Burning pain in center of abdomen: The request could not be satisfied
10 stomach pains and abdominal pains you should never ignore
When it comes to stomach pain, finding the cause of your tummy trouble can be harder than solving an advanced Sudoku. Use this symptom decoder to help decipher what’s up with your gut.
1. Acid Reflux
What it is: Acid flowing backward from the stomach up into the throat.
What it feels like: Pain or burning below your breastbone that’s usually worse after you eat or when you lie down, said Dr. David Peura, former chairman of the National Heartburn Alliance.
Fix it: If you feel the burn only a few times a year, treat it with antacids like Tums. If you get it a couple of times a week, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A doctor can determine whether a medication to reduce acid production will help you.
What it is: Inflammation of the appendix, a narrow fingerlike pouch attached to the colon. Over 5% of people will have trouble with it sometime in their lives.
What it feels like: A dull discomfort around your belly button that moves to your lower right abdomen. It becomes extremely painful as time passes — and walking makes the pain worse.
Fix it: Go to the emergency room immediately! You need surgery to remove your appendix. If you wait too long, it can rupture and be life threatening.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
What it is: A malfunction of the nerves that control the intestines, studies suggest that about 12% of the population has IBS.
What it feels like: Nausea, bloating, diarrhea or constipation and cramps in the lower part of your abdomen. These symptoms tend to lessen when you move your bowels, said Dr. Lauren Gerson, a former assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Fix it: Visit the doctor, who will probably prescribe an antispasmodic drug to regulate your impulse to go and relieve the general discomfort as well.
What they are: Pea- to golf ball-size nuggets in the gallbladder, a sac connected to the liver and small intestine. Made of hardened cholesterol and bile (a fluid that helps digest fat), they’re caused by a high-fat diet or a gallbladder that doesn’t empty properly. Gallstones are very common and women are more likely to experience them than men.
What they feel like: A sharp pain in your upper middle abdomen that moves to your right side, under your rib cage. The pain can worsen after eating.
Fix it: If the pain doesn’t go away in a few hours or you’re running a fever or vomiting, go to the doctor. She can diagnose gallstones via CT scan or ultrasound. You may need surgery to remove the gallbladder.
5. Stomach Ulcer
What it is: A sore on the stomach lining.
What it feels like: Burning pain in your stomach that comes and goes but feels worse when you’re hungry.
Fix it: If you’re taking nonsteroidal drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen, stop immediately, Peura said —these medications eat away at the stomach lining. See your doctor; you may need antibiotics to kill ulcer-causing bacteria, or even surgery.
6. Lactose Intolerance
What it is: Discomfort after consuming milk products due to a deficit in the enzyme that digests lactose, the sugar found in dairy products.
What if feels like: Nausea, cramps, bloating, gas and/or diarrhea 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking foods containing lactose.
Fix it: Drink less milk, or have it with other foods to slow the digestion process. Try experimenting with an assortment of dairy products. Hard cheeses such as Swiss or cheddar have small amounts of lactose and generally don’t cause symptoms. Important note for the lactose intolerant: because dairy products are some of the most common sources of calcium, make sure you’re getting enough of that essential mineral elsewhere in your diet.
7. Crohn’s Disease
What it is: The most common of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s usually affects the end of the small intestine and the colon.
What it feels like: Persistent abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and sometimes fever. You might find blood in your stools.
Fix it: Crohn’s is most common in people under age 30. Though treatable, there is no cure. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medicines and steroids, which you might have to take for a few years or for a lifetime.
What it is: A common type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects only the colon and rectum. A young person’s disease, most cases are diagnosed by age 30.
What it feels like: Belly pain or cramps, bloody diarrhea, an urgent need to have a bowel movement, weight loss, nausea and sometimes vomiting.
Fix it: If mild, treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medications. In severe cases, you might have to take anti-inflammatory medicines or steroids.
9. Celiac Disease
What it is: A digestive disease that damages the small intestine due to an intolerance to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Often misdiagnosed as IBS, celiac disease is now considered one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders.
What it feels like: Cramping, bloating and diarrhea. More serious symptoms include anemia, osteoporosis and even infertility.
