How Does The Stomach Work With The Rest Of The Gi Tract
Each part of your GI tract breaks down food and liquid and carries it through your body. During the digestive process, your body absorbs nutrients and water. Then, you expel the waste products of digestion through your large intestine.
Food moves through your GI tract in a few steps:
Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers
Stomach and duodenal ulcers can often be found as a cause of mid-abdominal pain. Essentially, an ulcer is an open sore inside your digestive tract. In the case of stomach or gastric ulcers, the ulcer forms in the stomach. Duodenal ulcers form inside the upper portion of the small intestine, which is also known as the duodenum.
These open sores tend to bring on colicky pain, which comes and goes depending on various circumstances. Ulcers can be aggravated by a rise in stomach acid and certain types of foods .
What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
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How Can You Determine That The Pain Is Caused By Abdominal Gastritis
It is a common question for people with abdominal pain that is caused by gastritis. People with gastritis often have pain, stinging pain, Abdominal tenderness, cramping under the epigastric region. These pains can be either before eating or after eating or an empty stomach, like when you are hungry in the morning or late at night, you may have stomach pain as and the pain come and go. It can be several times a day or according to the meals you have. Each time the pain lasts about 15-30 minutes, the pain will improve by eating, drinking milk, or take antacids.
However, stomach disorders caused by stomach acids do not always have abdominal pain. In which many patients came to see a doctor because they vomited blood, which may be the result of stomach ulcers caused by excess acid or a burning sensation in the chest due to acid reflux causing the swelling of the esophagus or cough because of the inflammation reaching the throat, these are the most likely symptoms related to the stomach.
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Treatment Of Body Aches
After muscle overuse or injury rest the affected body part, take a NSAID of choice and apply ice for the first 24-72 hours to reduce pain and inflammation. After the acute pain subsides and movement is less painful, apply moist heat to the area of complaint. A good way to diffuse general body pains that are more chronic and recurring in nature is to take a long hot bath in water in which a few cups of Epsom salts have been added.
If you suspect your body and pains are due to stress, do your best to get plenty of sleep and try to reduce or eliminate the cause of your stress. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga and simple daydreaming are excellent methods to unwind and sleep better.
Aches and pains can also be felt throughout the body as a result of depression. Depression is the feeling of overwhelming sadness or loss of interest in things around you that were once important. .
When depressed, a person can experience many of these common feelings and situations, as well as others:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Feeling isolated, alone and misunderstood.
- Whole body aches and feeling too weak and overwhelmed try to move.
Depression is common between the ages of 15-30, and much more common in women. Medications can be used to artificially raise the chemical levels of particular neurotransmitters in the brain to help manage these symptoms.
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Why Does This Happen
It turns out that the gut and the brain are wired together pretty tightly. That is, the enteric nervous system communicates back and forth with the central nervous system all the time. So GI symptoms often get worse when were stressed. This does not mean that your symptoms are all in your head.” Stress has a direct effect on the way the entire GI system works for pretty straightforward biological reasons.
All vertebrate animals have a nervous system that controls just about everything that happens in the body. Its divided into several different systems or sets of nerve cells that all talk to each other, including the central nervous system, which includes the brain and the spine, and the peripheral nervous system, which is further divided into the autonomic and the enteric nervous systems. The autonomic nervous system is composed of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems.
Sadly, our nervous system is still reacting to every stressor we encounter as if it were a saber-toothed tiger. That means we get all juiced up and then have nowhere to go with all that energy. Thats why stress can make us feel physically terrible, up to and including dramatically worsening GI symptoms.
Muscle Pain And Injuries
Muscle overuse, a sedentary lifestyle, and trauma from falling or other injuries can cause pain in the abdominal or back muscles. These injuries can cause pain that comes and goes.
Pain that appears only in certain positions, while lifting, or after exercise could be a sign of a muscle injury.
A muscle injury is not a medical emergency. Most people can treat muscle injuries at home with rest, hot and cold packs, and gentle massage. Ice packs for pain relief are available for purchase online.
If home treatment does not work or the pain is very intense, it is best to see a doctor.
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Advice For People With Diabetes
Having gastroparesis means your food is being digested slowly and at unpredictable times. If you also have diabetes, this can have a big effect on your blood sugar levels.
The nerves to the stomach can be damaged by high levels of blood glucose, so itâs important to keep your blood glucose levels under control if you have diabetes.
Your doctor can advise you about any changes you may need to make to your diet or medicine. For example, if youâre taking insulin, you may need to divide your dose before and after meals and inject insulin into areas where absorption is typically slower, such as into your thigh.
Youâll also need to check your blood glucose levels frequently after you eat.
Page last reviewed: 14 October 2019 Next review due: 14 October 2022
Abdominal Pain Examination And Investigations
Your doctor will have a good idea as to what might be causing your pain after listening to your description and asking questions. They will usually examine your abdomen too to see if there is any pain on pressing on certain areas of your tummy and to check for any lumps.
