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
- youre vomiting a lot
- you already have another health condition
- the pain gets worse over time, doesnt go away, or wakes you up from sleep
Also let the doctor know if you:
- 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
Medical Conditions Responsible For Stomach Ache
Some types of stomach pain need not be linked to what you eat. They can be caused by conditions that are triggered by when you eat. These include:
Stomach Pain After Eating Here Are 7 Things It Could Be
Recurring stomach pain after eating is not good and maybe a sign of chronic indigestion or an underlying medical condition that needs to be checked by a specialist. Gas, bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain can affect your routine life and eating habits to a large extent. The gastrointestinal specialists at Manhattan Gastroenterology use the latest technological advancements to find out what may be wrong with your digestive system and come up with the best treatment options for your specific symptoms. The top-rated gastro doctors diagnose and treat your ailment, provide quick relief to protect your gastrointestinal health, and help you feel better in the shortest possible time.
Stomach pain or gastrointestinal discomfort after eating a meal is not dangerous if you know what is causing it and subsides on its own. Most people report bloating, a swollen stomach, feeling full quickly, and diarrhea, which is quite normal if it is happening from overeating, consuming something undercooked, or contaminated. However, if you continue to experience ongoing discomfort despite making lifestyle and dietary changes, it may be some medical issue that needs to be checked.
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Uses Of Hydrogen Breath Tests
A doctor may recommend one of these tests if they suspect:
- SIBO: In SIBO, microorganisms that usually live in the large intestine migrate to the small intestine and begin to grow in large numbers. This can result in bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Carbohydrate malabsorption: People with carbohydrate malabsorption have difficulty breaking down and absorbing sugars in food. Lactose intolerance is one type of carbohydrate malabsorption, but people can also have issues digesting the fructose in fruit, or other sugars.
- Motility issues: Digestive motility is the rate at which food moves through the small intestine. Hydrogen breath tests can help diagnose fast or slow motility by revealing how quickly sugars reach the large intestine.
There are several types of hydrogen breath tests. The one doctors choose will depend on what they are trying to diagnose.
Food Allergy Or Intolerance
Some people may be allergic to certain foods. These can irritate the stomach and may cause pain after eating.
An intolerance is a milder form of an allergy. Both allergies and intolerances can be caused by many different foods.
Common intolerances include gluten, wheat, and lactose.
People can keep a food diary if they think they might have an allergy.
A food diary is a written record of what they have consumed at each meal, including drinks and snacks. They should also include a note of when their stomach hurts.
Keeping a diary can help determine the foods causing an issue. People can then cut this food out of their diet.
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Food Intolerances And Allergies
Food intolerances are caused by the body’s inability to digest a certain ingredient in food. For example, a lack of the enzyme lactase causes lactose intolerance, or issues with dairy. In this case, consuming smaller portions or a lactose-free product can help prevent abdominal pain.
People with food allergies must avoid certain foods or ingredients entirely because they can set off an abnormal immune response that, in some cases, can be life-threatening. Allergies to eggs, milk, peanuts, shellfish, and wheat are most common.
You may have your suspicions about an intolerance or allergyand you may be rightbut make an appointment with your healthcare provider so they can confirm your hunch.
Not only can a formal diagnosis help you better navigate mealtime so you feel your best, but in the case of allergy, it can get you access to epinephrineemergency treatment you can use in the case of a severe reaction.
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.
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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.
Editorâs Note: This infographic was originally published on June 24, 2014.
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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Colon Damage From Impaired Blood Flow
Acute intestinal ischemia means that the blood flow to the large and/or small intestines has been cut off. It is also called acute mesenteric ischemia, or AMI.
The ischemia is caused by blockage in one of the arteries leading into the abdomen, usually due to atherosclerosis or a blood clot.
Most susceptible are those with very high or low blood pressure heart disease or using illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.
Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in one area of the abdomen nausea and vomiting and repeated, urgent bowel movements, often with blood.
Acute intestinal ischemia is a life-threatening medical emergency. If it is suspected, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Diagnosis is made through arteriogram, which involves injecting dye into the abdominal arteries under x-ray in order to find the exact location of the blockage.
Treatment involves clot-busting drugs to destroy a clot, or emergency surgery to remove whatever is causing the blockage and possibly some of the damaged intestine as well.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, being severely ill
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
How Is Abdominal Pain Treated
Treating abdominal pain depends on its cause. Options include:
- Medications for inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease or ulcers.
