What To Take For Severe Stomach Cramps
Stomach cramps are a common ailment. They are characterized by a pain that feels like tightening or knotting in your abdomen and stomach. For many people, this can cause headaches or other discomforts that make it difficult to stand up straight or be as active as they would like. When the cramps turn severe, though, it might be time to look into more serious causes.
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Infectious Stomach Cramps Causes
You may be experiencing stomach cramps due to an infection.
- Viral infections: Most contagious cases of stomach cramps are caused by viruses and result in vomiting or diarrhea. They are especially common in children.
- Food poisoning: Spoiled or contaminated food can contain bacteria that make you feel sick. Be wary of food that has not been refrigerated or is past the expiration date.
Treatment For Lower Abdominal Cramping
Many people experience mild cramping that may later go away on its own. Some mild symptoms are relieved with a few home remedies such as:
- Taking a rest
- Applying heat to the lower abdomen
- Relaxing exercises and deep breathing
- Doing yoga
- Taking over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, antacids, or laxatives
- Taking herbal tea
- Eating rice, bananas, applesauce, and plain crackers
- Avoiding strenuous abdominal exercises
- Avoiding coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages
- Avoiding eating solid foods for a while
One should consider seeking medical advice when symptoms worsen or persist even after taking some home remedies. You should see a doctor immediately if you also have moderate to severe symptoms like persistent vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and high fever. Some of these conditions may be life-threatening, leading to conditions like ectopic pregnancy, ruptured spleen, or abdominal aortic aneurysm, which must be treated as emergencies.
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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.
How Is The Cause Of The Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Physical examination will include a careful examination of the patientâs abdomen, heart, and lungs in order to pinpoint the source of the pain.
- The doctor will touch different parts of the abdomen to check for tenderness or other signs that indicate the source of the pain.
- The doctor may do a rectal exam to check for small amounts of blood in the stool or other problems, such as a mass or internal hemorrhoids.
- If the patient is a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
- The doctor also may look at the patientâs eyes for yellow discoloration and in the mouth to be sure the patient is not dehydrated.
Laboratory tests may or may not help to determine the cause of the abdominal pain. Combined with the information gained from the questions the patient was asked and the physical examination performed by the doctor, certain blood or urine tests may be ordered and could assist in determining the diagnosis.
Radiology studies of the patientâs abdomen can be useful, but are not always necessary or helpful.
- Occasionally, an X-ray will show air outside of the bowel, meaning that something has ruptured or perforated.
- An X-ray also can help diagnose bowel obstruction.
- Sometimes X-rays can show a kidney stone.
Ultrasound is a painless procedure useful in finding some causes of abdominal pain.
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Prevention Of Abdominal Pain
In many cases, abdominal pain can be prevented by adopting lifestyle and dietary choices that address the cause of your pain. Constipation, digestive upset, and even abdominal injury can often be prevented.
The following steps may help you prevent abdominal pain:
Drink plenty of water.
Develop regular bowel habits. Many people can train themselves to have regular bowel movements to help avoid constipation.
Follow a balanced, fiber-filled diet. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, can help support healthy digestion and reduce constipation.
Eat regularly and slowly. Eating moderately-sized meals, instead of waiting until youre very hungry and stuffing yourself, can help avoid pain from overeating or eating on an empty stomach.
Exercise regularly. Getting enough physical activity can help prevent constipation and strengthen your abdominal muscles, which may help prevent straining.
Wear a seatbelt properly.
Types Of Abdominal Pain And What You Can Do
Abdominal pain can occur anywhere between the chest and the lower abdomen and can range from a dull ache to severe pain. Abdominal pain is one of the common reasons people visit urgent care centers and emergency rooms in the 78130 area code of New Braunfels, Texas.
The doctors and the medical professionals at Riverside ER, a 24-hour emergency care center located near you in New Braunfels, Texas, want to educate the public on the symptoms of abdominal pain and the relevant treatment.
There are four types of abdominal pain: upper, lower, right-sided and left-sided. Each type has specific symptoms and causes, and all are briefly discussed below .
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Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
The type of pain can vary greatly. When abdominal pain occurs, it can:
- be sharp, dull, stabbing, cramp-like, twisting or fit many other descriptions
- be brief, come and go in waves, or it can be constant
- make you throw up
- make you want to stay still or make you so restless that you pace around trying to find âjust the right positionâ
- vary from a minor problem to one needing urgent surgery.
