When To Be Concerned About An Upset Stomach
Most symptoms of an upset stomach should subside within 48 hours if you follow the above treatment regimen. If you dont begin feeling better, Crohns disease is only one possible cause of your symptoms.
You should consult a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms along with an upset stomach:
- abdominal pain that doesnt improve after either a bowel movement or vomiting
- diarrhea or vomiting that persists for more than 24 hours
- diarrhea or vomiting at a rate of more than three times per hour
- fever of over 101°F that doesnt improve with acetaminophen
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.
What Causes Anxiety Related Upset Stomach
Scientists have many different theories about why anxiety causes an upset stomach. One of the key beliefs is that anxiety causes changes in neurotransmitter function, particularly serotonin. There are serotonin receptors in the gut, and so when your body is experiencing anxiety, it’s likely receiving chemicals that tell it to respond with that upset feeling.
Other causes include:
- Adrenaline Body Changes Adrenaline works with cortisol, the stress hormone, to allow the body to respond to danger quickly. These hormones may change the general physiological traits of the gut. Further, the ratio of good versus bad bacteria in the GI system may be altered by these hormones.
- Slowed Digestion Anxiety activates the fight or flight system. Studies have shown that the speed of digestion decreases as a result of the fight or flight system, and this may cause discomfort in the stomach and intestines as a result.
- Stomach Tension Anxiety also puts a great deal of pressure on the stomach muscles, and these, in turn, put pressure on the stomach. Any stomach pressure has the potential to change the way that your stomach feels during periods of stress.
All of these are potential issues that lead to problems with your stomach during periods of stress.
Causes Of Recurrent Stomach Pains
- Stress or Worries. The most common cause of frequent stomach pains is stress. Over 10% of children have a “worried stomach.” These children tend to be sensitive and too serious. They often are model children. This can make them more at risk to the normal stresses of life. Examples of these events are changing schools, moving or family fights. The pain is in the pit of the stomach or near the belly button. The pain is real.
- Abdominal Migraine. Attacks of stomach pain and vomiting with sudden onset and offset. Often occur in children who later develop migraine headaches. Strongly genetic.
- Functional Abdominal Pains. Functional means the stomach pains are due to a sensitive GI tract. The GI tract is free of any disease.
- School Avoidance. Stomach pains that mainly occur in the morning on school days. They keep the child from going to school.
Stop Smoking To Prevent Reflux
Smoking can weaken the muscle that controls the lower end of the food pipe and allow acid from the stomach to travel in the wrong direction back up, a process known as reflux.
Reflux causes the symptoms of heartburn, and can bring on or aggravate stomach ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the bowel.
Smoking is also an important risk factor for stomach cancer.
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How Do I Find A Healthcare Provider
If you experience any of the symptoms outlined above, please consult with your healthcare provider. If you need a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD, we are here to helpour Find a Medical Expert tool is a great place to start. There are many factors that go into finding the right gastroenterologist. You may want to consider the following questions and preferences when selecting your gastroenterologist:
- Is the healthcare provider board certified?
- What are their specialties?
- Some physicians have an expertise in liver diseases, IBS, or IBD. You can find a healthcare providers specialty by visiting their website or asking the office staff when calling.
- Do they work with other gastroenterologists or GI surgeons who they can consult with?
- Visit our Find a Medical Expert directory
The Foundation offers a listing of healthcare professionals including adult and pediatric gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutritionists, and mental health clinicians on our Find a Medical Expert Directory. Each professional listed has expressed an interest in IBD by becoming a member of the Crohns & Colitis Foundation. If you need additional assistance finding a gastroenterologist, please contact the IBD Help Center they will provide additional guidance and suggestions for locating a healthcare provider.
Nausea: The Dynamic Threshold
And in order to understand the physiology of nausea, and how stress might bring it about, its important to look at the idea of the dynamic threshold. Turns out, every person has a threshold for nausea that changes minute by minute.
