In General What Conditions Do Gastroenterologists Treat
Gastroenterologists can evaluate for and treat a wide variety of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease , gastroesophageal reflux disease , celiac disease, peptic ulcer disease, obesity and more. GI doctors also routinely perform screenings for colon cancer.
My area of specialty is in prevention and early detection of cancers such as colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancer. I enjoy helping patients, especially those with a family history, understand their risk for cancer while offering genetic testing, screening and more.
Overall, its important for patients to openly discuss stress and GI symptoms with their doctors. Primary care doctors can help manage stress and treat symptoms, but in some cases it may be necessary to see a gastroenterologist to evaluate for other conditions.
When To Call The Doctor
If you experience symptoms for more than a week, its wise to make a doctors appointment. However, if you have severe symptoms at any point throughout, it is also a good idea to be seen. Other symptoms that warrant a doctor visit include high fever, nausea and vomiting, confusion, difficulty speaking, vision problems, rapid heart rate, and seizures. While the most common symptoms of diarrhea and stomach problems are flu, food reactions, medications, stress, alcohol consumption, IBD, and IBS, these conditions can also be indicative of cancer, cystic fibrosis, appendicitis, or intestinal obstruction. If you have persistent symptoms, its best to be safe and be seen.
If you need to see a doctor for diarrhea and abdominal pain, or you are experiencing other GI upset, book an appointment at Carolina Digestive today.
How Can I Clear My Stomach Every Morning
10 ways to make yourself poop first thing in the morning Load up on foods with fibre. Or, take a fibre supplement. Drink some coffee preferably *hot.* Get a little exercise in. Try massaging your perineum no, really. Try an over-the-counter laxative. Or try a prescription laxative if things get really bad.
Read Also: Why Is My Stomach Sore To Touch
Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, recommending acetaminophen instead.
Noisy Abdomen / Rumbling
A noisy gut does not always mean youre hungry. There may be other reasons why your stomach is churning and gurgling. The digestive system causes belly noises, known as borborygmi when fluids or air moves around your small and large intestines.
Borborygmi Definition: The term for the gurgling or rumbling noises made by the movement of gas and fluids in the intestines. During the process called peristalsis, the small intestine and stomach muscles contract and move contents forward in your gastrointestinal tract. These gas noises in stomach can occur both when the stomach is empty and when its full.
Peristalsis Definition: A series of wave-like contraction and relaxation of stomach muscles. Two hours after the stomach contents are emptied, the brain signals the digestive muscles to begin peristalsis again. The belly noises and contractions of an empty stomach can make you hungry. A noisy gut may be louder in this case because the intestines and stomach are empty the stomach noises and pain are not muffled. Take note that you may swallow a lot of air because of eating too fast or talking while eating. This can lead you to have louder stomach rumbles after eating.
You May Like: How To Get My Stomach Flat After Birth
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.
A Bladder Or Kidney Infection
Bladder infections can definitely cause abdominal pain, as well as painful and urgent urination, and/or blood in the urine. If its a kidney infection youre dealing with, you may also have a fever, chills, thigh pain, and joint tenderness.
How to treat it: Most cases can be treated with a course of oral antibiotics, though severe cases may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. In rare cases, surgery may be required, says Dr. Dann.
Read Also: Does Stomach Cancer Cause Pain
Food Allergies And Intolerances
If you find yourself experiencing specifically digestive upset like constipation, diarrhea, or unusual amounts of gas after eating the same kind of food time and time again, you might have an intolerance to the food itself due to the chemistry inside of your gut. People who suffer from Celiac Disease aren’t equipped with the enzyme necessary to break down gluten, the protein found in wheat and other grains. People who are lactose intolerant are deficient in the enzyme necessary to break down lactose. If you think you may be suffering from one of these conditions, ask your doctor to confirm whether or not you should cut the offending protein out of your diet.
How To Control Your Anxiety Upset Stomach
Stomach upset can really put a damper on your ability to live a happy life. Ideally, you’ll need to treat your anxiety to experience a calmer stomach.
Even though anxiety is causing your stomach to feel sick, many of the symptoms can be reduced with various medications. You should always consult with a doctor before taking medication and do not want to rely on medication to cure your upset stomach. However, many people have had success with basic medications that calm the stomach. Common examples include:
Eating healthier can also help. Remember that your anxiety is affecting your gut, but it’s not causing the symptoms all on its own. What’s in your stomach has an effect on the severity of the symptoms as well. Eating healthier – especially on days you expect to experience anxiety – can be very helpful. Drinking water may also be useful since water is gentle on the stomach.
You may also try distracting yourself. While your upset stomach may be severe, anxiety causes a tendency to focus on the experience, which causes further anxiety and exacerbates the severity of the stomach pain. A positive distraction, like a funny TV show, can actually make a big difference in the way you experience your upset stomach.
Was this article helpful?
Read Also: Can You Get Rid Of Cellulite On Stomach
When To Call A Doctor
Bottom line: If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to call a doctor.
- Bloody diarrhea, stools or vomit
- Black stools
- A fever over 102 degrees
- Signs of severe dehydration, like feeling dizzy or a lack of tears or urine
- Unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite
- Diarrhea that lasts for longer than three days
What Are Some Of The Home Remedies To Cure Constant Stomach Pain
Home remedies can be beneficial in case of indigestion and mild bowel problems. In case of chronic and acute stomach pain there can be a presence of a serious underlying cause. Medical assistance should be sought in such cases. Few general home remedies to cure constant stomach pain involve-
Hot Compress: In case of abdominal cramps due to menstruation, hot compress with a heating pad or hot water bag may help ease out the pain.
