Sharp Abdominal Pain Symptoms
When abdominal pain is severe, it indicates an underlying problem. Severe abdominal pain is often referred to by the medical term acute abdomen. Severe abdominal pain, in some cases, requires emergency care. You know your body best, so if the pain becomes unbearable, seek care immediately. A few other symptoms you may be experiencing in addition to your severe abdominal pain are listed below.
How To Get Rid Of Lower Abdominal Pain
Women often experience pain in the lower abdomen due to their periods or menstruation. But abdominal pain is not just a womens issue, men also experience this problem.
Lower abdominal pain is common and often easily remedied. But if you have such pain on a regular basis, do not take it lightly.
Simple problems like swallowing excess air, eating high-fat foods that lead to delayed stomach emptying, food poisoning and even stress can cause lower abdominal pain. But certain health issues can also cause this problem.
Some of the health-related causes include constipation, lactose or gluten intolerance, gastroenteritis, colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease , intestinal obstruction, gastroparesis, Crohns disease, diverticulitis, kidney disorders, appendicitis, hernias, gonorrhea, liver cirrhosis and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few.
In some cases, lower abdominal pain in women can be related to the reproductive system, including pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, menstrual pain, premenstrual syndrome , ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease.
As there can be so many reasons behind lower abdominal pain, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor to find out the exact cause of the problem.
However, for mild cases, you can use some home remedies and lifestyle changes to see improvement in your condition.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of lower abdominal pain.
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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What Does Your Stomachache Really Mean
A stomachache is one of the most common terms used to describe abdominal pain and/or discomfort, but in some cases, it may not be your stomach creating the problem.
The term stomachache, is not a good description because there are multiple organs in the abdomen besides the stomach that can cause pain, said Dr. Alexander Akhavan. While gastrointestinal aches occurring in the small intestine, colon, stomach or appendix might be the culprit, Akhavan notes that other conditions can cause abdominal pain as well.
These conditions include kidney stones, gallbladder issues, urinary tract infections and even sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Understanding whats causing your stomachache can help when seeking relief options.
How To Handle Your Upset Stomach
An upset stomach does not require medical attention in most cases. Pain or discomfort from an upset stomach is typically acute and will go away on its own, or with home treatment. However, its important to realize that many different things can cause an upset stomach or stomach pain. Be aware of these causes, find out how to treat an upset stomach, and learn when to speak to a medical professional.
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When It’s Not An Emergency
If your stomach pain is not severe or long-lasting, and if you’re not having symptoms like those discussed above, the pain may go away on its own.
This kind of pain is often caused by minor problems such as constipation, gas, or something you ate. Waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas may help.
Try taking these steps:
- Limit yourself to clear liquids for a few hours.
- If you have vomiting or diarrhea, stick with the BRAT diet. Eat mild foods until you feel better.
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest. Fatty, fried, or spicy foods can cause stomach pain. So can drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Try an over-the-counter antacid or a product to relieve gas.
- Try to have a bowel movement. Eating raw fruit, vegetables, beans, or high-fiber cereal can help.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. Place the pad on your abdomen for a half hour at a time, and be sure to place a towel under the pad to protect your skin.
Your symptoms may improve within a day or two. If they do not, call your healthcare provider.
What Causes Anxiety Related Upset Stomach
Scientists have many different theories about why anxiety causes an upset stomach. One of the key beliefs is that anxiety causes changes in neurotransmitter function, particularly serotonin. There are serotonin receptors in the gut, and so when your body is experiencing anxiety, it’s likely receiving chemicals that tell it to respond with that upset feeling.
Other causes include:
- Adrenaline Body Changes Adrenaline works with cortisol, the stress hormone, to allow the body to respond to danger quickly. These hormones may change the general physiological traits of the gut. Further, the ratio of good versus bad bacteria in the GI system may be altered by these hormones.
- Slowed Digestion Anxiety activates the fight or flight system. Studies have shown that the speed of digestion decreases as a result of the fight or flight system, and this may cause discomfort in the stomach and intestines as a result.
- Stomach Tension Anxiety also puts a great deal of pressure on the stomach muscles, and these, in turn, put pressure on the stomach. Any stomach pressure has the potential to change the way that your stomach feels during periods of stress.
All of these are potential issues that lead to problems with your stomach during periods of stress.
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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.
Calm Your Mind And Body
When we are in pain, we tend to get anxious. Unfortunately, anxiety can make our pain worse. Taking a few minutes to calm down can be very effective.
Relaxation exercises are a way to break the cycle of anxiety and pain. They offer a way to “turn off” the anxious feelings. Of course, they work better with regular practice, but can still offer some benefits for immediate pain relief.
Three basic types of relaxation exercises are:
With a little experimentation, you can decide which methods work best for you.
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Three Things To Look For With Stomach Pain
Suhail Sharif, MD, a general surgeon at Medical City Fort Worth and Medical City Alliance says there are three things you should look for that can help diagnose 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.
Lime Or Lemon Juice Baking Soda And Water
Some studies suggest that mixing lime or lemon juice in water with a pinch of baking soda can help to relieve a variety of digestive complaints.
