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.
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:
How To Relieve Stomach Pain Caused By Drinking Water
Generally, we combat a burning sensation with water. But what can we do when water itself seems to be a problem? Here are a couple of things that you can try:
- Try to drink warm water as it is easier to absorb.
- Consult a doctor if any of the medical reasons ring true.
- Adopt a healthier diet as overly processed or spiced foods can also irritate your stomach lining.
- Test your water supply annually to check for any contamination.
- Check your water pipes and make sure they are well-maintained without any leakage.
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How Do Doctors Find The Cause Of A Bellyache
Your doctor will first ask you some questions, examine you, and maybe do some tests. Your doctor may suggest you take some medicine or might give you special instructions for eating to help your body heal the bellyache.
If it turns out that you have appendicitis, you will need an operation called an appendectomy .
If stress is behind your stomach problems, your doctor may recommend a specialist, such as a psychologist. These experts can help kids figure out the source of the stress and help them come up with some ideas for how to fix the problems or handle them better.
Causes Of Chronic Pancreatitis
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years.
This can cause repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis, which results in increasing damage to the organ.
In children the most common cause is cystic fibrosis.
Less common causes include:
In some cases, no cause can be identified. This is called idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number if you:
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- Are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
- Are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have pain in, or between, your shoulder blades with nausea
- Have tenderness in your belly, or your belly is rigid and hard to the touch
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen
- Have difficulty breathing
What Causes Pain In Upper Abdomen After Eating
There are numerous causes of upper abdominal pain, ranging from simple over-eating to serious ones such as pancreatitis. It becomes imperative to determine the cause of the pain so that you can take appropriate steps to ease your pain. A series of medical tests may be done by your physician to diagnose the cause. The pain may be relieved by a combination of medicines and lifestyle modifications.
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When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them aren’t serious, but some are, and you need to be able to recognize their 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 explains which symptoms mean you should head to the ER. It also lists symptoms that mean you should visit your healthcare provider. Finally, it provides some at-home solutions to try.
Verywell / JR Bee
When To See A Doctor
At what point should you see a doctor? The basic answer would be the minute that the mid-abdomen pain becomes greater than mild or when you have become concerned about the pain. Beyond that, you should contact a medical professional about your mid-abdomen pain if:
- The pain lasts longer than a week
- The pain is fairly severe and last longer than 24 hours
- Youve had a recent injury to the area that is in pain
- Your belly is tender to the touch, or if its rigid
- The pain brings vomiting and diarrhea
- The pain is accompanied by fever
- The pain spreads from the abdomen to other parts of the body
You should also see a doctor if you are experiencing abdominal pain and already have the following conditions:
- You are pregnant or are potentially pregnant
- Suffer from colon, stomach, or pancreatic cancers
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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 mid-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 compromised blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
Are Everybodys Organs In The Same Place
Very rarely, it is possible to have organs the opposite way round to the usual arrangement. This occurs in fewer than 1 in 10,000 people and is called situs inversus. If you were one of these few then all the causes which affect most people in the right upper quadrant could give you pains on the left.
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Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments
Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.
Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.
If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.
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What Organ Is 3 Inches Above Belly Button
How do you relieve upper abdominal pain?
Apply a heating pad or bottle to your stomach for 15 to 20 minutes. The high temperature can help to relax strained or tense muscles. It can also ease indigestion and constipation in some instances. Another heat remedy includes taking a warm bath.
What helps gastritis pain fast?
Antacids: These over-the-counter medicines neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can provide rapid pain relief. Histamine 2 blockers: These medicines reduce acid production allowing the stomach lining to heal.
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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.
What Questions Will The Doctor Ask About My Abdominal Pain
Diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain is one of the hardest tasks for a doctor. Sometimes all that the professional can do is be sure that the pain does not require surgery or admission to the hospital.
The healthcare professional may ask these or similar questions to try to determine what is causing the patients pain. Some may seem unrelated to the patients current condition, but it is important to try to answer them as completely as possible. The answers to these questions can help the healthcare professional find the cause of the patients pain more quickly and easily.
- How long have you had the pain?
- What were you doing when it started?
- How did you feel before the pain started?
- Have you felt OK over the last few days?
- What have you tried to make the pain better? Did it work?
- What makes the pain worse?
- Where is the pain located?
- Right side?
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Eat Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables
It is recommended that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit or vegetables each day. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables then your chances of developing heart disease, a stroke or bowel cancer are reduced. In addition, fruit and vegetables:
- Contain lots of fibre, which helps to keep your bowels healthy. Problems such as constipation and diverticular disease are less likely to develop.
- Contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, which are needed to keep you healthy.
- Are naturally low in fat.
- Are filling but are low in calories.
