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.
Hormone Therapy And Uterine Fibroids
The use of hormone therapy after menopause is associated with a greater risk for a fibroids diagnosis, as reported in a 2017 peer-review article of most studies to date. The risk of surgically confirmed fibroids increased up to sixfold in people using estrogen or combined estrogen-progestin therapy compared with nonusers.
First Up: Is It Actually Your Stomach That Hurts
Before we get into the most common causes of a crampy middle after eating, lets clear up something many of us have been unknowingly getting wrong since we were kids. When you say your stomach hurts, chances are youre talking about the part of your torso between your chest and your hips. This part of your body is technically your abdomen. Your stomach starts a bit under your chest on your left side and extends down into the middle of your torso.
Its no surprise, then, that figuring out exactly what hurts in this general area can be tricky. There are organs that overlap, Nitin Ahuja, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the gastroenterology department in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, tells SELF. The small intestine occupies a lot of space, and the colon sort of drapes around the entire abdomen and overlaps of the stomach as well.
Also, depending on what is going on, the nerves in the abdomen may not be as good at localizing pain, Dr. Ahuja says, so it might be hard to tell where the pain is coming from. Keep all of this in mind as you try to figure out what might be causing your post-eating cramps. Now, for the next bit of background information you need to know, since high school biology was a long time ago for some of us
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Right Or Left Lower Abdominal Pain In Women
Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain or left lower abdominal pain can indicate a ruptured ovarian cyst in a woman who is mid-cycle. This kind of pain could also be a sign of ovarian torsion, which is the rotation of the ovary and part of the fallopian tube, or possibly a twisting of the ovary due to compromised blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
How Are Muscle Spasms Treated
When a spasm strikes, you might be exercising, simply sitting or even sleeping in the middle of the night. If only there was a magical injection that could instantly relieve your pain! There are, however, five steps you can take to try to get rid of the spasm:
- Stretch the affected area.
- Massage the affected area with your hands or a massage roller.
- Stand up and walk around.
- Apply heat or ice. Put an ice pack together or apply a heating pad, or take a nice warm bath.
- Take painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
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In General What Conditions Do Gastroenterologists Treat
Gastroenterologists can evaluate for and treat a wide variety of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease , gastroesophageal reflux disease , celiac disease, peptic ulcer disease, obesity and more. GI doctors also routinely perform screenings for colon cancer.
My area of specialty is in prevention and early detection of cancers such as colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancer. I enjoy helping patients, especially those with a family history, understand their risk for cancer while offering genetic testing, screening and more.
Overall, its important for patients to openly discuss stress and GI symptoms with their doctors. Primary care doctors can help manage stress and treat symptoms, but in some cases it may be necessary to see a gastroenterologist to evaluate for other conditions.
When Should You See A Doctor
If you experience severe or chronic stomach cramps, see a doctor for further evaluation. As a rule of thumb, any symptom that seems unusual and persists for a long time should be addressed.
Make note of any other symptoms youre experiencing, such as indigestion, bloating, and excessive fatigue. You should seek immediate medical treatment if you experience stomach cramps along with:
- pain that suddenly gets worse
- dark, bloody, or tar-like stools
How Do You Get Rid Of Menopause Cramps Fast
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are effective treatments for cramps.
If you are looking for nonmedicinal help, try using a heating pad or a heated patch or wrap on your abdomen to help relax the muscles of your uterus. Heat can also boost circulation in your abdomen, which may help reduce pain.
How To Stop Stomach Cramps At Night
A sudden wake up at night due to pain is not a sentence for life. You likely can get relief quickly and easily. However, to get to that point you must diagnose the issue and make certain changes based on the diagnosis. Before hitting a doctor make the below changes and see if you can for yourself be the change.
1. Maintain A Journal
If you are experiencing stomach pain frequently at night and is the cause of your sudden wakeup, start a diary. Jot down your intake, what symptoms they aroused. Maintain this for a week and you can know what is triggering it. Maybe your bad lifestyle, maybe your food or maybe a few other things. You can know these maybes and avoid them.
2. Try Primary Treatments
OTC options include upset stomach medicines and antacids. First, make use of them and if theres a relief then you are done.
3. Check Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle determines to keep stomach cramps in control. Maybe smoking, drinking, and overeating could be causing it. At times not sleeping enough also triggers it, so check for the exact reason and act accordingly.
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Symptoms That Require Medical Attention
Generally, thigh cramps are harmless and do not require medical treatment. However, there are specific symptoms which can need you to consult a doctor. Let us now look at them.
- When you face severe discomfort
- Leg swelling, swelling of the body, or redness
- Weakness in the muscles
- Happens to occur without any common reason
Abdominal Pain Treatment And Home Remedies
The treatment for abdominal pain depends on its cause, and may include:
- Medications to lower inflammation, prevent acid reflux, or treat ulcers or infection
- Surgery to treat a problem with an organ
Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate your stomach and worsen your pain. Donât take them unless a doctor has diagnosed the cause of your belly pain and recommends their use.
Some diet and lifestyle changes may help belly pain caused by gas and indigestion. Here are some things you can try:
- Eat smaller portions at more frequent meals
- Eat slowly
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You Might Have Eaten More Than Your Stomach Could Handle
Experts say this tends to be the most common cause for this specific type of discomfort. Im sure all of us have had that situation where weve eaten too much and we get stomach cramps, Suneeta Krishnareddy, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medicine in the faculty of digestive and liver diseases at Columbia University Medical Center, tells SELF. Its usually just caused by the stomach stretchingbecause it is a very stretchy organbecause theres too much food in there. This stomach stretching can also happen because of the bacteria in your G.I. tract trying to help you break down the food, which can cause gas and distension, Dr. Krishnareddy says. That stretch in some people causes pain or cramping, she explains.
