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.
- Donât 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 werenât 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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When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you’re experiencing symptoms of gastroparesis, as it can lead to some potentially serious complications.
These complications include:
- dehydration from repeated vomiting
- gastro-oesophageal reflux disease where stomach acid leaks out of your stomach and into your food pipe
- malnutrition when your body is not getting enough nutrients
- unpredictable blood sugar levels this is a particular risk in people with diabetes
What Are The Complications Of Gastritis
Chronic gastritis hurts your stomach lining. It can raise your risk for other health problems such as:
- Peptic ulcer disease, painful sores in your upper digestive tract
- Gastric polyps, small masses of cells that form on the inside lining of your stomach
- Stomach tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
You may also get atrophic gastritis. This can happen if your gastritis is caused by the H. pylori bacteria or by an autoimmune disorder. Atrophic gastritis destroys the stomach lining cells that make your digestive juices. This raises your risk for getting stomach cancer.
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How Is Gastritis Treated
Fortunately, gastritis improves quickly once treatment has begun, and the underlying problems or causes have been resolved. Treatments include:
- Acid-suppressing medications: your physician may encourage you to take antacids or other drugs, such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors to reduce acid in your stomach
- Adjustment to your diet: avoiding hot and spicy foods and removing irritating foods from your diet, such as lactose from dairy or gluten from wheat, and eating smaller and more frequent meals can have a significant impact
If your gastritis is caused by a bacterial infection, your physician may prescribe antibiotics, along with acid-blocking drugs if pernicious anemia is the cause, the physician may give you a B12 vitamin shot.
First Up: Is It Actually Your Stomach That Hurts
Before we get into the most common causes of a crampy middle after eating, lets clear up something many of us have been unknowingly getting wrong since we were kids. When you say your stomach hurts, chances are youre talking about the part of your torso between your chest and your hips. This part of your body is technically your abdomen. Your stomach starts a bit under your chest on your left side and extends down into the middle of your torso.
Its no surprise, then, that figuring out exactly what hurts in this general area can be tricky. There are organs that overlap, Nitin Ahuja, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the gastroenterology department in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, tells SELF. The small intestine occupies a lot of space, and the colon sort of drapes around the entire abdomen and overlaps of the stomach as well.
Also, depending on what is going on, the nerves in the abdomen may not be as good at localizing pain, Dr. Ahuja says, so it might be hard to tell where the pain is coming from. Keep all of this in mind as you try to figure out what might be causing your post-eating cramps. Now, for the next bit of background information you need to know, since high school biology was a long time ago for some of us
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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
You Might Have A Food Intolerance
If you find that your cramps keep happening after you eat certain things, you might have an intolerance to a specific food substance. Common culprits of intolerances are foods that are designated as fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols , which is a fancy designation for poorly-digested carbohydrates, Dr. Ahuja says. Examples include fruits like apples and pears, veggies like cauliflower and lentils, and dairy products. In fact, trouble processing lactose is the most common type of food intolerance, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition to getting abdominal pain when you eat that particular food, you might also deal with symptoms like nausea, bloating, gas, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, and more, the Cleveland Clinic says. And keep in mind that different people can be intolerant to the same food to different extents. For example, Dr. Krishnareddy explains, someone who is mildly lactose intolerant may be able to digest cheese and yogurt but not a milky latte, whereas someone with a severe intolerance may not be able to digest any form of dairy very well.
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Why Is My Stomach Bloated
The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
You Have Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder disease is especially common among women in their 40s and refers to multiple issues that cause pain in the mid- to upper-right upper quadrant of your abdomen and around the back, says Jeffrey Jacobs, MD, a gastroenterologist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.
Because the gallbladder is stimulated by fat, mild to severe abdominal pain can occur after eating a greasy meal . Inflammation caused by gallstones blocking the ducts to your small intestines can also result in severe pain. Waking up in the middle of the night from severe stomach pain is usually a warning sign that something may be wrong with your gallbladder, says Dr. Jacobs.
Issues with your gallbladder will typically not resolve on its own, so if you have frequent or recurring stomach pain after eating and other concerning symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately. They may prescribe medication to help with the pain, but surgery to remove the gallbladder may also be necessary for more severe cases.
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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.
Change In Bowel Movement Frequency
There is no magic number of bowel movements we should all be having each day. Some people go three-to-four times a day, and that is normal for them. Others only move their bowels once a day and that is their normal. However, if you or a loved one experiences a significant change in bowel movement frequency, whether more or less often, its important to discuss this change with your healthcare provider.