Fix it: Avoid that pizza — the remedy for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of great gluten-free products available these days.
What it is: A deficit or an overabundance of the hormones secreted by the thyroid gland. Too much can kick your metabolism into high gear; too little can make it sluggish.
What it feels like: A hyperactive thyroid can cause diarrhea; a sluggish thyroid can cause constipation. Other symptoms vary widely for both hyper- and hypothyroidism, but can include weight loss or weight gain, a racing heartbeat or low energy, nervousness or depression, hair loss and more.
Fix it: Your doctor will probably prescribe a hormonal drug to regulate your thyroid. Occasionally surgery is necessary in severe cases.
— This article first appeared on Women’s Health
4 Types of Abdominal Pain and What You Can Do
4 Types of Abdominal Pain and What You Can Do
May 09, 2020
Abdominal pain can occur anywhere between the chest and the lower abdomen and can range from a dull ache to severe pain. Abdominal pain is one of the common reasons people visit urgent care centers and emergency rooms in the 78130 area code of New Braunfels, Texas.
The doctors and the medical professionals at Riverside ER, a 24-hour emergency care center located near you in New Braunfels, Texas, want to educate the public on the symptoms of abdominal pain and the relevant treatment.
There are four types of abdominal pain: upper, lower, right-sided and left-sided. Each type has specific symptoms and causes, and all are discussed below.
Common Causes of Upper Abdominal Pain
The common causes of upper abdominal pain are typically the byproducts of the digestive process. The pains are usually felt in the upper area of the abdomen, as well as in the chest, neck or shoulders. The common symptoms are:
- bloating and gas
- acid reflux
- loss of appetite
The management of the pains and symptoms can usually be accomplished by changes to the diet, eating habits and lifestyle. The avoidance of caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol will reduce the symptoms.
There are cases where people have described the warning signs of a heart attack as upper abdominal pain or heartburn. The pain can feel like a burning in the chest, or the chest being pressed by something heavy. This type of pain may also be felt in the jaw, the neck or the arms.
Heart attack victims may also experience breathlessness, sweating and nausea along with the burning or the chest pain. A person experiencing these symptoms, together with a family history of heart conditions, should seek immediate medical attention in an emergency room in New Braunfels, Texas.
Common Causes of Lower Abdominal Pain
The common causes of lower abdominal pain are the menstrual cycle, urinary tract infection and constipation. The common symptoms include:
- unusual discharges
- painful urination
- painful sex
The management of the associated pains with the above symptoms can typically be accomplished with over-the-counter pain relievers or antacids. A person should seek medical attention at an urgent care center in New Braunfels, Texas, if any symptom does not improve within three days, or at the first indication of painful urination.
Common Causes of Right-Sided Abdominal Pain
The common causes for pains on the right side of the abdominal area are gallstones and appendicitis. The pain associated with gallstones originates in the upper right of the abdomen area and can spread to the right shoulder blade.
The pain associated with appendicitis begins at the lower right side and is not constant. As the pains moves lower, it becomes constant and severe.
The symptoms of both conditions are:
- feeling sick
- loss of appetite
- shivers and sweats
If any of these symptoms and pains are experienced, medical attention at an emergency room in New Braunfels, Texas, should be sought immediately.
Common Causes of Left-Sided Abdominal Pain
The common causes for pains on the left side of the abdominal area are kidney stones, a kidney infection and diverticulitis.
The common symptoms for kidney stones and an infection are:
- pain in the left and/or right abdomen area, the back or the genitals
- fever, shivers and chills
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick
If a kidney stone is too large to pass on its own, then a hospital admission becomes necessary. The avoidance of kidney stones should be discussed with a doctor.
Diverticulitis is an infection that can occur following diverticular disease that affects the large intestine. People with this disease rarely have symptoms until an infection is present. The symptoms caused by the infection are:
- constant, severe abdominal pain
- blood in the stool
- blood when defecating
Usually, these symptoms can be treated by changes in the diet and lifestyle. Antibiotics will be prescribed for the infection and an over-the-counter laxative will be recommended for ease. In acute cases, treatment in the emergency room may include an IV for hydration and possibly surgery.