What Types Of Pain Are There
Doctors have different words to describe the different types of pain you can feel in the gut. Very broadly, pains may be sharp or stabbing, crampy, colicky or a general dull ache. Colicky means gradually becoming worse, then easing off again. This may happen repeatedly.
Doctors may also be interested in where the pain is and whether the pain seems to be travelling in a certain direction. Having this information and putting it together with other information, such as whether you have been being sick or have had diarrhoea, will help the doctor work out what is wrong.
Pain that comes on suddenly may be called acute. Longer-standing pain is called chronic.
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When To Be Concerned About Pain In Your Right Side
Obviously, if the pain in your right side of your stomach is very strong you should immediately seek medical attention. If the pain is weaker, wait 48 hours to see how it develops. If the pain persists, make an appointment with your general practitioner. Please, note that if your side hurts after exercising, it is likely due to a side-ache or stitch, the colloquial terms for transient abdominal pain . To avoid this happening again take a look at our article on how to get rid of a side stitch.
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What Treatment Will I Need
There is no single answer to this until you know what the cause of your pain is. See the relevant leaflet for the condition with which you have been diagnosed. Treatments for a few of the causes of LUQ pain are briefly discussed below.
- Shingles. The pain and rash settle on their own in time, but some people may be advised to take an antiviral tablet to help speed this process up.
- Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics. Mild infections can be treated with antibiotics at home. If you are very unwell you may need admission to hospital for antibiotics and fluids through a drip .
- Kidney stones. Small kidney stones pass on their own eventually, in which case you will need to drink plenty of fluids and take strong painkillers. Larger kidney stones may need one of a number of procedures done to break them up or remove them altogether.
- Pneumonia is treated with antibiotics.
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Tenderness Anywhere On The Abdomen
There are several structures of the abdomen that may extend across the entire abdominal cavity or at least across multiple quadrants.
- Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum that lines the abdominal cavity and its organs. There is usually severe abdominal pain with tenderness.
- Hernias are outpuchings from the abdominal wall and sometimes a portion of the bowel can get trapped within it . A hernia itself may not always be painful or tender.
- Trauma to the abdominal wall can occur for a number of reasons, such as a blow to the abdomen, and the area may be tender for days or even weeks.
- Abdominal muscle strain is a common cause of abdominal pain and tenderness. These muscles may be strained not only be trauma but also by overuse and other forms of stress.
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.
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What Is Upper Abdominal Pain
Pain in the upper abdomen can often be attributed to temporary problems such as indigestion or gas. Persistent or severe upper abdominal pain may be related to other digestive tract conditions or to conditions of the body wall, blood vessels, kidneys, heart, or lungs.
Pain originating in the stomach or esophagus is often felt in the upper abdomen and can be due to , gastroesophageal reflux disease , or hiatal . You may also have or ulcers. Symptoms may be brought on by certain foods and may worsen when lying flat.
Pain in the upper abdomen may originate in the gallbladder or liver and may be due to gall stones, hepatitis, or liver . More-generalized pain may originate in the intestines and may be related to inflammatory conditions or infections.
Although pain from the pancreas or kidneys tends to occur in the back, it can also occur in the sides or in the abdomen. Similarly, pain from heart attacks and lung problems such as and pleurisy typically occurs in the chest but may also be felt in the upper abdomen.
Upper abdominal pain that does not resolve within a day or two or that is severe may be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Seek immediate medical care for severe pain that comes on suddenly, the inability to have bowel movements, bloody stool, , abdominal rigidity, , or pain in the neck, chest, shoulders, or between the shoulders.
If your upper abdominal pain is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.
Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
The type of pain can vary greatly. When abdominal pain occurs, it can:
- be sharp, dull, stabbing, cramp-like, twisting or fit many other descriptions
- be brief, come and go in waves, or it can be constant
- make you throw up
- make you want to stay still or make you so restless that you pace around trying to find just the right position
- vary from a minor problem to one needing urgent surgery.
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Why Does My Stomach Hurt After I Eat
Your stomach may hurt after you eat if you haven’t eaten in a long time, if you’ve eaten a particularly large meal, or if you have an ulcer, tumor, or other mass that is not protected from stomach acid by mucus within the stomach. Stomach pain after eating is most commonly caused by the normal contractions/motions of the stomach as it churns and breaks down food with stomach acid. If you have damage to the stomach or a mass of some sort, these motions can aggravate that point of tenderness causing additional stomach pain. Gas is also a common cause of stomach pain after eating. An antacid or fizzy drink may help you belch, releasing the gas and discomfort.
How Is Abdominal Pain Treated
Treating abdominal pain depends on its cause. Options include:
- Medications for inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease or ulcers.
- Antibiotics for infection.
- Changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages.
- Local or spinal injections of numbing agents or corticosteroids by pain management physicians.
In more severe cases like appendicitis and hernia, surgery is necessary.
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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.