Stomach pain is a type of pain that is felt in the abdomen. It may also be referred to as abdominal pain or stomachache.
Pain in the abdomen can come from the abdominal muscle, organs within the abdomen, or organs near the abdomen. Any infection or damage to these organs can cause stomach pain.
For stomach pain that does not go away, take note of where the discomfort is coming from and if you have any other symptoms. Here are some of the common causes of stomach pain:
If you suffer from constipation, you will be very familiar with stomach pain. Constipation is defined as having trouble passing stools or having no bowel movement for more than three consecutive days. When your body cannot pass waste, your stools become impacted in your large intestine. Your lower stomach may extend outwards and you could have painful bloating.
Constipation can affect people of all ages. To avoid constipation, you should drink plenty of water and ensure you have lots of fiber in your diet. Regular exercise can also help with bowel movements.
Stomach pain can also be caused by severe diarrhea, which involves loose and watery stools. Having diarrhea means passing loose stools at least three times a day.
Acute diarrhea is a common problem that usually lasts one or two days and goes away on its own. Let your doctor know if your diarrhea lasts longer than two days as it may be a sign of a stomach infection or another serious condition. Diarrhea can cause dehydration and the loss of essential electrolytes. Drink plenty of water with electrolytes to avoid dehydration.
Gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu, is a very common condition that causes diarrhea and vomiting. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
Other signs and symptoms include fever, nausea and headache. If you have any of these symptoms you should tell your doctor. You may need medical attention to treat the infection and possible dehydration.
If you have pain in the lower right side of your abdomen, you may have appendicitis, which is the inflammation of your appendix. Your appendix is a small pouch of tissue that extends from your large intestine. The function of the appendix remains unknown.
Appendicitis occurs when your appendix is blocked by stool or foreign substance. If left untreated, the appendix can burst and cause infection to spread throughout the body. Signs and symptoms other than stomach pain include high fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections can cause stomach pain, fever and pain while urinating. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection.
Urinary infections are more common in women than men. You should let your doctor know if you have any signs of a urine infection. You may need a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
Pain from indigestion is often caused by certain foods. The pain is usually felt in the form of discomfort at the top of the stomach.
Indigestion can be caused by high-fat foods and large meals. When your stomach cannot properly hold and digest food, it can overflow and cause painful discomfort; you may feel like burping frequently and have a sour, acidic taste in your mouth. The pain can last for a few hours and may worsen with stress.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when the food in your stomach is forced back up to the esophagus. Food mixes with acid in the stomach during digestion. When it refluxes back up to the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation. This pain is called heartburn.
You can manage GERD by avoiding spicy foods, large meals and high-fat foods.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition affecting the digestive system. It can cause episodes of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation. IBS affects women more than men.
You can manage IBS symptoms by avoiding certain foods that trigger stomach pain. These foods can include cheese, sugary foods and processed foods. You should eat more fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Regular exercise is also recommended.
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, and can lead to life-threatening complications.
Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include flatulence, diarrhea, a bloated stomach and stomach cramps.
Gallstones or kidney stones
Kidney stones and gallstones can both cause stomach pain. Gallstones are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder while kidney stones are hard calcified stones that form in the kidneys. Your doctor may prescribe medication to dissolve the stones or they can be released from the body.
The next time you have stomach pain, let your doctor know right away and check to see if you have any of these common conditions. Early detection will help you respond better to treatment. (kes)