Abdominal Pain And Stomach Cramps
It is normal to have abdominal pain from time-to-time, caused by gas, stomach bugs, or even food poisoning. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing abdominal pain that you would describe as intense, crampy, and the pain doesnt go away in a day or two, or has been present on and off for weeks or longer, its time to see a healthcare provider to find out whats wrong.
How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
The cause of abdominal pain is diagnosed based on your symptom history, a physical examination, and testing, if needed. Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about the characteristics of your pain, and whether you have any underlying physical or mental health conditions that could be contributing to your abdominal pain.
Questions from your doctor may address the following aspects of your abdominal pain:
- Where its located
- Whether its dull, stabbing, burning, or cramping
- Whether it comes and goes
- When you experience or notice it most
- Whether it radiates outward to other areas of your body
- How long youve had it
- Whether any activities or actions seem to make it worse or better
Your doctor may also ask about your overall health history, any recent injuries, and whether you might be pregnant.
- Blood, urine, or stool tests
- X-ray of the abdomen
- Computerized tomography scan of the abdomen
- Barium enema
- Endoscopic procedures
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.
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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.
About Stomach Pain Or Ache
Anxiety or stress can cause butterflies in the tummy.
Severe stomach pain might be caused by more serious illnesses like appendicitis or intussusception, which is when part of the intestine slides into or over itself.
In adolescent girls, stomach pain can be caused by reproductive issues, including period pain, a twisted ovary and ectopic pregnancy.
Sometimes stomach pain is functional abdominal pain. This means that the stomach is very sensitive, even to the normal movement of food through the digestive system.
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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.
What It Means If You Have One Of These 7 Types Of Stomach Pains
They’re common, but some are more serious than others.
Stomach issues are the worstand they can sometimes be embarrassing . But there are different kinds of pain, and each one can offer insight into whats really going on in your gut. Here are some of the most common stomach symptoms and what they might be telling you about your health:
1. Burning in Your ChestWhat it could be: Acid reflux When you have acid reflux, stomach acid is literally washing back up into your chest, says Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York City. Most people will experience the burning sensation right below their breastbone.
What to do: Theres no one-size-fits-all solution, says Sonpal. Your heartburn trigger foods are as individual as you are, he says. The good news is, once you figure out what bothers you, cutting it out of your diet should help a lot. You can also sleep slightly propped up to help keep the acid down in your stomach where it belongs.
2. Pain Around Your Belly ButtonWhat it could be:Appendicitis If youre experiencing an appendix issue, it’ll usually start with a dull pain right around your belly button. As it worsens, the intense discomfort will move towards your right hip bone.
What to do: Stop taking OTC pain meds like ibuprofen, since they make the problem way worse. Visit your doc: Depending on the severity of the ulcer, you might need meds or even surgery.
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Foods You Should Avoid When You Have Stomach Pain
26 May, 2022
Stomach pain is a very common symptom thats usually caused by digestive issues due to microorganisms or other substances in your food.
In other cases, it could be due to an inflammatory issue or imbalances caused by stress and anxiety, according to this study carried out by the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital.
While its not usually a serious complication, it can be a very uncomfortable problem because its usually accompanied by gas, acidity, and other symptoms related to indigestion.
In addition, stomach pain can be caused by a food intolerance, which, in turn, can also trigger constipation and diarrhea.
Because of this, you need to stay alert and avoid the foods that make it worse, while also taking remedies to relieve it.
In todays article, we want to share the top eight foods you should avoid when you have stomach pain so that you can limit your intake. Lets find out what they are!
Can Gastritis Be Prevented
Experts dont know it is possible to stop gastritis from happening. But you may lower your risk of getting the disease by:
- Having good hygiene habits, especially washing your hands. This can keep you from getting the H. pylori bacteria.
- Not eating or drinking things that can irritate your stomach lining. This includes alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
- Not taking medicines such as aspirin and over-the-counter pain and fever medicines .
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Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Children
Like adults, children often experience abdominal pain and diarrhea because of stomach flu, infections, food allergies, lactose intolerance, or stress. But eating too much can also cause these symptoms.
Some children may have trouble telling the difference between when theyre hungry and when theyre full. This can cause them to overeat. Overeating puts stress on the digestive system, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
When Should I See My Doctor
In some cases, you should seek urgent medical attention or consult a doctor if you have abdominal pain.
If you have a sudden, severe, incapacitating pain in your abdomen, go immediately to your nearest emergency department or call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
You should also seek urgent medical attention if you have pain that:
- is severe and/or getting worse
- has lasted for several hours or more
- wakes you from sleep
- is spreading to your neck, chest or shoulders
- makes it difficult to swallow
Urgent medical attention is also required if you have abdominal pain accompanied by
- unexplained weight loss
- skin that appears yellow
If you are experiencing pain high up in your abdomen that is made worse by exercise it could be angina or a heart attack. If you, or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance.
If you are pregnant and experiencing abdominal pain, check with your doctor or midwife. Abdominal pains are common in pregnancy, but should always be checked out.
If your abdominal pain does not match the situations above, but it is recurrent or persistent , or it started mild but is worsening, you should still consult a doctor.
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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
- Weight loss
- Abdomen very tender to touch
- Swollen abdomen
When Is Stomach Pain Most Likely To Occur
If you have anxiety, stomach pain can occur at any time even when no anxiety is present. However, many people experience stomach pain during panic attacks.
