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?
Ways To Stop Digestive Discomfort After A Supersized Meal
Overindulgence can be a pain in your stomach. Skip the bellyache after your next big feed with these quick fixes.
Most of us have done it at some point, even with the best of intentions not to.
Sometimes that holiday meal is so delicious we cant stop, or the dessert table is too tempting to ignore.
You feel bloated now, but dont despair: Overdoing it once in a while isnt going to ruin your health, though it can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
What Is Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is discomfort or other uncomfortable sensations that you feel in your belly area. Just about everybody at one time or another will get a bellyache.
Most causes of abdominal pain aren’t reasons to worry, and your doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of a serious illness that needs medical attention.
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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.
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.
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Remedies And Treatments For Stomach Pain
Stomach pains â also known as stomachaches, tummy aches, and bellyaches â can range from mildly annoying to painfully incapacitating. It can be caused by a food allergy, indigestion, or eating something that has gone bad. Or it can be something more serious like an ulcer, Crohnâs disease, or stomach cancer.
At home, there are things you can do, and things you can take, to potentially alleviate your stomach pain.
Use a Heating Pad
A simple remedy is to place a heating pad where it hurts on your stomach. The heat relaxes your outer stomach muscles and promotes movement in the digestive tract. Lying down usually works best. Keep it on your stomach for 15 minutes.
Draw a Hot Bath
Similar to a heating pad, the warm, soothing effect of a hot bath not only relaxes the stomach area, but it also relaxes the rest of your body. Once the water temperature is to your liking, soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Get Some Sleep
A recent study found that digestive disruptions can be directly tied to lack of sleep. Getting a full nightâs rest improves the overall health of your body and can help ease any stomach pains you may be experiencing.
This ancient brew has been used for countless homeopathic remedies for centuries, and it is especially effective in soothing an upset stomach. Its anti-inflammatory properties help your stomach muscles relax, which can reduce cramp and spasm pains.
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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Signs That A Child’s Stomachache Could Be Something Serious
Stomachaches are incredibly common in children. Most of the time they are nothing serious at all. Most are just from a mild stomach bug, or some constipation, or hunger or are a childs way of getting out of something they dont want to do. But a stomach pain can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem.
How Do Doctors Find The Cause Of A Bellyache
Your doctor will first ask you some questions, examine you, and maybe do some tests. Your doctor may suggest you take some medicine or might give you special instructions for eating to help your body heal the bellyache.
If it turns out that you have appendicitis, you will need an operation called an appendectomy .
If stress is behind your stomach problems, your doctor may recommend a specialist, such as a psychologist. These experts can help kids figure out the source of the stress and help them come up with some ideas for how to fix the problems or handle them better.
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When To See A Doctor
An upset stomach and indigestion should not usually cause concern. For most people, symptoms should go away within a few hours. As older adults and children can become dehydrated much more quickly, they should seek medical attention for vomiting and diarrhea that lasts for more than a day.
People with severe, frequent, or persistent stomach problems should talk to a doctor. It is also best to seek medical attention if the following symptoms are present:
- continual or uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
- chronic constipation
Why Does Your Stomach Hurt
Stomach cramps can range from mild achiness to severe, stabbing pain.
Common causes of stomach cramps include eating foods that can irritate your stomach, constipation, food poisoning, or a stomach infection. People who have anxiety may also develop stomach cramps.
Pregnant people may experience stomach cramps as the fetus grows. Menstrual cramps are also very common, though they actually take place in the uterus.
Sometimes stomach cramps are constant. In this case, a chronic digestive illness, such as irritable bowel disease, may be the cause.
Most stomach cramps go away on their own within a few hours or a couple of days. Changing what you eat and taking over-the-counter medication can help with symptoms while you recover.
Some stomach cramps may require medical attention. You should be concerned about stomach cramps if they last for a week or longer or are so severe that you cant function, or you also have symptoms like fever or blood in your vomit or stool.
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Stomach
- Apple juice vinegar treats stomach hurts brought on by gas or heartburn. The anti-toxin nature of apple juice vinegar mitigates the stomach and enhances absorption.
- Blend one tablespoon of apple juice vinegar in lukewarm water.
- Include one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this arrangement at regular intervals until the stomach pain is no more.
- Note: If you dont have apple juice vinegar, you can attempt customary vinegar.
Other Abdominal Pain Causes
Abdominal pain can also occur due to the following.
- Bowel issues: Both diarrhea and constipation can cause abdominal pain symptoms. If your bowel movements are less than normal, you can expect some form of abdominal pain.
- Stress: Many diseases can come from mental and physical distress. Anxiety and panic disorders are connected to abdominal pain as well.
- Internal injuries: Internal bleeding, stomach ulcers, and tearing in any of the stomach muscles, lining, or nearby organs can cause severe abdominal pain that should be treated as soon as possible.
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Diagnosing Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea
To determine the cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea, your doctor will first perform a physical exam. Theyll also ask some questions about your health history and lifestyle. Traveling to certain countries may increase your risks of digestive disease. Be sure to mention any recent trips overseas. The doctor will also ask questions about any recent changes in your diet.
Your doctor may perform a stool culture, in which theyll send a sample of your feces to a lab to check for bacteria, viruses, and parasites. If this comes up negative, they may run a more complete analysis of your feces to look for possible digestive disorders.
