Too Much Sugarless Gum
If you consume too much sorbitol, which is found in some sugar-free products, it can cause pain and diarrhea. According to a 2008 article in BMJ, a 21-year-old woman had an 11-pound weight loss, abdominal pain, and diarrhea from chewing about 16 sticks of gum a day.
A 46-year-old man had similar symptoms after chewing about 20 sticks of sugarless gum and eating sorbitol-containing sweets daily. “Sorbitol goes into your GI tract and since your body can’t absorb it, it gets to the bacteria in your colon, which eat it and produce gas and fluids that contribute to diarrhea,” explains Dr. Raymond.
To fix the problem, cut back on the amount of sugarless gum you chew.
Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may take several different forms. In addition to how severe it is, abdominal pain can be described in the following ways:
Generalized Pain This refers to pain felt in more than half of your abdominal area, and is typical of stomach viruses, indigestion, or gas as the cause of your pain.
Cramping This type of pain come and goes, or changes in its severity or perceived position in your abdomen. Cramping is rarely serious and is typical of gas, passing a stool, or menstruation as the cause of your pain.
Its important to call your doctor if your abdominal pain is so severe that you cant move without feeling more pain, or sit still in a comfortable position.
- Nausea and vomiting that doesnt resolve
- Weight loss
- Abdomen very tender to touch
- Swollen abdomen
Sudden And Severe Onset Stomach Pain
When mid-abdominal pain occurs suddenly especially in people with a history of peptic ulcer disease or in those who take excessive amounts of aspirin or NSAIDs it may be a sign of a perforation that could require emergency surgery. A tear could leak air and gastric content which can lead to a condition called peritonitis, and eventually, septic shock. Surgery would be required to seal the perforation.
If you’re experiencing chronic stomach pain, take steps now to head off any bigger problems down the road. Your primary care provider can help get to the bottom of what’s causing your issues and create a plan to help improve your gut health. Your plan may include medication, lifestyle changes, a healthier diet and stress management techniques.
7. 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 in the middle of her menstrual 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 reduced blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
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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.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt
Tummy troubles are a common cause for a visit to the doctors office. When patients complain of stomach pain, they are sometimes describing pain that is throughout the abdomen area and may not actually be directly related to the organ known as the stomach.
Doctors first try to determine if a patients abdominal pain is caused by a structural or functional problem.
Sometimes the digestive tract does not function properly due to an abnormality with the structure of an organ. Medical imaging will show that the organ does not look normal and is not working properly.
The gastrointestinal system has its own nervous system to control the muscle contractions that digest the food you eat. Functional problems, also called motility disorders, result from poor nerve and muscle function in the digestive tract. Gastrointestinal organs with motility problems will usually look normal on medical imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRI scans, but the organs do not work like they should. Because functional disorders are hard to see in imaging, they can be challenging to diagnose.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Abdominal Pain
While we dont usually feel the inner workings of our abdomen, pain can occur when there is a disruption of the normal functioning of an organ or area of tissue inside.
Abdominal pain can be caused by inflammation , organ distention or stretching , or loss of blood supply .
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary supplements, can cause stomach pain. Medications can do this by irritating the stomach, leading to nausea, pain, and diarrhea, or by slowing digestion, leading to constipation. Be sure to check the label of any drug you take to see if abdominal pain is listed as a possible side effect.
- Lead poisoning, often from eating paint chips
- Emotional upset
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 pneumonias, 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. All the doctor can do is to be sure that the pain does not require surgery or admission to hospital.
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Stomach Pain In Children
Stomach pains are common in children. Causes include indigestion, stress, or more serious cases like appendicitis. Stomach pain of three hours or less is usually not serious. With a fever of 100.4F, or other symptoms such as diarrhea that could lead to dehydration, call your healthcare provider right away.
Causes Of Stomach Pain Based On Location
- Upper right: Gallstones, cholecystitis, stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, hepatitis.
- Upper center: Heartburn/indigestion, hiatal hernia, epigastric hernia, stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, hepatitis.
- Upper left: Functional dyspepsia, stomach ulcer, gastritis, pancreatitis.
- Middle right: Kidney stones, kidney infection, inflammatory bowel disease , constipation.
- Middle center: Umbilical hernia, appendicitis, stomach ulcer, IBD, pancreatitis.
- Middle left: Kidney stones, kidney infection, IBD, constipation.
- Lower right: Appendicitis, IBD, constipation, pelvic pain.
- Lower center: Bladder infection, prostatitis, IBD, inguinal hernia, pelvic pain.
- Lower left: Constipation, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, IBD, pelvic pain, inguinal hernia.