They may be able to give you a diagnosis and recommend treatment but if any further clarification is needed then further tests will be arranged. These will vary according to what condition is suspected but may involve:
- Taking urine, stool or blood samples
- Taking vaginal swabs
- Arranging a scan of your abdomen
- Possibly referring you to a specialist
It can be a tricky business figuring out exactly what the cause of lower abdominal pain is so do make an appointment if you are concerned and always go back to your doctor if your symptoms arent resolving.
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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.
What Is Lower Abdominal Pain
When we talk about lower abdominal pain, we generally mean pain that you feel below the level of your belly button. It can come from any of the tissues and organ systems in that area, which is why it can be very confusing. Pain which is very low down is termed pelvic pain but well be including it as lower abdominal pain for this guide.
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How Can Stomach Flu Be Prevented
Since stomach flu can be caused by multiple factors, getting the flu vaccination alone isnt enough to protect you from gastroenteritis. Children should follow the standard vaccination schedule and get the rotavirus vaccination when indicated. This vaccination can protect your child from getting sick from the rotovirus but not all children can receive this oral vaccination, so please check with your pediatrician before doing so.
You can take other steps to reduce your risk of getting stomach flu:
Practice good handwashing
When youre sick, the virus spreads from anything that comes in contact with virus-infected feces. Good handwashing is vital in stopping the spread. Viruses left on hands can easily spread to surfaces, food and people you touch. Its important to wash your hands well after you go to the bathroom, change a diaper, touch any bathroom surfaces and before you handle food.
Be careful with food
You can catch stomach flu from contaminated food or water, or pass it on to someone else. To keep viruses out of your food:
Clean sick areas
Clean anything that you may have touched while you were sick with stomach flu. Wash laundry with hot water and dry with high heat. Be sure to use a disinfectant to clean areas where a sick person vomited or had diarrhea.
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 wonât 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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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:
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 youve 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 wont 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
Could It Be Norovirus
The difficulty when dealing with stomach painespecially in the upper abdomenis knowing whether it’s heartburn or something more serious.
Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, according to the CDC, so it’s very common but sometimes hard to diagnose. Members of the same family can have the same disease process but different symptoms and duration.
Dr. Hanscom agreed, adding that there is no point-of-care test for norovirus.
We don’t have a test for norovirus in the ER, he says. Diagnosis is done by looking at the patients symptoms and other clues, such as if theres a local outbreak, if the patient has been on a cruise or if it’s during the colder parts of the year when people congregate indoors and spread germs.
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How Common Are Stomachaches
Just about everybody will experience abdominal pain at one point or another. Most causes of abdominal pain are not serious and resolve spontaneously. A healthcare provider can usually readily diagnose and treat these conditions. However, abdominal pain can also be a sign of a serious illness, or even an emergency. Abdominal pain is responsible for some 5% of emergency room visits.
Types Of Stomach Pain
There are different types of stomach pain identified by time, intensity, and how the pain feels. Stomach pain may be acute, chronic, or progressive. Acute abdominal pain is temporary, usually lasting a few hours or a few days. Chronic pain is long-term, lasting sometimes weeks, months or longer and usually comes and goes. Progressive stomach aches get worse over time. There may also be additional symptoms with progressive stomach pain.
Stomach pain can also be mild to severe. The intensity of pain does not always correlate with the severity of the potential cause.
In addition, pain can be categorized by location. Pain in the upper abdomen may be the result of gallstones, hepatitis, pneumonia or a heart attack. Pain in the center of the abdomen might be caused by injury or appendicitis. Pain in the lower abdomen or around the belly button can be caused by injury, flu, hardened stool, kidney infection, hernia, appendicitis or cancer. In women, lower abdomen pain can be related to menstrual cramps, miscarriage, endometriosis or ovarian cysts.
Stomach pain can also be grouped by how the pain feels.
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:
What Causes Stomach Ulcers
The two most common causes are:
- H. pylori infection. This common bacterial infection affects up to half of people worldwide. It primarily lives in the stomach. In many people, it doesnt seem to cause problems. Their gut immune systems keep it in check. But a portion of those infected have H. pylori overgrowth. The bacteria continue to multiply, eating into the stomach lining and causing chronic inflammation and peptic ulcer disease. H. pylori infection is associated with about 60% of duodenal ulcers and 40% of gastric ulcers.
- Overuse of NSAIDs. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.” These include common over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. NSAIDs contribute to ulcers in several ways. They irritate the stomach lining on contact and repress some of the chemicals that defend and repair the mucous lining. Up to 30% of people who take NSAIDs regularly develop peptic ulcers. Up to 50% of all peptic ulcers are caused by the overuse of NSAIDs.
Less common causes of stomach ulcers include:
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. This is a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce too much gastric acid.
- Severe physiological stress. Severe illness, burns or injuries can produce stress ulcers in the stomach. Physiological stress changes your bodys PH balance, increasing stomach acid. Stress ulcers develop very quickly in response to stress, unlike normal stomach ulcers that develop gradually.
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