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
When To See A Doctor About Stomach Pain
If your stomach problems stick around for a few days or more, its time to call your doctor and talk to them about any irregular stomach pains or frequent pain, diarrhea, nausea or constipation.
“As you prepare for your appointment, keep track of what you eat or if theres anything about your lifestyle that may cause stomach pain,” Dr. McKee says. “Being aware of all noticeable symptoms you experience can help us determine the cause.”
How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you detailed questions about your pain. Theyll want to know:
- Where you feel it.
- How long youve had it.
- If it comes and goes.
- If its getting worse.
- If it stays in one place or moves.
- What makes it better or worse.
- What other symptoms you have.
From your answers, your healthcare provider will try to determine if you need emergency treatment. Sometimes your healthcare provider will be able to tell right away that your pain is temporary and not serious. Sometimes they may suspect a more serious condition and may want to run some tests. And sometimes they wont be able to solve the mystery on the first visit. Your pain may subside, or you may have to return for further investigation.
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Severity Of Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can range from mild to severe. It is important to remember that severity of pain does not necessarily relate to how serious the underlying cause of pain is.
Conversely, potentially fatal conditions like colon cancer or even the early stages of appendicitis may cause no pain or only very mild pain. If you are in doubt about the cause or severity of your pain, you should consult your healthcare provider.
When Stomach Pain Is An Emergency
Sometimes stomach pain is mild at first but gets worse after a few hours. You may also develop other symptoms.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms along with stomach pain:
- Extremely hard abdomen
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Vomiting that won’t stop
- Inability to have a bowel movement, along with vomiting
- Pain in the neck, shoulder, or between shoulder blades
- Vision changes
If you have these symptoms, call for an ambulance or have someone drive you to the ER. You should not “wait and see” or take medicine for the pain. Get help right away.
When stomach pain is associated with these other symptoms, it may be caused by a life-threatening condition. Some examples of these conditions include:
These emergencies usually cause pain that feels extreme. Other circumstances in which you should discuss stomach pain with a healthcare provider include when:
- You’re pregnant
- Your pain started within a week of abdominal surgery
- Your pain started after a procedure in your stomach area, like an endoscopy
- You have ever had surgery on your digestive tract, like a gastric bypass, colostomy, or bowel resection
- Your pain started shortly after an abdominal trauma
- Your abdomen is bruised or rapidly expanding
- Excessive vaginal bleeding, or blood clots and bleeding longer than usual
- You have rectal bleeding, or tarry-looking or bloody stool
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Tips To Prevent Pain In Burning Stomach
A burning feeling in the stomach is often paired with pain, which can be quite debilitating. Here are some tips to help you better prevent burning stomach pain.
- Dont suppress belching, as burning stomach may be alleviated through burping.
- Avoid spicy and oily foods.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates like whole grains.
- Dont smoke.
Causes Of Acute Stomach Pain
- Eating Too Much. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach and mild stomach pain.
- Hunger Pains. Younger children may complain of stomach pain when they are hungry.
- GI Virus . A GI virus can cause stomach cramps as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Food Poisoning. This causes sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. It is caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. Most often, symptoms go away in less than 24 hours. It often can be treated at home without the need for medical care.
- Constipation. The need to pass a stool may cause cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Strep Throat. A strep throat infection causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever.
- Bladder Infection. Bladder infections usually present with painful urination, urgency and bad smelling urine. Sometimes the only symptom is pain in the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis . Suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child won’t hop and wants to lie still.
- Intussusception . Sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years.
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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.
- Jaundice .
- 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.
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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What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the pain and the tests that may need to be done .
Doctors ask particularly about activities that relieve or worsen the pain. Whether the pain or other digestive upset occurs after eating or drinking dairy products is important because lactose intolerance is common, especially among Black, Hispanic, Asian , and American Indian people. Doctors also ask about other symptoms , about diet, and about any surgery involving the abdomen, drugs used, and previous tests and treatments for the pain. Whether any family members have disorders that cause abdominal pain is also important.
Doctors also ask about a person’s diet because ingesting large amounts of cola beverages, fruit juices , or gas-producing foods can sometimes be the cause of otherwise puzzling abdominal pain.
Between the initial visit and follow-up visits, people are often asked to record information about the pain, bowel movements, diet, any activities that seem to trigger pain, any remedies tried, and the effects of the remedies.
Symptoms Of Stomach Pain After Meals
Most of the time, the causes of digestive trouble after eating are not too much to worry about. But if the pain is very strong, sudden, or long-lasting, it should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible.