When to Seek Medical Help
According to Dr. Kingsley, you should call your primary care physician if mild pain lasts more than a couple of days, or if the severe stomach pain is accompanied by other symptoms.
When to seek immediate medical attention
Get medical help immediately if:
- You have abdominal pain that is very sharp, severe, and sudden.
- You also have pain in the chest, neck, or shoulder.
- Youre vomiting blood, have bloody diarrhea, or have black, tarry stools .
- You have a high fever.
- Youre having difficulty breathing.
- You develop consistent nausea and/or vomiting.
- Your abdomen is stiff, hard, and tender to the touch.
- You cant move your bowels, especially if youre also vomiting.
When to make an appointment to see your doctor
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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.
What Is The Treatment For Stomach Pain
There is no single treatment for waves of stomach pain. Treatment varies widely and depends on the specific cause.
Most of the time, waves of stomach pain can be treated at home by:
- Drinking plenty of fluids so urine is a pale yellow or clear color
- Consuming clear liquids in frequent, small amounts
- If vomiting occurs, start with small sips of water or sucking on ice chips and if these are well tolerated, try:
- Diluted juices such as apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry
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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.
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.
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When To See A Doctor
If youre experiencing stomach pains more frequently, more than once or twice a week, you may be experiencing a symptom of a different condition. Try over-the-counter treatments like antacids and pain relievers.
However, if they arent successful or dont provide enough relief after several days of symptoms, you should see a doctor. Many causes of stomach pain are easily treated, but youll need a doctors prescription and diagnosis.
Treatments For Joint Pain
Joint pain can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. It may go away after a few weeks , or last for several weeks or months . Even short-term pain and swelling in the joints can affect your quality of life. Whatever the cause of joint pain, you can usually manage it with medication, physical therapy, or alternative treatments.
Your doctor will first try to diagnose and treat the condition that is causing your joint pain. The goal is to reduce pain and inflammation and preserve joint function. Treatment options include:
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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 .
When To Seek Immediate Medical Help
Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, and persists, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.
or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if this is the case.
If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, see the section on chest pain.
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Why Does Stress Cause Stomach Pain Or Gi Discomfort
We know through research there is a strong connection between our brain and our gut through the central nervous system. The enteric nervous system an out-branching of the central nervous system serves the GI tract, making a direct connection between our brain and gastrointestinal system. That connection can cause normal physiologic processes to be interpreted as painful under stressful or anxiety-provoking situations.
When were stressed, hormones and neurotransmitters are released in the body. This can negatively impact gut motility, or the way our intestines and stomach squeeze and move waste through the body. Also, stress can affect the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut, causing GI discomfort.
People experiencing chronic stress may also eat more or eat unhealthy foods with a higher amount of natural and artificial sugar that is poorly digested and causes GI distress. People may also smoke and drink more alcohol or caffeine than normal which can cause symptoms.
How Food Allergies Work
Food allergies involve two parts of your immune system. One is immunoglobulin E , a type of protein called an antibody that moves through the blood. The other is mast cells, which you have in all body tissues but especially in places like your nose, throat, lungs, skin, and digestive tract.
The first time you eat a food you’re allergic to, certain cells make a lot of IgE for the part of the food that triggers your allergy, called an allergen. The IgE gets released and attaches to the surface of mast cells. You won’t have a reaction yet, but now you’re set up for one.
The next time you eat that food, the allergen interacts with that IgE and triggers the mast cells to release chemicals such as histamine. Depending on the tissue they’re in, these chemicals will cause various symptoms. And since some food allergens aren’t broken down by the heat of cooking or by stomach acids or enzymes that digest food, they can cross into your bloodstream. From there, they can travel and cause allergic reactions throughout your body.
The digestion process affects the timing and the location. You may feel itching in your mouth. Then you may have symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or belly pain. Food allergens in your blood can cause a drop in blood pressure. As they reach your skin, they can trigger hives or eczema. In the lungs, they may cause wheezing. All of this takes place within a few minutes to an hour.
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Find The Cause Of Your Stomach Pain After Eating
Its important to remember that stomach pain after eating is a common problem that may stem from an underlying health condition such as pancreatitis or diverticulitis, or food sensitivity. Your pain can range from mild to severe, and depending on the cause, it may indicate damage to the lining of your gut.
The pain may occur within a few minutes to hours after eating, and the timing of the painful discomfort may help you to narrow down what food or disorder caused the agony. The location of the pain may also determine if the pain is caused by a serious event such as appendicitis.
Stomach pain after eating may be the result of an intolerance to foods like bananas, eggs, or peanuts and may be prevented by avoiding the culprits.
Pain may also be prevented by changing your overall eating habits. You can start by maintaining a regular eating routine of healthy foods and avoiding triggers that may be causing the pain.