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.
- 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.
For Nausea And Vomiting
Last nights Chinese take-out leftovers seem like a great meal ideauntil your stomach clearly begins to disagree with you. Nausea and vomiting are one of your bodys major defenses against food poisoning, and can also arise from problems like motion sickness and overeating. While the best way to cure an upset stomach from most cases of food poisoning is to let your body rid itself of the bacteria causing your discomfort, over-the-counter antiemetics can come in handy when dealing with nausea and vomiting symptoms caused by motion sickness and certain other conditions. There are two main types of OTC medications used to treat nausea and vomiting:
- Bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient in OTC medications like Kaopectate® and Pepto-Bismol, protects your stomach lining. Bismuth subsalicylate is also used to treat ulcers, upset stomach and diarrhea.
- Other medicines include cyclizine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine, and meclizine. These can be found in medicines such as Dramamine, Bonine, or others, and they dull motion sickness by acting on your brain. They block messages from reaching the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting
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.
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Diabetes Diseases And Eating Disorders
- Diabetes: Persons with diabetes may develop nausea because of gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach fails to empty properly and is likely due to the generalized neuropathy that is a complication of the disease.
- Diseases, illness, or conditions: Many illnesses associated with the intra-abdominal organs can produce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. These include digestive organ disease such as:
- Kidney diseases
When Should I See My Doctor
In some cases, you should seek urgent medical attention or consult a doctor if you have abdominal pain.
If you have a sudden, severe, incapacitating pain in your abdomen, go immediately to your nearest emergency department or call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
You should also seek urgent medical attention if you have pain that:
- is severe and/or getting worse
- has lasted for several hours or more
- wakes you from sleep
- is spreading to your neck, chest or shoulders
- makes it difficult to swallow
Urgent medical attention is also required if you have abdominal pain accompanied by
- unexplained weight loss
- skin that appears yellow
If you are experiencing pain high up in your abdomen that is made worse by exercise it could be angina or a heart attack. If you, or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance.
If you are pregnant and experiencing abdominal pain, check with your doctor or midwife. Abdominal pains are common in pregnancy, but should always be checked out.
If your abdominal pain does not match the situations above, but it is recurrent or persistent , or it started mild but is worsening, you should still consult a doctor.
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Peppermint Tea To Relieve Stomach Pain
For more generalized pain relief, try peppermint tea, or even sucking on a candy cane if youre feeling festive. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, a natural analgesic known to help nausea and upset stomachs. Whether you get it from a candy, tea, chewing on the leaves, or sniffing some extract, peppermint can alleviate stomach pain and any accompanying nausea.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to one cup of boiling water.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes before straining.
- Add a dab of honey for taste.
- Or, chew on one fresh peppermint leaf throughout the day.
Drink Prune Juice To Relieve Stomach Pain
Stomach pain from constipation tends to radiate from the lower part of your abdomen and sometimes features a periodic shifting or gurgling feeling accompanied by a temporary spike in pain.
When constipation is your cause, consider a glass of prune juice or another type of laxative. If effective, you can expect to experience sudden relief.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If your stomachache is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider:
- Nausea and vomiting for several days
- Significant abdominal tenderness
- Pain persists for several days
- Signs of dehydration
Any of the aforementioned symptoms signal something may be wrong, such as an infection or illness, that requires medical attention.
Natural Treatments And Home Remedies
You can try the following natural home remedies to find relief when you have abdominal pain or gas trouble.
- You can use a heating pad to feel better. This helps with various types of abdominal pain, including cramps in the lower abdomen.
- You can take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of honey and mix it in a cup of water. This can help you feel better from abdominal pain.
- If there are certain trigger foods, you should avoid those foods. For example, avoiding spicy foods has helped many people find relief.
- Peppermint is a great idea for lower abdomen pain. You can make peppermint tea or chew the peppermint leaves.
- You can drink plenty of water daily. This can help you feel better.
- You can use ginger for relief from abdominal pain. You can take ginger supplements or cut it and make tea with ginger for pain relief in the stomach.
- You can follow the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. This diet can help ease pain symptoms.
- You can start meditation, yoga, and exercising regularly – all of this helps to calm your mind and relieve pain.
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Medicine For Stomach Pain: Otc Prescription And More
Stomach pain can be caused by many different conditions.
Treatment options depend on the source of the discomfort.
In this article, well explore the available medicines and treatments for stomach pain, including over-the-counter and prescription options.
Well also cover other treatments, explain common causes, and identify when to seek medical care for stomach pain.
How Long Does It Take
According to the American Addiction Centers, initial detox takes about a week. However, a person may find that their symptoms continue for longer. In most cases, a person can expect the following timeline:
- About 8 hours after the first drink, the initial stage of withdrawal symptoms begins.
