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.
When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have a variety of causes, some of which you can address by resting, avoiding heavy and spicy foods, taking medication, or using a heating pad. Others, however, may require urgent medical care.
While it can be hard to determine this on your own, at least with total certainty, there are some guidelines you can use to figure out if you should head to the ER, your doctor’s office, or try some at-home solutions. Regardless of how your case matches up if you feel severe, out-of-the-norm pain that you think needs immediate attention, seek it.
Skip That Second Cup Of Coffee
If acid reflux is causing some belly issues like stomach pain in the morning, consider cutting down or, even better, cutting out. Caffeine is a double whammy in people with digestive issues, says Dr. Fleisher. For one thing, it can relax pressure on the valve between the esophagus and stomach, making it easier for the acid to splash back up. Plus, it makes the intestine work harder, which could lead to diarrhea, he says. If you think coffee could be the culprit, try eliminating it for a week, suggests Dr. Greenwald. The only way to know is to limit it for a defined period of time and see if the symptoms get better, he says. Its hard to say dont do it forever, but its easy to do for a week. That said, if youre constipated and bloated, caffeine is just one of the many foods that act like a natural laxative. It helps things move along naturally so you can get relief from a bathroom break quicker, says Dr. Cohen. These are the 10 pain symptoms you should never ignore, including stomach aches.
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What Is Are Menstrual Cramps
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with your period or menstrual cramps. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary.
Primary dysmenorrhea is the name for common menstrual cramps that come back over and over again and arent due to other diseases. Pain usually begins one or two days before you get your period or when bleeding actual starts. You may feel pain ranging from mild to severe in the lower abdomen, back or thighs.
Pain can typically last 12 to 72 hours, and you might have other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Common menstrual cramps may become less painful as you get older and may stop entirely if you have a baby.
If you have painful periods because of a disorder or an infection in your female reproductive organs, it is called secondary dysmenorrhea. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. You usually dont have nausea, vomiting, fatigue or diarrhea.
Symptoms Related To Stomach Pain
The symptoms that come with stomach pain vary depending on whats causing the stomach pain.
Cramps and general pain might be associated with excess wind and bloating.
Tummy pain that doesnt go away could be constipation or a urinary tract infection. Children with a urinary tract infection, might also have pain when doing a wee, be doing more wees than normal, and might have a fever, be vomiting and feel irritable.
A sore tummy is more likely to be a sign of something serious if it wakes your child up, or if the pain is in a specific area of the abdomen, away from your childs belly button. For example, in appendicitis, the pain is usually sharp, and the pain often starts in the middle then moves to the lower right section of the abdomen. Your child might also have fever, loss of appetite and vomiting.
With all types of stomach pain, theres a risk that your child will become dehydrated. You should watch for signs of dehydration, including sunken eyes, less wee than usual, lethargy and weight loss. If your child shows these signs, make sure they’re drinking enough fluids.
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What Is Stomach Pain
One of the worst feelings is to wake up in the middle of the night with a pain in your stomach. Not only does it affect your body, it interrupts your sleep, depriving you of the rest and energy you need to take on the challenges and opportunities of the next day.
Research has shown that individuals with sleep abnormalities are at greater risk of all-cause mortality and serious adverse health and economic consequences.
Stomach pain is common and almost everyone will experience some form of it during their lives. Understanding the pain symptoms you are experiencing can help you identify what is causing them, which can lead to finding an effective remedy to relieve and, ultimately, prevent stomach pain from coming back.
While pain in the stomach can occur anytime, being woken up by stomach pain is not common. If this happens to you, it should be considered serious and you should seek medical attention.
Reasons You Wake Up With Stomach Pain Every Morning
Almost everyone has experienced an upset stomach once in a blue moon, either as a result of indigestion, illness, or just something youve consumed the night before that cause it. A night of heavy drinking can cause your stomach to ache the morning after. However, having stomach pain every morning regularly may be an indication of an underlying condition.
We at Mayor Boss did some research and figured out why some people always wake up with a stomach ache every morning. And on that note, lets dive in.
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How Do I Know If Its Anxiety And Not An Ulcer
Its not uncommon to find yourself concerned that your struggle with stomach pain is not from anxiety or stress at all. For example, you may find yourself concerned that instead of anxiety, what you are really struggling with is an ulcer.
Only a doctor can diagnose whether or not your pain is from an ulcer, but there are some clues. The clearest signal is if you have any blood in your stool or acid burps . Thats often a clear sign of an ulcer. Also, if the pain or discomfort tends to occur after eating and isnt related to a similar condition, GERD , its possible you may have an ulcer.
However, this is complicated by the fact that ulcers can be caused by long-term stress and anxiety, as they stimulate the production of extra stomach acid. This excess acid in the stomach breaks down the gastric or intestinal lining and cause open wounds that may harm your health.
Stomach Pain On The Left Side Of The Abdomen
If your child is complaining about pain on the left side of their stomach, it could be caused by something as simple as constipation to a more severe condition like pancreatitis. Dr. Mehta reminds parents not to panic just because their child is experiencing pain.
“Most of the time, stomach pain on the left side is caused by something mild, like constipation. Rarely, it can be a sign of something more serious,” she says. “Your child’s pediatrician can work with you to better understand the pain and symptoms your child experiences to ensure they receive an accurate diagnosis and more importantly, find relief.”
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When To See A Doctor
Most cases of nighttime stomach pain are not reason for immediate concern.
If symptoms occur more than once a week or become long-term, a physician should be consulted. If symptoms interfere with everyday activities, especially healthy sleep, medical attention should also be sought.