If any of these symptoms and pains are experienced, medical attention at an emergency room should be sought immediately.
The medical professionals at Riverside ER, a 24-hour emergency care center located in New Braunfels, Texas, are certified and trained in emergency medicine. The professionals at Riverside ER know that, by educating the public on the symptoms and the proper treatment of abdominal pain, appropriate medical decisions will be made.
Abdominal Pain | Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Gut and Stomach Pain
What is abdominal pain?
The abdomen is that part of your body which is below your ribs and above your hips. Some people call it the tummy, trunk, belly or gut. When you have a pain in that area, doctors will call it abdominal pain. However, other popular terms for abdominal pain include tummy pain, tummy ache, stomach ache, stomach pain, gut ache, belly ache and gut rot.
Usually, pain that you feel here will be caused by a problem in your gut. Sometimes it can be caused by problems in other organs.
What is the gut?
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. When we eat or drink, the food and liquid travel down the gullet (oesophagus) into the stomach. The stomach churns up the food and then passes it into the small intestine.
Diagram naming the parts of the gut
Large bowel diagram
The small intestine – sometimes called the small bowel – is several metres long and is where food is digested and absorbed. Undigested food, water and waste products are then passed into the large intestine – sometimes called the large bowel. The main part of the large intestine is called the colon, which is about 150 cm long. This is split into four sections: the ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid colon. Some water and salts are absorbed into the body from the colon. The colon leads into the back passage (rectum) which is about 15 cm long. The rectum stores stools (faeces or poo) before they are passed out from the anus.
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 (radiating) in a certain direction. Having this information and putting it together with other information, such as whether you have been being sick (vomiting) 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.
What problems can cause intestinal pain?
This list does not include all the possible causes of gut pain but some of the more common causes include the following:
Indigestion means different things to different people. You might feel pain in your upper abdomen or behind your breastbone. This usually happens after eating certain types of food. The foods might be fatty or very rich. You may feel like burping a lot or have a nasty acid taste coming into your mouth. It usually goes in a few hours. Most people will find relief from simple remedies they can buy at the chemist.
If you are older, or are known to have heart disease, indigestion-type pains that come on with exertion or stress are worrying. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell angina or a heart attack from indigestion. If you have pain that goes into your jaw or down your left arm, it might be angina. If it goes off quickly, try to see your GP to discuss it. If it doesn’t settle and you feel unwell, phone 999/112/911 for an ambulance.
Crampy pains after eating may be wind. Your abdomen may feel swollen or bloated. If you are able to go to the toilet and open your bowels or pass wind, the pain usually goes. If not, a chemist may be able to recommend some medication to ease the pain.
Constipation is common. It means either going to the toilet less often than usual to empty the bowels, or passing hard or painful stools. Sometimes crampy pains occur in the lower abdomen. You may also feel bloated and sick if you have severe constipation. See the separate leaflets called Constipation and Constipation in Children for more information.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a common gut disorder. The cause is not known. Symptoms can be quite variable and include abdominal pain, wind, bloating, and sometimes bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation. Symptoms tend to come and go. There is no cure for IBS but symptoms can often be eased with treatment. See the separate leaflet called Irritable Bowel Syndrome for more details.
Diverticular disease is common in older people. It is thought to be caused by eating a diet too low in fibre for a long time. It commonly causes no symptoms at all but some people have an ongoing lower abdominal aching, and it can also cause flares of more severe pain which require treatment with painkillers and antibiotics. See the separate leaflet called Diverticula (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease, Diverticulitis) for more details.
Appendicitis means inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that comes off the gut wall. Appendicitis is quite common. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain and being sick (vomiting) that gradually become worse over 6-24 hours. The pain usually starts in the middle of the abdomen but over time seems to move towards the right hip. Some people have less typical symptoms. See the separate leaflet called Appendicitis for more details.
Pain that starts in your back and seems to travel around the side of your abdomen to your groin, may be a kidney stone. The pain is severe and comes and goes. This is called renal colic. The pain goes when the stone is passed. Sometimes the stone cannot be passed and you may need to have the stone broken into small pieces at the local hospital. There may be blood in your urine too. See the separate leaflet called Kidney Stones for more details.