See Your Doctor As Soon As Possible If:
- your pain is no better after 2 hours of home care
- your abdomen is very painful
- your pain gets worse over time, or becomes sharper or stronger in one particular place
- your abdomen feels bloated or sticks out more than usual
- you cant stop vomiting
- you havent had a bowel motion or passed wind for 3 days
- youve lost your appetite
- there is blood in your vomit, urine or bowel motion, or vaginal bleeding that isnt a period.
You also need to see your doctor if you have other symptoms along with the pain such as fever or dizziness especially if those symptoms get worse over time or new symptoms develop.
Call Healthline if you are unsure what you should do.
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Avoiding Smoking And Drinking Alcohol
Smoking and alcohol indigestion and other gastrointestinal conditions, such as gastrointestinal reflux disease .
Pros and cons
Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake improves peoples quality of life and reduces the risk of certain health conditions, such as cancer.
However, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol can be difficult, and people may require extra support.
Learn more about quitting smoking and drinking:
- greasy foods
Pros and cons
Avoiding difficult-to-digest foods may help ease the stomach and reduce discomfort and pain. Additionally, more easily digestible foods such as fruit and vegetables may help promote a healthy, balanced diet.
However, avoiding richer or heavily preserved foods may be more difficult for people who do not have the time to source fresher food or those who live in a food desert.
Treatment For Abdominal Pain In Adults
Your treatment depends on what is causing your pain, but may include:
- Pain relief â your pain may not go away fully with painkillers, but it should ease.
- Fluids â you may have fluids given into a vein to correct fluid loss and rest your bowel.
- Medicines â for example, you may be given something to stop you vomiting.
- Fasting â your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink anything until the cause of your pain is known.
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Common Causes Of Right
The common causes for pains on the right side of the abdominal area are gallstones and appendicitis. The pain associated with gallstones originates in the upper right of the abdomen area and can spread to the right shoulder blade.
The pain associated with appendicitis begins at the lower right side and is not constant. As the pain moves lower, it becomes constant and severe.
The symptoms of both conditions are:
- feeling sick
- shivers and sweats
If any of these symptoms and pains are experienced, medical attention at an emergency room in New Braunfels, Texas, should be sought immediately.
Could It Be Norovirus
The difficulty when dealing with stomach painespecially in the upper abdomenis knowing whether it’s heartburn or something more serious.
Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, according to the CDC, so it’s very common but sometimes hard to diagnose. Members of the same family can have the same disease process but different symptoms and duration.
Dr. Hanscom agreed, adding that there is no point-of-care test for norovirus.
We don’t have a test for norovirus in the ER, he says. Diagnosis is done by looking at the patients symptoms and other clues, such as if theres a local outbreak, if the patient has been on a cruise or if it’s during the colder parts of the year when people congregate indoors and spread germs.
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Treating And Healing Chronic Wounds
Research from 2015 says that scientists have found a way to package antimicrobial compounds from peppermint and cinnamon into tiny capsules that can both kill bacterial biofilms and actively promote healing.
In this way, peppermint and cinnamon could become part of a medicine for treating infected wounds.
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Crampy Pain With Diarrhea Or Constipation
Lower “crampy” abdominal pain accompanied by bloating and diarrhea or constipation can be signs of irritable bowel syndrome , says Singh. “It’s exceptionally common and affects 15% of the U.S. population, particularly younger women, although it can happen at any age.” Symptoms of IBS can usually be controlled by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Medication and counseling may be needed in some cases.
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Sudden Stomach Cramps With Diarrhoea
If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause may be a tummy bug . This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel. It should get better without treatment after a few days.
Gastroenteritis may be caused by:
- coming into close contact with someone who’s infected
- eating contaminated food
If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome .
How Is Rap Diagnosed
When you or your child sees the doctor about RAP, theyâll ask about symptoms and family history. Theyâll want to know when the pain starts and what seems to make it feel worse or better. Then, theyâll do a thorough physical exam.
Theyâll probably take samples of blood and urine to do some tests. They also can order a scan to look inside your body for a problem, such as a CT scan, MRI, or an ultrasound. If youâre over age 50, you may get a colonoscopy, which is when a doctor uses a thin, flexible tool with a camera to look for problems inside your colon and rectum.
The results of these tests will help your doctor decide what kind of treatment will help you or your child the most. If a specific health issue is making your stomach hurt, youâll need to get treatment for that problem. Your doctor could also suggest lifestyle changes like eating different foods or finding ways to manage stress. Often, a mix of different things helps.