Certain symptoms, regardless of their severity or frequency, should be assessed by a physician.
Symptoms associated with nighttime stomach pain that require medical attention include:
- severe or ongoing pain that does not lessen with over-the-counter medications
- swelling or inflammation of the stomach region
- abdomen that is painful to touch
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- ongoing nausea or vomiting, especially if vomiting blood
- blood in the stool
- pain that occurs during pregnancy
- joint and muscle aches
Though rare, severe stomach pain that occurs suddenly and without a clear reason may be a sign of serious health conditions.
One life-threatening condtion is appendicitis. In some people, the appendix becomes inflamed and infected. It can burst, causing severe infection that requires immediate medical attention and surgery.
Often, appendicitis starts as pain that begins around the belly button and travels downward into the lower right side. It then usually worsens with the slightest activity or movement.
Other conditions associated with intense, unrelenting stomach pain include:
What Can Cause Stomach Pain In A Child
The most common causes of stomach pain in children include:
Additional stomach pain symptoms can vary based on what’s causing your child’s stomach to hurt, but may include cramping, diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea or vomiting. One of the most important symptoms to note is where your child is feeling pain in their stomach.
“One of the first questions we ask children is where their stomach hurts,” explains Dr. Mehta. “Location of the pain can help physicians determine what is causing the pain, in addition to other characteristics such as severity of pain, when it occurs, what makes it better or worse and accompanying symptoms.”
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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.
Avoiding Common Stomach Ache Triggers
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Probiotics: Tiny Fighters On Your Side
Rather than take a harsh laxative thatll leave you crampy and running for the toilet, give probiotics a try for constipation relief. These helpful bacteria dont cause disease like their harmful cousins. Instead, they help maintain a healthy balance in your GI tract.
One study found that probiotics like Bifidobacterium lactis keep stool moving smoothly through your digestive tract. And while smooth-moving stool may sound gross, its a great way to prevent backups and blockages. Dimidi E, et al. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.089151
Better out than in.
Lactobacillus GG, acidophilus, and bifidobacteria are other strains of bacteria that can give gut health a kick. Probiotics may also be helpful for slowing diarrhea down along with unclogging constipation.
You can buy probiotics in a supplement bottle or find them in fermented foods like these:
- pickled ginger
Yogurt with added live cultures will also help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut.
Frozen yogurt, however, will never be ice cream, no matter how many well-intentioned bacteria it contains. Yes, even if it believes in itself.
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Stomach Pain Around The Belly Button
Stomach pain around or near a child’s belly button is usually nothing to worry about. It’s one of the most common stomach pain complaints among kids.
“Children often rub their bellies when they hurt and complain about general pain around the belly button,” says Dr. Mehta. “This type of stomach pain is typically caused by stress or eating something that didn’t quite agree with them.”
If your child is complaining about stomach pain near the belly button, you can:
- Encourage them to lay down and rest
- Check to see if they need to poop
- Offer a glass of water
- Try distracting them by reading a book together or playing a quiet game
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Do Gentle Bed Isometric Exercises While You Drift Off To Sleep
Dont worry, no ones suggesting you work up a sweat before falling asleep!
However, these gentle exercises can help alleviate and swelling in the joints that can keep you from falling asleep altogether.
Isometric exercises are one of the most powerful strategies to eliminate joint pain. And better yet, they are so simple and gentle, you can even do them while you are in bed. You really dont need to exert much force for them to be effective simply contract the muscle just enough to squeeze excess fluid out.
How To Treat This
Treatment depends entirely on the cause. For example, acid reflux may be eased with an over-the-counter antacid, and gas pains may clear up after the gas passes.
For other conditions, however, treatment from a doctor may be necessary. In addition to needing a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will need to determine a treatment that is most likely to ease your symptoms. Most common causes of unexplained stomach pain will require treatment from a doctor.
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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 .
Further reading and references
Cartwright SL, Knudson MP Evaluation of acute abdominal pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Apr 177:971-8.
Zgheib H, Wakil C, Shayya S, et al Retrospective cohort study on clinical predictors for acute abnormalities on CT scan in adult patients with abdominal pain. Eur J Radiol Open. 2020 Jan 277:100218. doi: 10.1016/j.ejro.2020.01.007. eCollection 2020.
Dysmenorrhoea NICE CKS, November 2018
Constipation NICE CKS, November 2020
Constipation in children NICE CKS, November 2020
Use The Correct Medicines To Relieve Abdominal Pain
When used sensibly, analgesics and other over-the-counter medicines can relieve stomach pain and help you sleep better.
Anti-flatulence medicine can be very effective for pain associated with gastritis, such as simethicone and digestive enzymes.
For painful heartburn caused by gastritis and acid reflux disease, antacids, such as Gaviscon, Mylanta, and Milk of Magnesia can offer effective relief, and so can acid reducers like Pantoprazole and Ranitidine.
Stool softeners, laxatives, and enemas are most effective for stomach pain caused by constipation while cramping pain associated with diarrhea benefits from medicines such as Loperamide or Bismuth subsalicylate.
Effective treatments for spasmodic pain often caused by irritable bowel syndrome are antispasmodic medicines such as dicyclomine.
Abdominal pain from painful periods tends to respond well to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen and mefenamic acid.
If these medicines dont work or work well, then you may have a more severe underlying problem, and I recommend you get evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Please do not use over-the-counter analgesics indiscriminately, despite their effectiveness and availability, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to mucosal irritation of the stomach, peptic ulcers, pain, discomfort, bleeding, and even perforation of the gastrointestinal tract.
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