This mixture produces carbonic acid, which may help to reduce gas and indigestion. It may also improve liver secretion and intestinal mobility. The acidity and other nutrients in lime or lemon juice can help to digest and absorb fats and alcohol while neutralizing bile acids and reducing acidity in the stomach.
Most traditional recipes recommend mixing the following quantities:
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 8 oz of clean water
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.
Other Characteristics Of Severe Abdominal Pain
Also, pay attention to the quality and location of the pain. Your pain may be localized and limited to one area of the abdomen. It may be intermittent, or colicky, which is a term that describes the pain that is sudden and feels like a severe muscle spasm. The pain can also feel like cramps or a tightening sensation in your stomach.
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Yogurt To Relieve Stomach Pain
Plain, unsweetened yogurt containing probiotics, or active cultures, may help with stomach pains as it promotes proper digestion. These work to increase the good bacteria needed to relieve indigestion, bloating, and painful discomfort in the gut.
Consuming plain, unsweetened yogurt throughout the day may reduce stomach pain episodes.
Use the following recipe to create a drinkable form of this remedy.
- Combine two tablespoons of plain unsweetened yogurt, 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt.
- Add three teaspoons of fresh coriander juice.
- Mix in one-half teaspoon of cardamom powder.
- Mix well and drink one hour after each meal.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your specific symptoms, the location of pain and when it occurs will help your provider detect the cause.
LOCATION OF YOUR PAIN
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Is it all over or in one spot?
- Does the pain move into your back, groin, or down your legs?
TYPE AND INTENSITY OF YOUR PAIN
- Is the pain severe, sharp, or cramping?
- Do you have it all the time, or does it come and go?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
HISTORY OF YOUR PAIN
- Have you had similar pain in the past? How long has each episode lasted?
- When does the pain occur? For example, after meals or during menstruation?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, eating, stress, or lying down?
- What makes the pain better? For example, drinking milk, having a bowel movement, or taking an antacid?
- What medicines are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
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Home Remedies For Stomach Pain
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
Stabbing, throbbing, pulsing, or burning abdominal pains may be the sign of either minor or serious health conditions.
In most cases, relief can be found with all-natural home remedies for stomach pain.
The powerful yet nontoxic properties of many common kitchen products may help to alleviate the pain and other symptoms caused by gas, constipation, irritating foods, indigestion, food allergies, or viral infections.
Identifying the cause is the first step in knowing how to get relief from stomach pain.
In this article:
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Pregnant People
Pregnant people are especially prone to abdominal pain and diarrhea. One common reason is that many people make changes to their diet when they find out theyre pregnant. This can cause digestive trouble.
If youre pregnant, you may also start having sensitivities to particular foods. This can include foods you eat on a regular basis, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea. On top of that, hormone changes in your reproductive system that occur during pregnancy may also cause these symptoms.
Seek medical help if youre having abdominal pain and diarrhea that last for 3 days, if the pain grows increasingly worse over a 24-hour period, or if its accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- frequent nausea or vomiting
- a sustained fever of 101°F for adults or 100.4°F for children
- stool that contains blood or dried blood, which looks like wet coffee grounds
- an inability to keep food down
- extreme thirst or dry mouth
- an inability to speak or see
- mental confusion or loss of consciousness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- swelling of the genitals
- external bleeding
Diarrhea can be more dangerous for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. In these cases, discuss symptoms with a doctor.
If you dont have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea
Frequent, constant, or severe abdominal pain and diarrhea may indicate a disease or a more serious medical issue. Diarrhea that gets progressively worse and is bloody can also be a sign of a more serious issue. Possible causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea include:
The above conditions and disorders can cause inflammation in different parts of your digestive tract, like the stomach and intestines. When your digestive system is inflamed, you might have cramps and trouble with typical digestive processes. This usually results in abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Abdominal pain and diarrhea that last for more than a week or keep coming back may be a sign of an intestinal disease or disorder. Talk with your doctor if youve experienced these symptoms for more than a week or on a reoccurring basis.
Can Stress Cause Stomach Pain
Anxiety and stress are closely related. But they are technically different conditions. It is possible to experience a significant amount of stress without experiencing anxiety. Yet the causes of stomach pain from stress are similar. Muscle tension, digestive issues all of these are also caused by stress and may contribute to stomach pain.
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Signs Of Passing A Kidney Stone
David Cameron, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Medical City Lewisville and Medical City McKinney, says that you will know immediately if you are passing a kidney stone, with pain in the side of your back or abdomen.
This is the worst pain of your life that you’re experiencing, Dr. Cameron says. It’s so profound that it’s beyond a 10. You’ll be incapacitated with the pain, quite often. It’ll lead to nausea and vomiting, the pain is so severe.
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.
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Wide Range Of Symptoms
One of the more surprising issues with some types of anxiety disorder is the way that they change sensations in our body. For example, for many, feeling full is a nice feeling. However, it can lead to a variety of natural body sensations, including:
- Feeling lightheaded
- Slight stomach discomfort
In those without anxiety, these are natural. In people suffering from some degree of anxiety, those sensations feel much more pronounced and can trigger a full-blown panic attack.
Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, recommending acetaminophen instead.
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