So, at any given moment, your personal threshold for nausea can change depending on the interaction of any number of inherent factors with more fluctuating psychological states of stress, anticipation, and expectation.5
For example, for some people who feel nauseous, every meal is a torment that causes stress and frustration. In these cases, the stomach will revolt against the idea of food by causing nausea or even a loss of appetite. This can leave you feeling weak, and you may even be dealing with weight loss.6
As you can see, even though stress is an emotion, it is capable of causing a chain reaction in your body.
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What Is Sour Stomach
Recently you may have been hearing more news about sour stomach remedies and sour stomach natural treatmentsbut what exactly is a sour stomach?
Although its a cute use of alliteration, a sour stomach is just a new way of describing an upset stomach. Thankfully, there are a number of sour stomach home remedies available that can help your sour stomach feel, well, a little sweeter.
A sour stomachor an upset stomachdescribes a wide range of common symptoms. These include things like regurgitation, nausea, heartburn, bloating, indigestions and gassiness. Fortunately these sour stomach symptoms can be easily treated with home remedies.
In order for it to be considered a sour stomach, these symptoms should typically be unrelated to chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or gastroesophageal reflux disease even though the symptoms overlap. If youre repeatedly experiencing stomach troubles, its recommended that you speak to your doctor.
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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How Does Stress Affect Your Gastrointestinal Tract
Well, your gut is coated with tons of nerves that move the food you digest through your gastrointestinal tract.
But if you get stressed out, your brain can mess with the messages it sends to those nerves.
The harder those nerves try to push in an effort to move food through your system, even if the food isnt there, the more nauseous youll end up feeling. And it doesnt take a ton of stress to make you feel this way.
So, what can you do to counteract some of the stress and help reset your gut in this situation?
For starters take a deep breath. Work on calming yourself down. Recent studies have shown that controlled breathing could actually be quite effective when it comes to learning to control nausea.
Feeling Nauseous Or Vomiting
At some point in your life, you will feel nauseous which can be accompanied by vomiting . The reasons we feel nauseous and/or vomit are many, including motion sickness, overeating, gastrointestinal infection, or a bowel obstruction . If you or a loved one frequently feels nauseous with or without vomiting, its important to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
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Treatments For An Upset Stomach
Drink plenty of liquids, but do so in small amounts water is a good choice. Sports drinks and coconut water help replenish electrolytes, which can help if you experience vomiting. Try clear, carbonated, and caffeine-free beverages such as tonic water, club soda, or ginger ale. Teas containing peppermint, chamomile, or ginger may help settle an upset stomach.
Eat bland foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and white bread. Soup, broth, or bullion are good options if you do not have an appetite, or if you have trouble keeping solid food down. Avoid dairy and whole grains, as well as rich, spicy, greasy, and fatty foods.
Other things that can help treat an upset stomach:
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and caffeinated beverages.
- Over-the-counter antacids can help relieve an upset stomach.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, especially pants.
- Sit upright and avoid lying down or bending over at the waist.
When To See A Doctor
An upset stomach and diarrhea are usually nothing to worry about. Consult your doctor if the symptoms donât go away after two days or if they begin to get worse in that time. Additionally, consult your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- You feel dehydrated, including feeling excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- You have severe abdominal or rectal pain
- You have a fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
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So Then Why Are You Feeling Nauseous
Do you feel sick most of the time, but are unable to explain it? Nausea may indicate a medical condition.
You may not believe it, but there are an array of reasons your stomach can feel nauseous that have nothing to do with the stomach flu, pregnancy, or any of the other usual suspects.
Read on to explore what might have caused certain bouts of pain, nausea, and symptoms of stomach discomfort. And discover more about how patients can prevent nausea and find treatment options to help when dealing with an upset stomach.
Remedies And Treatments For Upset Stomach And Diarrhea
Upset Stomach Remedies
Most stomach ailments can be treated at home. As soon as you start feeling sick, begin limiting your diet to clear liquids in frequent, small amounts. Make sure to drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or a pale yellow.