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Severe Stomach Pain After Eating A Fatty Meal
If you find yourself doubled over after eating a high-fat meal, you may be experiencing a gallbladder attack. “Women are especially prone to gallbladder disease,” says Hardeep Singh, MD, gastroenterologist from St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA. “Overweight women in their 40s are at highest risk.” The pain becomes worse after eating, lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and may come and go, becoming more constant and severe over time, says Singh.
Get ahead of your abdominal pain with a diet that’s rich in nutrients and fiber and low in fatty foods.
When To Go To The Healthcare Provider
Pain in the body means that something is wrong. If you experience pain after eating only every once in a while and it is not debilitating, you may want to mention it to your healthcare provider the next time that you see them.
But if you are experiencing pain after eating on a fairly frequent basis, it is essential that you make an appointment right away with your healthcare provider to ensure that you get an accurate diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.
If the pain is severe, debilitating, and accompanied by jaundice, fever, rapid heart rate, chills, or severe vomiting, you should seek emergency care.
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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.
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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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Common Causes Of Stomach Pain
Harmless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours.
- Gas: Formed in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food, this can cause general stomach pain and cramps. This often can be indicated by belching or flatulence.
- Bloating: Related to gas, this occurs when excessive gas builds up in your digestive tract. Your stomach will usually feel full, and you may experience cramps.
- Constipation: This occurs when you are having difficulty making bowel movements. If you are having two or fewer bowel movements a week, constipation is the likely cause. In addition to feeling bloated and nauseous, you may experience cramping and pain in your rectum.
- Indigestion: You typically experience this as an upset stomach, burning, or belly pain after eating.
- Stomach flu: Your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
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Glucose Hydrogen Breath Test
A glucose hydrogen breath test can sometimes show whether a person has SIBO. However, this test has some drawbacks.
Glucose is the smallest and simplest type of sugar molecule. Most people absorb glucose quickly in the small intestine.
If bacterial overgrowth occurs in this part of the small intestine, the test will detect hydrogen or methane gases. But if the overgrowth is further down the digestive tract, the glucose reach it successfully. This could produce a false negative.
However, on average, glucose breath tests may be more sensitive than lactulose tests.
Hydrogen breath tests require some preparation. This involves a person:
- fasting overnight
- avoiding eating carbohydrates that the body digests slowly, such as potatoes and bread
- avoiding exercising or smoking before the test
Individuals may also need to stop taking their medications for
- drugs that speed up or slow down motility
People should speak with a doctor about any medications they are taking before they schedule the test. Individuals should not discontinue medications without consulting a doctor first.
Causes Of Hurting Stomach
The following conditions may account for a hurting stomach. However, there are other conditions that also need to be considered which may result in pain arising from neighboring organs and structures around the stomach. In addition, there may be a host of other causes of a hurting stomach if the term stomach is used to refer to the entire abdomen and not specifically the stomach itself.
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The Many Causes Of Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can have a number of root causes, and most of the time you may be able to determine the cause yourself.
By monitoring your symptoms carefully and thinking about possible stressors, you can often figure out why youve got stomach pain, says Dr. McKee.Common causes of stomach pain include:
What Is Stomach Pain
The stomach is the organ responsible for most of your foods digestion. Breaking down food swallowed through your esophagus and sending the resulting mixture onto the small intestine is the stomachs primary function.
Most everyone has had a stomach ache after eating at some time or another. The causes are usually quite benign, ranging from overindulging to simply eating something that didnt agree with you. However, frequent stomach pain after eating is a sign of a deeper problem and shouldnt be ignored.
Stomach aches and pains can happen at almost any point during this process. While some of this is usually normal, see a doctor right away if youre experiencing:
- Unintentional weight loss
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Why Do Oats Upset My Stomach
Hydration level: Oats are a dried grain that is full of soluble fiber. When the oatmeal reaches you stomach, it has a tendency to absorb surrounding liquid. If your body is not fully hydrated, then this could result in feelings of an upset stomach. Avoid this by serving porridge that is slightly thin and not super thick.
Oats are a source of soluble fiber, which can firm and thicken the stool to reduce diarrhea. Why do raw oats hurt my stomach? Eating dry raw oats could lead them to build up in your stomach or intestines, resulting in indigestion or constipation.
Common conditions that would cause irritation to your stomach from eating oatmeal include celiac disease and food allergies. Oatmeal is a high-fiber food, which also could cause temporary digestive side effects. An allergic reaction to oatmeal is caused by a hypersensitivity of the immune system to the proteins in the grain.