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.
General Abdominal Pain With Diarrhea
Possible explanation: gastroenteritis
What is it: In simplest terms, gastroenteritis is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, typically involving the stomach and/or small intestine. Most of the time gastroenteritis is caused by a virus norovirus is one example of a common cause. The viral infection causes the inflammation, and that, in turn, causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes vomiting.
Treatment: As a generally non-serious condition, gastroenteritis is often treated by focusing on managing diarrhea and any other symptoms. A central aspect of this treatment is counteracting the dehydration that often accompanies the infection by pushing fluids. In the past, doctors recommended diet changes such as the BRAT diet, but this is no longer the generally accepted practice.
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 .
Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Most abdominal pain goes away without special treatment. Be guided by your doctor, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain, including:
- Place a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag on your abdomen.
- Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids such as water.
- Reduce your intake of coffee, tea and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
- When you are allowed to eat again, start with clear liquids, then progress to bland foods such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
- Take mild painkillers such as paracetamol. Please check the packet for the right dose. Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs unless advised to take them by a doctor. These drugs can make some types of abdominal pain worse.
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What Is Diverticulosis And Diverticulitis
Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are two conditions that occur in your large intestine . Together they are known as diverticular disease. Both share the common feature of diverticula. Diverticula are one or more pockets or bulges that form in the wall of your colon.
Diverticula are like expanded areas or bubbles that form when you fill the inner tube of a bike tire with too much air. The increase in pressure from too much air being pumped into the inner tube causes the bubble to form where the rubber is the weakest. Similarly, an increase in pressure inside the colon causes pockets or bulges to form in weakened areas of your colons walls.
Diverticula can range from pea-size to much larger. Although they can form anywhere in the inner lining of your colon, they are most commonly found in your lower left-side, in the S-shaped segment of your colon called the sigmoid colon.
Lactose Intolerance And Food Allergies
Eating something youre allergic or sensitive to can cause sharp pains in your abdomen as your body struggles to digest it. Sometimes gas and indigestion symptoms will arise if you eat food that your body doesnt agree with.
Unless you have food allergies that put you at risk for anaphylaxis, abdominal pain from food allergies or sensitivities is not an emergency. You may also notice bloating or diarrhea because of eating food your body cant digest properly.
If you have a lactose allergy, speak to your healthcare provider about replacement enzyme pills that may allow you to consume dairy without discomfort.
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General Abdominal Pain With Bloating
Possible explanation: irritable bowel syndrome
What is it: As a syndrome, IBS refers to a group of symptoms that have been identified in addition to abdominal pain and bloating, many people also experience changes in bowel habits like constipation and diarrhea. It is not well known what causes IBS, but it may be related to genetics, food sensitivity, stress, or an infection.
Treatment: There is no cure for IBS at this time, so treatment revolves around managing whatever symptoms are present. Medications to treat diarrhea and constipation can be supplemented by some changes to diet one highly recommended regimen is a low-FODMAP diet, which refers to foods that contain certain fermentable components.
When To See A Doctor
Many causes of intermittent stomach pain, such as ovulation pain, do not require treatment. Others, such as food sensitivities, are not medical emergencies.
It can be difficult to decide when to see a doctor and when to wait, so it is important to pay attention to any additional symptoms. Seek medical care for severe pain or pain that gets worse with time.
Speak to a doctor about:
- unexplained stomach pain that gets steadily worse over time
- worsening menstrual cramps or cramps that are regularly severe
- worsening digestive symptoms
- symptoms of an ulcer or a digestive disorder
- occasional, mild pain in the upper right abdomen
Symptoms that may require emergency medical attention include:
- intense stomach pain during pregnancy
- symptoms of premature labor
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How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
The cause of abdominal pain can be diagnosed through a series of tests. Before ordering tests, your doctor will do a physical examination. This includes gently pressing on various areas of your abdomen to check for tenderness and swelling.
This information, combined with the severity of the pain and its location within the abdomen, will help your doctor determine which tests to order.
Imaging tests, such as MRI scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays, are used to view organs, tissues, and other structures in the abdomen in detail. These tests can help diagnose tumors, fractures, ruptures, and inflammation.
Other tests include:
Blood, urine, and stool samples may also be collected to look for evidence of bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections.
Not all forms of abdominal pain are preventable. However, you can minimize the risk of developing abdominal pain by doing the following:
- Eat a healthy diet.
How Long Does Stomach Flu Last
The stomach flu usually lasts less than a week. Be sure to stay home if you have symptoms, and continue to practice good handwashing afterward. The virus can still be in your stool for up to two weeks after youve stopped having symptoms, so be extra careful with your bathroom habits. Always wash your hands after having a bowel movement, and wash any soiled fabrics in hot soapy water.
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Figuring Out The Cause
When youre suffering from stomach pain, diarrhea, or both, one of the most important things is to try to determine the root cause. Quite often, this type of abdominal pain is due to stomach flu or another virus, spoiled food, or food that one has developed a sensitivity to. Unless diarrhea and pain are accompanied by other severe symptoms, such as a high fever, the best course of action is to wait it out.
If you feel that it is a reaction to food, most times symptoms will subside in a day or two. However, there are some instances of food poisoning that definitely warrant a doctor visit but again, you will see other severe symptoms along with general GI upset.
If you think you may be having a reaction to food, such as those with celiac disease who have a sensitivity to gluten, its worthwhile to try an elimination diet to confine the source of the upset. It is possible to suddenly develop a food sensitivity later in life its also estimated that up to 20 percent of Americans have food sensitivity. Please note that celiac is a serious condition and ongoing exposure to gluten can cause increasing damage. Celiac should not be self-diagnosed.
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
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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 Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is discomfort or other uncomfortable sensations that you feel in your belly area. Just about everybody at one time or another will get a bellyache.