Some common warning signs of stomach pain after a meal are:
Just because others can tolerate certain kinds of food well, does not mean you will too. Eating too fast, too much, or foods too high in fat can all trigger gas and bloating issues in the stomach. Try logging the foods you eat and tracking how your body responds to different things.
Stomach pains after eating, coupled with constipation, can spring from various lifestyle and dietary factors. For example, the abdominal muscles and diaphragm are needed to aid digestion, and insufficient fiber in the diet can make it hard for food to pass through your system properly.
Heartburn often accompanies stomach pain and indigestion. Heartburn is often caused byacid reflux, the reverse flow of stomach acid up into the esophagus, causing burning and discomfort. Too much alcohol and fatty food are often to blame.
Nausea is an important sign to look out for because it has several possible causes, anything from food poisoning to Crohns disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. If you regularly feel nauseous after eating, see a doctor.
Other symptoms and warning signs associated with stomach pain after eating are:
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Related Conditions Of Abdominal Pain
Some of the most common conditions associated with abdominal pain include the following:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome This condition is characterized by symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
Constipation If you arent having regular bowel movements, you may feel bloated and full and experience sharp gas pains in your abdomen.
Peptic Ulcer When a sore develops in the lining of your stomach or upper small intestine, you may experience a burning sensation similar to hunger pangs, along with nausea, vomiting, or heartburn.
Pancreatitis Inflammation of your pancreas may cause sharp, severe pain in the upper middle area of your abdomen, along with nausea, vomiting, or fever. This condition can be either acute or chronic.
When To See A Doctor For Your Stomach Pain
Stomach pain after eating that results from overeating or indigestion is not very serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. However, persistent pain accompanied by other symptoms that do not seem to be getting better may be something concerning.
If you have any medical conditions that can cause stomach pain, you should call your doctor. If the stomach pain continues to occur right after you eat or while you are eating, and lifestyle and diet changes are not working, it may be something serious or deeper, and medical attention becomes necessary. It could be some undetected health issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, schedule an appointment at Manhattan Gastroenterology today. The experienced and award-winning gastroenterologists offer expert advice regarding matters of the gastrointestinal tract and help you find relief from the pain and discomfort you experience right after eating food. They specialize in diagnosing and treating pain that affects your gastrointestinal tract and offers a variety of treatments, including medications and home remedies to protect you from gastrointestinal damage. The top-rated doctors study why you feel uncomfortable or your stomach hurts after eating, including food and medical causes, and come up with the best solutions to ensure you enjoy healthy digestion.
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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 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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Functional Chronic Abdominal Pain
Functional chronic abdominal pain is real pain that exists for more than six months and occurs with no evidence of a specific physical disorder. It is also not related to body functions , a drug, or a toxin. Functional pain can be severe and typically interferes with a persons life.
Exactly what causes the pain is unknown. But the nerves of the digestive tract may become oversensitive to sensations.
What Causes Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is frequently caused by a problem in the digestive tract . However, it can also be caused by other organs located in the abdomen, such as the kidneys. Large blood vessels, such as the aorta are also found in the abdomen and may give rise to pain. Abdominal pain can even be caused by some medicines.
Causes of abdominal pain connected to the gut include:
- trapped wind or indigestion
- gallstones, gallbladder problems, liver problems
- medicines to help manage the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
Some of the causes of abdominal pain are short-term , whereas others are long-term or ongoing conditions. Find more information about the underlying causes of abdominal pain here.
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Chronic Abdominal Pain Symptoms
Symptoms of chronic abdominal pain vary from patient to patient, and they may change with each episode. The most common symptoms include:
- Sharp or dull pain
- Severe pain that causes you to become sweaty, cry or bend over in pain
- Pain that lasts a few minutes or hours
- Pain in the belly button area or anywhere in the belly
- Pain that may or may not be related to eating
- Pain that occurs any time of the day or night
- Abdominal pain that occurs with vomiting, headaches, or pain in the arms or legs
- Not being hungry like usual or skipping meals, usually without losing weight
Symptoms that require a doctors immediate attention include a high fever, loss of appetite or weight, pain that awakens the person, blood in stool or urine, jaundice, severe nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the legs or abdomen.
Signs And Symptoms That Warrant A Trip To Your Healthcare Provider Or The Er
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them aren’t serious, but some are, and you need to be able to recognize the warning signs.
If you rest, avoid certain foods, take medication, or use a heating pad, you may get relief from some kinds of pain. For others, you may need urgent medical care.
This article offers some at-home remedies, but also presents symptoms that mean you should contact your healthcare provider. It also explains why some symptoms point to a true emergency.
Verywell / JR Bee
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