Other common diagnostic tests include:
Endoscopy: In an endoscopy, a doctor sends a camera down your throat and into your stomach to check for problems, such as ulcers and signs of celiac disease.
Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy involves sending a camera into the rectum and intestines to check for signs of damage and signs of disease, such as ulcers and polyps.
Lower GI tract radiography: In a lower GI tract radiography, a technician will perform a real-time X-ray of the abdomen. This occurs after your doctor injects a barium-based contrast material into the rectum to check for intestinal obstructions and other conditions.
Medical treatments can help address the underlying condition causing your abdominal pain and diarrhea. If your symptoms are caused by stress or need to be managed, home remedies can help.
Signs You Should See A Doctor About Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can be tricky for even the best doctors to diagnose, so if all youre armed with is Google, M.D., sussing out whats causing your discomfort can be hard. For starters, stomach pain is a pretty broad description. Are we talking a mild yet persistent twinge or a cramps-that-hurt-so-badly-youre-on-the-floor kind of situation? Then theres the fact that stomach pain can crop up pretty much anywhere in your abdomen, and health issues that cause problems in one part of your belly might not affect others. These seemingly little nuances all matter when it comes to narrowing down what could be behind your stomach pain.
If youre struggling with stomach pain that makes you wonder if you should see a doctor, you probably should. Nothing beats an evaluation from an expert. That said, its understandable that you might want to have some inkling of what may be going on before then. Here are some common types of stomach pain you can experience, plus the health issues that could be behind them.
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Should You Keep Her Home
If your child comes down with an achy stomach just before school , think twice before letting her stay home, advises Dr. Richard Gilchrist. Kids often get stomach pain from a stressor like a big test or a bully, he says you’re better off teaching her simple slow-breathing techniques to calm her nerves, or promise you’ll speak to her teacher and send her on her way. Even kids with known GI diseases shouldn’t stay home unless their symptoms are severe, he says. “By using guidelines developed with your child’s physician and spelled out in advance, you’ll avoid repeat battles.” Plus, at school she’ll be able to distract herself more easily when she’s keeping busy and among friends.
Why Does Every Time I Eat My Stomach Hurts
The stomach is a very sensitive organ. If you eat too much or too little, it will let you know, sometimes painfully. Almost everyone is guilty of overindulgence whether it was that delicious Christmas dinner or a party. This is often followed by stomach pain due to indigestion.
However, if your stomach aches after eating normal portions, there may be a problem. Many stomach-related issues can be treated at home with simple home remedies or Over-the-Counter drugs. However, if the pain is moderate or acute, a visit to the doctor is recommended.
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Heartburn Or Acid Indigestion
One of the most common digestive complaints, heartburn is described as a feeling of burning behind the sternum, with the discomfort often radiating upwards towards the mouth. It can also be described as a cramping, bloating, or a stabbing feeling. Heartburn happens when a sphincter in the stomach doesnt close properly, allowing stomach acid into the wrong areas of the intestinal tract. In many people, heartburn can be exacerbated by large meals, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine. While taking an antacid may bring on relief, Adam Prinsen, a naturopath based in Peterborough, Ont., says suppressing stomach acid may not be the best long-term solution. Stomachs produce acid for a reason: to digest the protein in your stomach, he explains. If you dont have enough of it, you will compromise your digestion. And that could make the problem worse. Because sphincters are affected by stress, Prinsen recommends calming your nerves as a first step. Your digestive system wont work properly when youre stressed, he explains, because your body is in a fight-or-flight response-so all your blood goes to your muscles, rather than to your digestive system. Because people are always in a chronic state of stress, the digestive system eventually just shuts down. Thats why the secret to easing heartburn may be as simple as slowing down.
Why Does Belly Pain Happen
Pain is the body’s way of telling us that something’s going on. Belly pain alerts us to something that’s happening inside us that we might not know about otherwise.
Some reasons for belly pain are easy to spot, like when someone gets hit in the gut or eats spoiled macaroni salad. Oher times, it might be hard to figure out.
When you get a pain in your stomach, it might be an actual problem right in your stomach, but not necessarily. Your abdomen is more than your stomach. It’s more than your intestines. It’s the whole area between your chest and your pelvic bones. With so many organs in the abdomen, different problems can have similar symptoms.
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Recurring Stomach Pain In Children
Burning in upper abdomen that worsens after eatingWhen a mixture of food and acid flows back through a weak valve at the top of the stomach , it causes heartburn and a barfy taste in the back of the throat. Heartburn typically doesnt affect young kids, but becomes more common as puberty approaches, notes John Howard, a paediatric gastroenterologist and professor at the University of Western Ontario.
For occasional attacks, try a glass of milk or an antacid like Tums, but if they occur once a week or more, consult your doctor. Avoiding big meals, cutting out carbonated drinks and not lying down immediately after eating may also help. Rather than subjecting kids to invasive tests, Howard usually prescribes a medication to suppress stomach acid productionif it works within two or three days, that proves the problem is heartburn.
Cramps in lower abdomen During a period, theres a surge of prostaglandins which can trigger uncomfortable muscle spasms or cramps in the uterus.
So how do you help your daughter cope? Cramps respond marvellously to over-the-counter ibuprofen, says Issenman, adding that the medication blocks the action of prostaglandins. Many parents also seek natural remediesfrom boosting dairy intake before a periods due to giving herbs like black haw or cramp bark.
Under six months old diarrhea extreme fussiness