How Can I Feel Better
Most bellyaches don’t have a serious cause. They can happen for many different reasons, but most are easy to treat.
If stress or anxiety seem to be behind the pain, the doctor may recommend that you talk to a counselor or therapist. They help people figure out what’s behind their stress and give advice on how to fix problems or handle them better.
Treatments For An Upset Stomach
Drink plenty of liquids, but do so in small amounts water is a good choice. Sports drinks and coconut water help replenish electrolytes, which can help if you experience vomiting. Try clear, carbonated, and caffeine-free beverages such as tonic water, club soda, or ginger ale. Teas containing peppermint, chamomile, or ginger may help settle an upset stomach.
Eat bland foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and white bread. Soup, broth, or bullion are good options if you do not have an appetite, or if you have trouble keeping solid food down. Avoid dairy and whole grains, as well as rich, spicy, greasy, and fatty foods.
Other things that can help treat an upset stomach:
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and caffeinated beverages.
- Over-the-counter antacids can help relieve an upset stomach.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, especially pants.
- Sit upright and avoid lying down or bending over at the waist.
Natural Remedies For Stomach Ache
If you get stomach aches periodically, youre not alone. An upset stomach can result from all sorts of things from stress and diet to more serious matters such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease or colon cancer.
While there is no comparison to care from one of our board-certified gastroenterologists, many stomach aches can easily be treated at home. However, if you have persistent issues or pain, or a sudden onset of severe symptoms, medical treatment is always your best option.
8 Natural Remedies for Stomach ache
The menthol in peppermint leaves has been used as a natural pain reliever to aid stomach problems for centuries. Try drinking it in a tea, chewing on mint gum, or sucking on a peppermint candy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While not delicious to taste on its own, this pantry staple can be taken by the tablespoon to neutralize an upset stomach. Try mixing it with a cup of water and a teaspoon of honey. The acids inside may help decrease starch digestion, and keep the bacteria in the gut healthy.
Ginger has been used since ancient times to help treat stomach aches, and science proves it truly can help. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be consumed in various forms candy, capsules, or as tea but fresh ginger root is best when looking to rid stomach pain.
Try the BRAT Diet
When to visit us
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Take Some Deep Breaths
Deep breathing may help relieve gas. But this only tends to work if it’s something you practice regularly.
Since deep breathing from the diaphragm is so effective for reducing stress, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to do it. You can then use this breathing technique as needed for future gas attacks.
Can Abdominal Pain Be Prevented
Eating enough fibreand doing regular exercise can help prevent constipation and keep your bowels working well, which will prevent some forms of abdominal pain. It will also reduce your long-term risk of some diseases, such as diverticular disease or bowel cancer.
Drinking plain water but not carbonated or fizzy drinks will reduce the chance of pain from bloating as well as keeping your body healthy.
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Using Hot Water Bottles To Relieve Stomachache
Hot compresses can help soothe stomach pain. The word hot is used loosely here, since the desired level of heat will depend on both the level of pain and personal preference.
Fill the bottle or similar object with warm or hot water, place a cloth between it and your skin, and find a comfortable place to lie down.
- Place the hot water bottle, or a cloth soaked in hot water, on stomach for a five- to 10-minute treatment throughout the day.
- Take a warm shower or bath twice a day for 15- to 20-minute intervals.
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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Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if its concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and youll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
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Middle Of The Abdomen
The upper middle part of the abdomen contains the liver, the cardiac region of the stomach, part of the body of the stomach, the pyloric region of the stomach, and the pancreas.
The liver filters blood and creates bile, which is a substance that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fat in the foods you eat.
The cardiac region of the stomach is where food enters from the esophagus.
The pyloric region of the stomach is the last part of the stomach before food enters into the duodenum of the small intestine.
The pancreas is a large glandular organ that releases digestive enzymes and hormones.
The lower middle part of the abdomen contains the urinary bladder, rectum, and anus.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
The rectum goes into the anus, the final section of the large intestine that carries stool for excretion from the body.
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What Might Be Found On Upper Endoscopy
The majority of the time, there is no significant irritation found in the stomach. Though the stomach pain is real, the exact cause cannot always be found. Research suggests that one of several problems may be occurring:
- Motor or nerve problems leading to slow stomach emptying
- Increased sensitivity in the stomach to food and the normal stretching to hold the food
- Infection with H. pylori
- Psychological and social stressors
Some of the time, there is mild irritation, called gastritis, but not ulceration. Many things can cause this including:
- Bile from the intestines
About five to ten percent of the time, an ulcer may be found. The most common causes of this are, again, H. pylori and medications like ibuprofen and aspirin, Dr. Dryer Says. Very rarely, a stomach ulcer is related to cancer or chemotherapy related medicines.
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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
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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
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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Why Does Belly Pain Happen
Pain is the bodys way of telling us that somethings going on. Belly pain alerts us to something thats 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. Its more than your intestines. Its the whole area between your chest and your pelvic bones. With so many organs in the abdomen, different problems can have similar symptoms.
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.
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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.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar As A Stomachache Cure
Another paradoxical-sounding remedy is using acidic drinks to relieve pain from gastric reflux. Since gastric reflux can result in stomach acid leaking out into places its not wanted, your stomachs acidity can end up lower than is optimal for digesting food.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can help improve the levels and ease an upset stomach. This assumes that youre able to, well, stomach the drink in the first place. While apple cider vinegar does its work best if taken raw, you may find mixing it with water, a teaspoon of honey, and sipping slowly to be the more tolerable option.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of warm water.
- Mix in one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this remedy every three hours until pain is gone.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About My Abdominal Pain
Always see your doctor if your pain is unexplained, persistent or severe, or if you have been injured or are pregnant.
Also, see your doctor if your pain is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- Persistent fever.
- Blood in your stools, urine or vomit.
- Swelling and tenderness to the touch.
- Jaundice .
- Pain in any other part of your body.
- Shortness of breath or symptoms that get worse with exertion.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
So many things can cause abdominal pain that its inevitable well all experience it from time to time. Common causes, such as gas and indigestion, menstrual cramps, or even food poisoning and the flu may be instantly recognizable. Other causes may be more mysterious. And sometimes stomach pain is a sign of an unsuspected or serious condition.
Your healthcare provider will always be interested in your abdominal pain, especially if its unexplained. Common causes are often easy to treat, and having your condition diagnosed can help you find relief. Even if your stomach pain is mild, make sure you see your healthcare provider if it doesnt go away, keeps coming back or gets worse.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/18/2022.
How To Calm An Anxious Stomach: The Brain
Ever wonder why you get butterflies in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is tied in knots after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasnt caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.
Whether its a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system. When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include:
- and peptic ulcers
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When To See Your Gp
Talk to your GP if you have a stomach ache and:
- the pain gets much worse quickly
- the pain or bloating does not go away or keeps coming back
- you have stomach pain and problems swallowing food
- youre losing weight without trying to
- you pee more often or less often
- peeing is painful
- you bleed from your bottom or vagina or you have unusual discharge from your vagina
- your diarrhoea does not go away after a few days