The exact link between an anxiety attack and stomach pain is not clear, other than the fact that during a panic attack, your body is under a considerable amount of stress, and your hormones are often on overdrive. Also, those with anxiety attacks are prone to hyperventilation, which may lead to symptoms that create stomach pain.
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Eat Plenty Of Roughage
Fibre is the part of food that is not digested. It is filling but has few calories. It helps your bowels to move regularly, which reduces constipation and other bowel problems. Fibre may also help to lower your cholesterol level.
Starchy foods, and fruit and vegetables contain the most fibre. So the tips above on starchy foods and fruit and vegetables will also increase fibre. If you switch to wholemeal rice and pasta and wholemeal bread, this can significantly increase your fibre intake. Pulses like lentils and beans are also full of fibre.
Have plenty to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet .
What Is Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder that affects digestion. With gastroparesis, the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine is slowed or stopped even though nothing is blocking the stomach or small intestine.
In gastroparesis, the vagus nerve, which controls muscles of the stomach and small intestine, is damaged, resulting in slowed or stopped movement of food. Other cells in the stomach can also be damaged and cause the stomach to stop emptying its contents.
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When To See A Doctor
Persistent stomach pain could be a sign that there is something more seriously wrong, and you should consider seeking medical attention. Continual vomiting, for example, could lead to other ailments like dehydration.
If you experience severe symptoms like consistent intense cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting blood, you should call your doctor. You should also consult the doctor if you consistently have issues with your stomach after eating certain foods or engaging in specific activities.
What Can Cause Abdominal Pain
Because the abdomen is home to various organs, a wide variety of problems can cause pain. The discomfort can also originate from neighboring areas, such as the chest and pelvis.
The location, pattern, and duration of the pain are valuable in determining the potential cause. Common causes for abdominal pain include:
- Gastric issues
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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.
Peppermint Oil And Aloe Vera
Both peppermint oil and aloe vera have been clinically proven in separate studies to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as painful cramping.
The peppermint oil study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology advises that more research is needed to determine the effects of the oil in conjunction with other treatments involving antispasmodic and antidepressant drugs.
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Diverticulitis Or Diverticular Inflection:
Diverticula are small pockets that can form in the inside lining of the intestines. Theyre common in middle-aged and older people, but typically arent symptomatic unless they become inflamed or infected .
Mild cases can cause cramping in the lower stomach, often occurring on the left side of the abdomen. More advanced cases can cause severe pain, fever, tenderness, nausea/vomiting and changes in bowel movements.
How Do I Find A Healthcare Provider
If you experience any of the symptoms outlined above, please consult with your healthcare provider. If you need a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD, we are here to helpour Find a Medical Expert tool is a great place to start. There are many factors that go into finding the right gastroenterologist. You may want to consider the following questions and preferences when selecting your gastroenterologist:
- Is the healthcare provider board certified?
- What are their specialties?
- Some physicians have an expertise in liver diseases, IBS, or IBD. You can find a healthcare providers specialty by visiting their website or asking the office staff when calling.
- Do they work with other gastroenterologists or GI surgeons who they can consult with?
- Visit our Find a Medical Expert directory
The Foundation offers a listing of healthcare professionals including adult and pediatric gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutritionists, and mental health clinicians on our Find a Medical Expert Directory. Each professional listed has expressed an interest in IBD by becoming a member of the Crohns & Colitis Foundation. If you need additional assistance finding a gastroenterologist, please contact the IBD Help Center they will provide additional guidance and suggestions for locating a healthcare provider.
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Are There Foods That Reduce Stomach Pain
Anxiety-related stomach pain is not usually the result of your diet , so there arent necessarily any dietary changes that can help reduce stomach pain.
That said, those with panic attacks are more prone to experiencing more severe stomach discomfort, even when no anxiety is present. In other words, when you have panic attacks, its possible to have stomach pain even without a panic attack.
Also, those with anxiety attacks and severe anxiety are prone to whats known as over-sensitization. That means that they are more likely to notice and feel smaller, normal changes in the body, and these can trigger an anxiety attack. So if your diet does contain foods that cause you gas, stomach discomfort, or mild indigestion, it may be best to avoid them because the slight amount of discomfort could feel worse than it should and may trigger a panic attack.
Thats why healthy eating is important in those that get stomach pain with anxiety. Make sure youre getting:
- Whole-Grain Carbohydrates
Also, if you suffer from stress-induced hyperacidity, then it is recommended that you consume dairy products and non-spicy foods. In moderate amounts, over-the-counter antacids may be needed as well.
In addition, if possible, try to avoid eating until youre too full. Those with severe anxiety sometimes interpret the full feeling as pain, and this could trigger a panic attack and further pain.
What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may be felt anywhere between the chest and groin region of your body. The pain may be generalized, localized, or it may feel like cramps in your belly. If you have cramping or discomfort in your stomach, it may be due to gas, bloating, or constipation. Or it might be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Colicky pain in the abdomen region comes and goes. One moment, you may feel fine, but the next, you may experience sharp, sudden pain in your abdomen. Kidney stones and gallstones are often the cause of this type of pain.
Many conditions can cause abdominal pain. But the main causes are:
Mild abdominal pain may go away without treatment. For example, if youre experiencing abdominal pain because of gas or bloating, it may simply need to run its course.
But in some cases, abdominal pain may warrant a trip to the doctor.
You should seek immediate medical care if the pain is so severe that you cant sit still or need to curl into a ball to get comfortable, or if you have any of the following:
- unexplained weight loss
If you dont already have a gastroenterologist, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
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