Light Boiled Food: Eating light boiled food in case of diarrhea may help soothe the digestive system.
Ginger Tea: Drinking ginger tea may help improve digestion and reduce stomach pain as it is a good source of antioxidant.
Lemon and Hot Water: A combination of lemon and hot water helps reduce bloating as it restores the pH level of the body and removes gas. One may also use apple cider vinegar.
Fennel Seeds & Chamomile: Fennel seeds and chamomile are known for their antimicrobial muscular relaxant properties giving instant results in acute stomach pain occurring due to indigestion. Fennel seeds are beneficial to soothe menstrual cramps.
Home remedies for constant stomach pain also involve using varied spices like ginger, fennel seeds or even peppermint to help combat indigestion problems. Lemon and apple cider vinegar are good detoxifying agents of the digestive system. Above all, healthy diet and a proper lifestyle help keep the body clean, boosting metabolism and proper digestion.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Stomach After C Section
Vague Upper Abdominal Pain Associated With Nausea And Belching
Sometimes stomach pain is hard to identify or comes with multiple symptoms. Vague pain in the upper and mid-abdominal area that is linked to nausea, burping, or belching could be signs of a heart attack, particularly in older patients. Physicians say tests like an ECG or cardiac markers can be lifesaving. They also warn that vomiting with back or jaw pain and shortness of breath can also be a sign of a life-threatening emergency.
When To Seek Immediate Medical Help
Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, and persists, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.
or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if this is the case.
If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, see the section on chest pain.
You May Like: Why Does My Stomach Hurt And Burn
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.
Gastroenteritis And Infectious Colitis
These are the terms for inflammation in the lining of the intestines and colon, respectively. Symptoms will vary based on the location and cause. In both cases, the underlying cause could be due to a condition such as Crohns disease or even something more benign such as a lack of blood flow to the abdominal area, says Dr. Dann. Patients with infectious colitis generally have diarrhea associated abdominal pain, which may be severe.
How to treat it: Depending on the severity of symptoms, antibiotics may be needed.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks On Stomach Male
Figuring Out The Cause
When youre suffering from stomach pain, diarrhea, or both, one of the most important things is to try to determine the root cause. Quite often, this type of abdominal pain is due to stomach flu or another virus, spoiled food, or food that one has developed a sensitivity to. Unless diarrhea and pain are accompanied by other severe symptoms, such as a high fever, the best course of action is to wait it out.
If you feel that it is a reaction to food, most times symptoms will subside in a day or two. However, there are some instances of food poisoning that definitely warrant a doctor visit but again, you will see other severe symptoms along with general GI upset.
If you think you may be having a reaction to food, such as those with celiac disease who have a sensitivity to gluten, its worthwhile to try an elimination diet to confine the source of the upset. It is possible to suddenly develop a food sensitivity later in life its also estimated that up to 20 percent of Americans have food sensitivity. Please note that celiac is a serious condition and ongoing exposure to gluten can cause increasing damage. Celiac should not be self-diagnosed.
Why Does My Belly Always Hurt 3 Reasons Why
By | Submitted On February 28, 2010
If you have ever wondered or asked yourself, why does my belly always hurt here are 3 reasons why. This article will touch on three reasons why you may always experience stomach pains and bloating and how to take care of this problem without needing any prescriptions to ease the pain and suffering.
One of the reasons why your stomach always hurts is that when you eat, you drink a lot of liquids with the food. This is a big problem as the liquids have a tendency to wash away or to weaken the much needed acids in your stomach. This acid is important as it is what helps to break down the foods that we eat, in order to extract the nutrients from it. The best cure to this problem is to stop drinking with your meals and wait until you are done eating to drink something.
Another reason why your belly hurts and you always feel bloated is that you may be lacking in enzyme and stomach acid production. Just like when drinking with your meals the acid is not present or is too low to properly break down and digest the foods you eat. In the end this causes the stomach to try to physically break down the foods that were placed into it, causing a reflux of acid as the stomach tries to empty itself of the contents contained within.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Big Stomach
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.
Editor’s Note: This infographic was originally published on June 24, 2014.
Severe Acute Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
A sudden pain in the lower part of the abdomen may be a sign of appendicitis. It may also be accompanied by a fever. Pain often begins around the belly button area and becomes worse with time. Vomiting or constipation or diarrhea along with the pain also indicate it’s time to go to the emergency room. Physicians recommend seeing a doctor right away if the pain comes on suddenly over several hours or is persistent. Appendicitis often requires surgery. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can be deadly.
Recommended Reading: What Exercises Help Lose Stomach Fat
Treatments For Stomach Pain After Meals
Mild cases are usually treated at home without too much trouble. Doctors recommend putting yourself on a light diet, eating in frequent but small amounts for 24 to 36 hours until you can tolerate more substantial foods. Sports drinks, soups and broths, and juices are highly recommended.
More serious cases are treated with a range of therapies. Doctors look for structural or functional problems in the digestive tract itself to identify and treat the problem at its source. Various interventions may be employed in that case, such as:
- Intravenous drug infusion
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.
Read Also: How Do You Tone Up Your Stomach
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Sex The Bottom Line
Many people ask the questions âis it normal for your stomach to hurt after sex?â
Experiencing a stomach ache after sex is perfectly normal many women have some type of abdominal cramping after intercourse, and, in most cases, the pain is benign and will go away quickly.
If, however, you experience chronic or overwhelming pain, make sure you see a doctor to see whatâs going on and discuss treatment options.