- After about 2472 hours, symptoms generally peak.
- After about 57 days, symptoms may decrease in intensity.
- After the first week, some side effects, particularly the psychological ones, may continue.
Learn The Common Causes And Home Remedies For Stomach Pain
My stomach hurts. If you have children, chances are youve heard this before.
Stomach pain is one of the most common complaints among children and teens. It can range from mild discomfort to severe cramping, burning or nausea. While most cases arent serious, its helpful to know what can cause stomach pain and when to call a doctor.
Here are some of the most frequent causes of stomach problems in small children and teens:
Gas pain or indigestion is common in kids of all ages. Diet often plays a role. Carbonated drinks, such as soda may upset the stomach, especially if the child drinks through a straw. Spicy foods, beans, citrus and caffeine may cause gas.
Younger kids may not know what constipation is or that it can lead to stomach pain. If your child complains of stomach pain around the belly button or the left lower side of the abdomen, ask them when they last pooped, or if theyre having problems doing it.
Too much of anything, from pizza and popcorn to Halloween candy, can cause abdominal pain. Kids often eat quickly and dont realize theyre full until theyve overdone it. Plus, eating too quickly can contribute to discomfort.
Milk allergy is a reaction to a protein in milk that may cause cramps. It is not the same as lactose intolerance.
When to call the pediatrician
Home treatment for tummy aches
Types Of Medication For Stomach Pain
Treatments for stomach pain need to target the cause.
If you are not sure why you have developed stomach pain, or if the pain is severe or lasts for a long time, see a medical provider.
OTC stomach pain medications can help to relieve some symptoms.
- Simethicone can help reduce bloating and gas pain.
- Antacids and acid reducers like famotidine can address symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease , acid reflux, and other signs of indigestion like belching, stomach fullness, or burning in the throat.
- Stool softenersand laxatives like ducosate and bisacodyl can help relieve feelings of fullness, bloating, and discomfort caused by constipation.
- Loperamide can help address intestinal cramping and pain from diarrhea.
Most OTC medicines to relieve stomach discomfort should not be taken long-term.
If your symptoms come on suddenly or last for a long time, see a medical provider.
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How Else To Control Inflammation
Medications are not the only solution to control inflammation and discomfort. As we become increasingly aware of and sensitive to the possible side-effects of any medication, more patients and healthcare providers alike are interested in non-pharmacologic methods to control inflammation.
There are many ways that people address inflammation. Some have better scientific support than others, but most all are safe to try.
A good place to start is with R.I.C.E. treatment of inflammation, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Other treatments that may be helpful include the foods and supplements you ingest, topical treatments to the painful area, and the activities we perform.
An often neglected method to control inflammation is rest. Not only does this mean resting from athletics, but often this means allowing an injured body part to rest from normal activities which may prolong inflammation.
Busy lives may not allow for rest, but ignoring the signs of inflammation may prolong the problem. Therefore, look for ways to rest your injured body part to allow the inflammation to subside and the recovery process to unfold.
Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
There are many reasons why you may have pain in your abdomen. People often worry about appendicitis, gallstones, ulcers, infections and pregnancy problems. Doctors also worry about these, as well as many other conditions.
Abdominal pain may not come from the abdomen. Some surprising causes include heart attacks and pneumonia, conditions in the pelvis or groin, some skin rashes like shingles, and problems with stomach muscles like a strain. The pain may occur along with problems in passing urine or with bowel motions, or period problems.With so many organs and structures in the abdomen, it can be hard for a doctor to be absolutely sure about the cause of your problem.
The doctor will ask you several questions and then examine you carefully. The doctor may perform no further tests. The cause of your pain may be quite clearly not serious. Another scenario may be that the doctor is unable to find a cause, but the pain gets better within hours or days. The doctor will assess whether the pain requires surgery or admission to hospital.
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When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Some kinds of stomach pain need immediate attention. With others, you can call or visit your healthcare provider. It can be hard to know what you should do. Listen to your body and trust your instincts if youre not sure.
If you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain, call your healthcare provider within one to two days:
- Fever for three days or longer
- Loss of appetite
- Pain that gets worse or doesnt get better within one or two days
You should also call your healthcare provider if you have stomach pain while you are being treated for cancer.
Dietary And Lifestyle Changes
Simple changes to a persons diet and lifestyle can help them digest food more easily and lower the impact of bowel obstructions.
Dietary changes that may help a person who has bowel obstructions include:
- eating smaller portions more often
- avoiding large amounts of high fiber foods, such as whole grain cereals and nuts
- focusing on eating soft or liquid meals
- limiting the intake of caffeine, which can irritate the bowels
- avoiding tough or stringy foods, such as celery or dried meat
Exercising regularly and staying hydrated can also aid regular digestive function.
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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.