- Antibiotics for infection.
- Changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages.
- Local or spinal injections of numbing agents or corticosteroids by pain management physicians.
In more severe cases like appendicitis and hernia, surgery is necessary.
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How Is Indigestion Diagnosed
A healthcare provider will review your medical history, symptoms and lifestyle. Try to explain your indigestion in as much detail as possible. Note the type of discomfort and where you feel it. Also tell your healthcare provider when you experience indigestion. For example, does it occur after a meal or on an empty stomach? Is it worse in the morning or at night? Do certain foods make it worse?
Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam. Theyll check your belly for swelling or tenderness. They may use a stethoscope to check your stomach for growling or gurgling.
Other diagnostic tests may include:
- Blood tests, to assess your liver, kidney and thyroid function.
- Breath test, to check for H pylori.
- Imaging exams, to check for blockages or other problems in the intestines. Imaging exams may include X-ray,CT scan or upper endoscopy.
- Stool test, to check poop for H. pylori or other bacterial infections.
You Might Have A Food Allergy
A food allergy is a step up in severity from a food intolerance. If you have an allergic reaction to a food, it means your immune system has mistakenly identified that food as a potentially harmful invader and mounted a defense against it, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology explains. That immune system defense is what leads to symptoms like abdominal cramping, a tingly or itchy mouth, hives and overall bodily itching, facial swelling, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and even potentially life-threatening trouble breathing.
According to the AAAAI, the most common food allergens are proteins in cows milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts. If you notice youre constantly dealing with pretty intense symptom flare-ups after eating these foods, an allergy could be to blame.
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Does Lemon Water Help With Bloating
As a bonus, lemon juice helps to loosen the toxins floating around in your GI tract, relieve the painful symptoms that accompany indigestion, and even reduce the risk of burping and bloating resulting from excess gas production in your gut. Lemon water can keep your digestive system purring like a kitty all day long.
Can Stomachaches Be Prevented
Not all belly pain can be prevented. But to help avoid common types of stomachaches:
- Wash your hands before eating or preparing food, and after using the bathroom.
- Don’t overeat, and try not to eat right before going to sleep.
- Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to keep food moving through your digestive system.
- Avoid foods that have passed their expiration date or or weren’t stored properly.
- If you have a food allergy or intolerance, avoid eating foods that make you sick. If you have a food allergy, always carry two epinephrine auto-injectors, and know when you should use them.
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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.
What Are The Four Types Of Abdominal Pain
Since your abdomen it is home to many organs, your healthcare provider may want to narrow down the kind of pain youre having by narrowing down the region youre feeling it in. Healthcare providers often divide the abdomen into quadrants or four parts. They may ask if your pain is in the:
- Right upper quadrant.
- Left lower quadrant.
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When To Take Stomach Pain And Other Gi Issues Seriously
Everyone experiences stomach pain or other gastrointestinal issues from time-to-time. Many times, these can be minor issues that resolve themselves over time. However, if you or a loved one are experiencing troubling gut pain for more than a few days, it might be time for you to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or a gastroenterologist. Common GI issues include food poisoning, a stomach virus, irritable bowel syndrome , celiac disease, or any number of other conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease , such as Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis.
The information below will help you understand your symptoms and provide tools for you to find a physician and share your GI symptoms with them. Below are descriptions for the most frequently experienced symptoms of IBD.
Abdominal Pain And Stomach Cramps
It is normal to have abdominal pain from time-to-time, caused by gas, stomach bugs, or even food poisoning. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing abdominal pain that you would describe as intense, crampy, and the pain doesnt go away in a day or two, or has been present on and off for weeks or longer, its time to see a healthcare provider to find out whats wrong.
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What Happens During A Hydrogen Breath Test
The exact procedure for hydrogen breath tests can vary depending on the type of test a person receives. It generally involves the following steps:
The sugar solutions doctors use in hydrogen breath tests can
|late or no peak for slow transit time early peak for fast transit time|
However, it is worth noting that there is no global consensus on whether these thresholds are correct.
Some researchers note that it can be difficult to interpret the results of these tests. For example, if a test shows an early peak in hydrogen, this could either be evidence of fast motility or SIBO.
Doctors may need to combine hydrogen breath tests with other tests to make a firm diagnosis.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about hydrogen breath tests.