Most causes of abdominal pain aren’t reasons to worry, and your doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of a serious illness that needs medical attention.
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When To See A Doctor About Abdominal Pain
Go straight to your doctor or the emergency department of the nearest hospital if you have any of:
- severe pain
- pain lasting for several hours
- pain and/or vaginal bleeding if you are pregnant
- pain in your scrotum if you are a male
- pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- pain and vomiting blood
- blood in your bowel motions or urine
- pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulder
- fever and sweats
- unable to move your bowels or pass gas
- any other concerns.
How Is Diverticulosis Treated
If you have diverticulosis, you likely dont have symptoms and dont need treatment. However, since diverticulosis could lead to diverticulitis, you should eat a diet high in fiber as a preventive measure. This means eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and less red meat.
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What To Do For Lower Abdomen Pain
If youre experiencing severe pain in your lower abdomen, visit your nearest FastMed Urgent Care today for an examination. Early detection is always the best remedy, and our medical professionals can provide you with the treatment necessary to make your pain go away.
FastMed is open seven days a week with extended evening hours to help you find the care you need when you need it. Find a FastMed near you today no appointment necessary!
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.
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Sharp Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
Possible explanation: appendicitis
What is it: Once universally believed to be a vestigial organ, the appendix is now thought to play a role in maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora. The appendix can sometimes become inflamed, either because of infection or a blockage in its hollow chamber, and bacteria can build up inside. If it bursts, the bacteria causing the inflammation is released into the abdominal cavity, causing a variety of potential complications. Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, along with other possible symptoms such as nausea and fever, is a telltale sign of acute appendicitis.
Treatment: Because of the danger related to the appendix bursting, treatment is necessary as soon after the onset of the symptoms as possible. In some cases, antibiotics can be effective in treating the condition, but the majority of the time an appendectomy is necessary.
Common Causes Of Upper Abdominal Pain
The common causes of upper abdominal pain are typically the byproducts of the digestive process. The pains are usually felt in the upper area of the abdomen, as well as in the chest, neck or shoulders. The common symptoms are:
- bloating and gas
- loss of appetite
The management of the pains and symptoms can usually be accomplished by changes to the diet, eating habits and lifestyle. The avoidance of caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol will reduce the symptoms.
There are cases where people have described the warning signs of a heart attack as upper abdominal pain or heartburn. The pain can feel like a burning in the chest, or the chest being pressed by something heavy. This type of pain may also be felt in the jaw, the neck or the arms.
Heart attack victims may also experience breathlessness, sweating and nausea along with the burning or the chest pain. A person experiencing these symptoms, together with a family history of heart conditions, should seek immediate medical attention in an emergency room in New Braunfels, Texas.
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When To Make An Appointment To See Your Doctor
Schedule an appointment to see your doctor if:
- Your stomach pain doesnt go away within a couple of days.
- The pain comes back after going away.
- Symptoms like diarrhea dont go away within a couple of days.
- Youre urinating more or less often, and/or its painful.
- You have unintended weight loss.
Know your body, Dr. Kingsley says. If you start having pain that you have not had before and does not go away, you should contact your doctor to be evaluated further.
Bottom line: Trust your gut! Contact your doctor if youre concerned about lingering or unusual stomach pain.
Editor’s Note: This infographic was originally published on June 24, 2014.
Sharp Jabbing Pain In The Upper Right Abdomen
Possible explanation: gallstones
What is it: The gallbladder stores some of the bile that is used in digestion it combines with digestive juices from the liver and pancreas to break down the partially digested food that has left the stomach and entered the small intestine. The most frequent cause of gallstones is when the liver excretes excess cholesterol that excess cholesterol can collect in the gallbladder and harden into gallstones. The gallbladder sits next to the liver, and it is in this location in the upper right abdomen that sharp pain can be felt when the body attempts to pass the gallstones through the narrow biliary duct.
Treatment: Some people have gallstones without any symptoms at all, but when pain begins, the condition needs to be treated soon. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments range from oral medication to dissolve the stones to surgery to remove the gallbladder.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Could a medical condition be making me gassy?
- What tests can determine the cause of intestinal gas?
- What steps can I take to cut down on intestinal gas?
- What foods or drinks should I avoid?
- Whats the best treatment for my gas symptom?
- How can I tell the difference between gas and something more serious?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
While intestinal gas is common, the symptoms belching, flatulence, bloating and stomach discomfort can be embarrassing and even painful. Gas is sometimes a symptom of a more serious health problem. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. The right treatment can ease gas symptoms so you can go about your day in confidence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/11/2020.
Whats Causing Your Severe Lower Abdominal Pain
A severe pain on either side of the lower abdomen can be a symptom of any of the following:
- Cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder that brings pain and a feeling of pressure.
- Endometriosis. Tissue that grows outside of a womans uterus and causes pelvic pain that intensifies during menstruation.
- Intestinal obstruction. A blockage that prevents food and liquid from passing through the intestines. The pain associated with intestinal obstruction feels similar to a cramp and often comes and goes sporadically.
- Mittelschmerz. A lower abdominal pain that occurs midway through a menstrual cycle and typically does not require medical attention.
- Ovarian cysts. Pockets on the surface of the ovary that fill with fluid and lead to pain that may extend to the lower back and thighs and intensify during intercourse, bowel movements or at the beginning or end of a menstrual cycle.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . An infection of the female reproductive organs that can bring pain to the lower abdomen and levis, especially during intercourse and urination.
- Salpingitis. Inflammation of the fallopian tubes causing pain on both sides of the abdomen and lower back.
Cancer. Many different types of cancer can cause pain in various areas of the abdomen.
Pain in the lower right portion of the abdomen can be a symptom of:
For pain on the lower left side of the abdomen, the culprit could be:
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