If your belly pain keeps coming back for 6 months and your doctor canât find a medical reason why, you may have functional abdominal pain.
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Where Is The Pain
Doctors and other health professionals will first ask you where you feel the pain. Pain above the umbilicus but below the ribcage on the right may be gallstone pain. Gallstone pain may spread to the right shoulder or the back.
Pain from kidney stones is felt in the right side or left side, more in the back than the front of the abdomen, and tends to radiate downwards into the groin on the same side.
Pain in the very centre of the abdomen is more likely to be coming from the intestines, however in males, testicular pain is also felt in the centre of the abdomen.
What Are Stomach Cramps
Stomach cramps are cyclical tightening of the muscles of the gut that cause pain. It is a nonspecific symptom that refers to the pain present anywhere in the abdominal area. Organs in the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder and pancreas, and any disorder in these organs may cause pain. Most stomach cramps are not serious and heal with home remedies. However, cramps that last for a long time need a consultation with a physician.
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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 relieve heartburn and indigestion by reducing stomach acidity.
Pros and cons
While this home remedy may help with an upset stomach, it may not taste pleasant. Additionally, consuming too much baking soda
Basil leaves also contain high linoleic acid levels, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Pros and cons
Basil is usually available to purchase in grocery stores, gardening stores, and online.
However, those in food deserts may have to rely on online stores if they find it difficult to source fresh basil.
How Do You Relieve Abdominal Pain
Stomach pain has a wide variety of causes and treatments. Some conditions, such as gallstones or appendicitis, may require surgery. Others, such as ulcers or infections, may be eased with medicine. And sometimes you may just have to get through a bout of stomach flu or a kidney stone until it passes.
If you dont know whats causing your abdominal pain, its important to find out, especially if it doesnt go away on its own. Remember that even mild cases can be serious. However, if you have a pretty good idea that your stomachache is related to digestion, you can begin by treating yourself with:
- Bowel rest. Stop eating, or only eat easy-to-digest foods like crackers or bananas.
- Hydration. Drink plenty of water or a hydration formula.
- Heat therapy. Try a warm water bottle or a soak in the bath.
- Home remedies. Try licorice for gas, ginger for indigestion, or peppermint to help relax your intestinal muscles.
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Severe Stomach Pain After Eating A Fatty Meal
If you find yourself doubled over after eating a high-fat meal, you may be experiencing a gallbladder attack. “Women are especially prone to gallbladder disease,” says Hardeep Singh, MD, gastroenterologist from St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA. “Overweight women in their 40s are at highest risk.” The pain becomes worse after eating, lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and may come and go, becoming more constant and severe over time, says Singh.
Get ahead of your abdominal pain with a diet that’s rich in nutrients and fiber and low in fatty foods.
When To See A Doctor
Most stomach spasms are harmless and go away without further treatment. If your stomach spasms are painful or happen often, they could be a sign of a more serious medical issue. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms in addition to stomach spasms:
- blood in your bowel movements
- severe pain, especially chest pain
- long-lasting or recurring stomach spasms
- shortness of breath
You should also see your doctor if your stomach spasms are interfering with your daily life or causing you distress.
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Why Can Diagnosis Of The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Be Difficult
Modern advances in technology have greatly improved the accuracy, speed, and ease of establishing the cause of belly pain, but significant challenges remain. There are many reasons why diagnosing the cause of it can be difficult.
Symptoms may be atypical
- For example, the pain of appendicitis sometimes is located in the right upper abdomen and diverticulitis on the right side. Elderly patients and those taking corticosteroids may have little or no pain and tenderness when there is inflammation, for example, with cholecystitis or diverticulitis. This occurs because corticosteroids reduce inflammation.
Tests are not always abnormal.
- Ultrasound examinations can miss gallstones, particularly small ones.
- CT scans may fail to show pancreatic cancer, particularly small ones.
- The KUB can miss the signs of intestinal obstruction or stomach perforation.
- Ultrasounds and CT scans may fail to demonstrate appendicitis or even abscesses, particularly if the abscesses are small.
- The CBC and other blood tests may be normal despite severe infection or inflammation, particularly in individuals receiving corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system.
Diseases can mimic one another.
The characteristics of the pain may change.
- Examples discussed previously include the extension of the inflammation of pancreatitis to involve the entire abdomen and the progression of biliary colic to cholecystitis.