To be super clear, were not saying theres anything inherently wrong with sometimes eating a lot . Eating past the point of fullness on some occasions can actually be part of having a normal relationship with food. And, of course, if you deal with a disordered eating issue like binge eating disorder, navigating how much you eat can be really complex and not feel entirely under your control right now. So, seriously, no judgment here. But if youre dealing with stomach cramps after eating often and think its because you have a hard time not eating past the point of fullness, talking to a doctor, therapist, or registered dietitian may help.
Pain In The Middle Of The Stomach Should Be A Concern
While mild pain in the middle of the stomach may be treated easily, it should be observed. From inflammatory bowel disease to pancreatic disorders, there are plenty of possibilities for the mid-abdominal pain to be a warning sign of a serious issue. Knowing the anatomy of the abdomen and related organs may help you identify the cause. If the pain goes away and does not return, it may have been nothing serious. But if its a pain that reoccurs or worsens, its best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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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 just the right position
- vary from a minor problem to one needing urgent surgery.
Stress And Stomach Pain: When Should You See A Specialist
Do you ever feel like theres a knot in your stomach when youre worried or stressed? Do nerves make you feel butterflies in your gut? If so, youre not alone.
As a gastroenterologist, a specialist in the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver, I help patients determine if their stomach pain is stress-related or if their symptoms are caused by a more serious condition.
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Severe Acute Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
A sudden pain in the lower part of the abdomen may be a sign of appendicitis. It may also be accompanied by a fever. Pain often begins around the belly button area and becomes worse with time. Vomiting or constipation or diarrhea along with the pain also indicate it’s time to go to the emergency room. Physicians recommend seeing a doctor right away if the pain comes on suddenly over several hours or is persistent. Appendicitis often requires surgery. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can be deadly.
Diagnosis Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
If examinations and tests are needed, these may include:
- a rectal exam to check for hidden blood or other problems
- if you are a man, the doctor may check your penis and scrotum
- if you are a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in your womb , fallopian tubes and ovaries, and do a pregnancy test
- a blood test to look for infection or bleeding
- other blood tests may look at enzymes in the liver, pancreas and heart to sort out which organ may be involved
- a urine test to look for a urine infection or blood
- an ECG to rule out a heart attack
- other tests, including x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- sometimes you may be referred to another doctor to help find the cause of the problem.
- endoscopy is an examination where a flexible tube with a light and video camera at the tip is used to examine some internal organs without the need for surgery. Different names are used depending on which organ is being looked at.
If you do have tests, the doctor will explain the results to you. Some results may take a number of days to come back and these will be sent to your local doctor.
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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.
When Should I Call The Doctor
Sometimes, what seems like one problem food poisoning, for example can turn out to be something more serious, like appendicitis.
- the pain is very strong
- you’re vomiting a lot
- you already have another health condition
- the pain gets worse over time, doesn’t go away, or wakes you up from sleep
Also let the doctor know if you:
- have a fever
- have pain when you pee
- have trouble pooping or peeing
- have blood in your poop or pee
- think the belly pain is from an injury
- might be pregnant
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If Your Abdominal Cramps Are Making Life Miserable Try To Talk To A Doctor
Treatments for the above issues can vary wildly. For instance, if you think the issue is that you have a hard time processing beans, which then leads to painful gas, over-the-counter medications like simethicone may help with the distension that causes your pain, Dr. Krishnareddy explains.
However, if youre experiencing cramps that are pretty severe, along with other symptoms that make you think you might have a chronic issue like IBS or IBD, its really important to try to consult with a doctorparticularly because taking over-the-counter medications wont treat the real issue at hand.
These medications can decrease the symptoms just enough that the person doesnt go to their doctor to get evaluated, Dr. Krishnareddy says. But its not actually the underlying problem.
Ultimately, if getting abdominal cramps after eating is affecting your life, its time to consult the professionals. If youre having symptoms that are occurring frequently enough to interfere with your ability to conduct your daily activities, you need to see a doctor, Dr. Chey confirms. This is especially true, he says, if youre having serious symptoms like vomiting , seeing blood in your stool , or inexplicably losing weight.
Trust your gut when it tells you somethings wrong. At the very least, your doctor should be able to ask you some questions that get you closer to figuring out whats going on.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
You and your healthcare provider should come up with a treatment plan together. Have a prevention plan and a plan for what to do when a muscle spasm hits. Do the following every day:
- Exercise . If you get nocturnal leg cramps, do some walking before you go to sleep.
- Stretch. Stretch frequently including before and after you exercise and before you go to sleep.
- Purchase sturdy shoes.
- Drink plenty of water each day. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol.
- Take all prescribed vitamins and medications such as muscle relaxants.
- Prepare your bed space by keeping a heating pad and massage roller nearby.
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Causes Of Pain In Mid
As mentioned, numerous factors can contribute to pain in the middle of the stomach. These causes can range from indigestion, which is relatively easy to deal with, to gallstones and pancreatic disorders, which can require much more treatment and possibly even hospital stays. The following are the more common causes of pain in the mid-abdomen.
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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Stomach Cramps With Bloating
Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind, or constipation. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing, but is easily dealt with. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a product, which can be bought over the counter to treat the problem. If problems persist, you should see your GP.
Should I Be Getting Screened Regularly For Colon Cancer Or Other Gi Tract Cancers
As of 2021, the United States Preventative Services Task Force and major GI medical societies recommend that adults at average risk for colorectal cancer are regularly screened beginning at age 45.
People who have a family history of colorectal cancer or other GI tract cancers, including stomach or pancreas cancer, or a history of GI conditions like inflammatory bowel disease may need routine cancer screening earlier than age 45.
Talk your primary care physician about your risk and ask if you should get tested.
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