If youâre not able to keep liquids down and begin to vomit, start with sips of water or sucking on ice chips. Once you are able to keep that down, try other fluids like:
- Clear soup broth or bouillon
- Clear soft-drinks like 7-Up, Sprite, or Ginger Ale
- Juices like apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry
Once you are able to keep all liquids down, try some solid foods along with the liquids. Good foods to try are:
- White rice
- White toast
It may take several days to one week to regain your appetite, energy level, and for your bowels to regain normalcy.
Diarrhea TreatmentsMost cases of diarrhea clear on their own within a couple of days without treatment. If you’ve tried lifestyle changes and home remedies for an upset stomach and diarrhea without success, your doctor might recommend the following:
Antibiotics might help treat diarrhea caused by bacteria or parasites. If a virus is causing your diarrhea, antibiotics won’t help. Alternatively, if your doctor determines that antibiotics are whatâs causing your diarrhea, they will likely lower the dose or switch to another medication.
Treatment to Replace Fluids
Treating underlying conditions
Upset Stomach and Diarrhea Prevention
Easing Nausea During Pregnancy
However, if youre still looking to try and find some level of comfort and relief from symptoms during this time of physical irritation, perhaps you could try a few of these tricks:
- Eat multiple smaller meals during the day, instead of three square meals.
- Stay away from stifling, crowded, or hot locations.
- Drink as much water as you can.
- Stick to cooler foods.13
Stomach Feels Weird But No Pain: Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a womans body goes through extensive changes. It takes quite some time to get used to. However, the body and its features keep changing every trimester. Digestive changes are quite a common phenomenon during pregnancy.
The changes in hormonal levels affect the digestive system immensely. As the fetus grows it starts to take space in the abdominal cavity. During the last trimester, the fetus exerts a good amount of pressure on the adjacent organs.
Some of the most common gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy are as follows:
- Hyperemesis gravidarum, which is uncontrollable nausea and vomiting that may lead to electrolyte imbalance.
- Belching or excessive gas formation
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How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
How To Handle Your Upset Stomach
An upset stomach does not require medical attention in most cases. Pain or discomfort from an upset stomach is typically acute and will go away on its own, or with home treatment. However, its important to realize that many different things can cause an upset stomach or stomach pain. Be aware of these causes, find out how to treat an upset stomach, and learn when to speak to a medical professional.
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When To Contact A Clinician
Persistent or severe abdominal pain, especially if unrelieved by vomiting or passing a bowel movement
Fever greater than 101 degrees F, not relieved by acetaminophen, or any fever that lasts more than three days
Vomiting or diarrhea without any improvement for more 24 hours
Blood in vomit or stools
No urination for more than 8 hours, or painful urination
Treating Heaviness In Stomach
Treatment options for stomach heaviness are based on the diagnosis of whats specifically causing it.
The first step your doctor might recommend is changing particular aspects of your lifestyle. This may include the following:
- Avoid or limit foods that are fatty, highly seasoned, and difficult to digest.
- Change your eating habits. Eat slower, and eat smaller meals.
- Increase how often you exercise.
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol.
- Manage any anxiety and stress.
The next step your doctor might suggest is taking over-the-counter medications. These may include:
- Antacids: Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta
- Oral suspension medications: Pepto-Bismol, Carafate
- Anti-gas and anti-flatulence products: Phazyme, Gas-X, Beano
- H2 receptor blockers: Cimetidine , famotidine , or nizatidine
- Proton pump inhibitors:Lansoprazole , omeprazole
Stronger treatments might be called for depending on your diagnosis. Your doctor might prescribe more powerful medications if your stomach heaviness is a symptom of a more serious condition.
As an example, for GERD, your doctor might suggest prescription-strength H2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors. They might also suggest medication such as baclofen to strengthen your lower esophageal sphincter. Your doctor might also suggest surgery, such as fundoplication or the installation of a LINX device.
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