provider Or The Er
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them aren’t serious, but some are, and you need to be able to recognize the 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 offers some at-home remedies, but also presents symptoms that mean you should contact your healthcare provider. It also explains why some symptoms point to a true emergency.
Verywell / JR Bee
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When To See A Doctor About Abdominal Pain
Go straight to your doctor or the emergency department of the nearest hospital if you have any of the following:
- pain lasting for several hours
- pain or vaginal bleeding if you are pregnant
- pain in your scrotum if you are a male
- pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- pain and vomiting blood
- blood in your bowel motions or urine
- pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulder
- unable to move your bowels or pass gas
- any other concerns.
The 14 Foods To Eat When You Have A Stomachache
- Stomach aches can be brutal and hard to cure.
- Bland food is best when trying to clear up a stomachache.
- From crackers to apples, these are the foods you should eat when you have an upset stomach.
Do you know anyone who wants to keel over, crying out in pain from how horrible their stomach feels at the moment? No one? Right, exactly. Stomach aches are BRUTAL, especially when you’re supposed to be having fun over a long weekend. In my case, that happened to be Thanksgiving last fall, during which I ate a horrendous bratwurst/hot dog concoction in Germany. It reared its ugly head when I discovered I contracted food poisoning on my flight to Barcelona the next day. Lovely. Luckily, my friends helped to cure me with the blandest of bland foods, and I became aware of what to eat with a stomach ache. Now as a survivor of blind faith in bratwurst, I’m here to assist with a list of what to eat when those stomach cramps finally hit. I apologize in advance.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may take several different forms. In addition to how severe it is, abdominal pain can be described in the following ways:
Generalized Pain This refers to pain felt in more than half of your abdominal area, and is typical of stomach viruses, indigestion, or gas as the cause of your pain.
Cramping This type of pain come and goes, or changes in its severity or perceived position in your abdomen. Cramping is rarely serious and is typical of gas, passing a stool, or menstruation as the cause of your pain.
Its important to call your doctor if your abdominal pain is so severe that you cant move without feeling more pain, or sit still in a comfortable position.
- Nausea and vomiting that doesnt resolve
- Abdomen very tender to touch
- Swollen abdomen
Foods That Hurt: Dairy Products
Too much dairy can trigger stomach cramps for some people. Thatâs because it has a type of sugar called lactose, and many people donât make enough of the enzyme that digests it. That can cause stomach pain, bloating, and nausea within a couple of hours after eating. You may need to cut back on milk, cheese, or other dairy foods, or you can eat lactose-free versions or take an enzyme supplement.
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How To Prevent Stomach Cramps
Not all stomach pain can be prevented. But you may be able to reduce your chances of getting stomach cramps by:
- Washing your hands before you prepare and eat food
- Avoiding overeating and, if possible, refraining from eating right before bed or a workout
- Staying hydrated and eating foods high in fiber
- Checking expiration dates and tossing food that’s not fresh
- Avoiding foods you know you have a sensitivity to
What Other Symptoms Relate To Abdominal Pain
Pain in the abdomen may be experienced as aching, stabbing, burning, twisting, cramping, dull, or a gnawing pain.
The pain may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a feeling of discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, constipation, wind , belching , fever, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, fever, dehydration or loss of appetite
Describing the pattern and location of your symptoms to a doctor may help them in identifying the cause of your abdominal pain. These causes include:
- Peptic ulcer The pain is often felt in the upper abdomen, as a knife-like pain which goes through to the back.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease The pain usually causes a central burning pain that develops just under the breastbone, and may rise upwards. It may be accompanied by belching.
- Appendicitis The pain usually starts near the navel before moving down to the lower right abdomen when it becomes more constant.
- Gallstones or gallbladder irritation The pain is felt in the upper right abdomen, back or right shoulder.
- Lower abdominal pain: Also referred to as lower stomach pain, it is probably coming from your bowel.
- Period pain This is usually a dull, cramping pain, felt low down, which may radiate through to the back.
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Practicing Good Food Hygiene
Food poisoning resulting from a bacterial infection is a common cause of watery diarrhea. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, a person should:
- store foods at the correct temperature
- wash their hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food
- keep fresh produce and raw meats separate, and use separate utensils and chopping boards when preparing foods
- cook meat and seafood thoroughly
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Upper Abdominal Pain Between The Ribcage
If you develop an aching or stabbing pain or pressure in the upper abdominal area just under the ribs, this may indicate a heart-related problem. Physicians say this pain is often accompanied by shortness of breath and is concerning if the pain persists. People often assume this type of pain is indigestion, and while that may be the case, anyone with risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension should see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you do struggle with acid reflux, it may be time to talk to a gastroenterologist. They can help you manage your symptoms through medications, lifestyle changes and diet.
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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.
How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms seen by GPs .
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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