This is a common cause of aching lower abdominal pain in women. It is much less common in men. Along with pain, you may feel sick and sweaty. There may be a sharp stinging when you pass urine and there may be blood in the urine. See the separate leaflets called Cystitis in Women, Urine Infection in Men and Urine Infection in Children for more details.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is an infection of the womb and/or Fallopian tubes. Treatment is with antibiotics. Pain in the lower abdomen (pelvic area) is the most common symptom. It can range from mild to severe. Pain during sex can also occur. Women commonly also have vaginal discharge with PID. See the separate leaflet called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease for more details.
Many people do not know they have gallstones. Symptoms include severe pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. This is called biliary colic. The pain is usually worst to the right-hand side, just below the ribs. The pain eases and goes if the gallstone is pushed out into the bile duct (and then usually out into the gut) or if it falls back into the gallbladder.
Pain from biliary colic can last for just a few minutes but, more commonly, lasts for several hours. A severe pain may only happen once in your lifetime or it may flare up from time to time. Sometimes less severe but niggly pains occur now and then, particularly after a fatty meal when the gallbladder contracts most. See the separate leaflet called Cholecystitis for more details.
Most women have some lower abdominal pain during periods. The pain is often mild but for some women, the pain is severe enough to affect day-to-day activities. The pain can be so severe that they are unable to go to school or work. Periods tend to become less painful as you get older. An anti-inflammatory painkiller often eases the pain. See the separate leaflet called Period Pain (Dysmenorrhoea) for more details.
When we think of food poisoning, we usually think of the typical gastroenteritis – an infection of the gut (intestines) – that usually causes diarrhoea with or without vomiting. Crampy pains in your tummy (abdomen) are common. Pains may ease for a while each time you pass some diarrhoea. See the separate leaflets called Food Poisoning and Food Poisoning in Children for more details.
Stomach and duodenal ulcers
The pain from an ulcer may come and go. The pain is in the top part of your gut but may also feel like it goes through into your back. The pain often comes at night and wakes you up. Food may make it better in some types of ulcer, or may make it worse. See the separate leaflets called Stomach Ulcer (Gastric Ulcer) and Duodenal Ulcer for more details.
Inflammatory bowel disease
There are two main types of inflammatory bowel disease: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They are both conditions which cause inflammation in the gut. The symptoms can flare up from time to time. Symptoms vary, depending on the part of the gut affected and the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain and feeling unwell.
Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. It may cause upper abdominal pain (just below your breastbone). The pain is often described as a burning feeling. There are usually other symptoms as well, such as feeling sick (nausea), vomiting and feeling full after eating.
People often worry that gut pain is caused by cancer. If you have pain that doesn’t settle quickly or with simple remedies, then you should go and see your doctor. Some of the questions they ask will be to make sure there is not any serious cause, such as cancer, for the pain you are having.
Bowel cancer can cause abdominal pain. It commonly also causes weight loss, a change in bowel habit and blood in the stools.
Pancreatic cancer can cause upper abdominal pain which goes through to the back, but more commonly starts with other symptoms such as jaundice.
Stomach cancer can cause upper abdominal pain similar to the symptoms of gastritis but it does not get better with simple remedies.
The list does not include every condition that causes abdominal pain. These are just some of the most common causes.
What investigations might be advised?
Some conditions may not need any investigations. Otherwise, the type of investigation will depend on which part of the gut is affected. Blood tests sometimes provide useful information about what is causing abdominal pain. Sometimes an X-ray or ultrasound scan will be carried out, which will look for specific things your doctor may suspect. The gut can be looked at directly with endoscopy. A gastroscopy will look at the oesophagus and stomach, and a colonoscopy will look at the large bowel. More details can be found in the individual condition leaflets, mentioned above.
What treatments for abdominal pain may be offered?
Again, this will depend on what the likely cause of your pain is. Some types of pain can be treated simply with over-the-counter remedies you can buy at the chemist. Others may need treatment at a hospital.
Follow the links to the individual condition leaflets for more details.
What should you do next?
You may recognise your type of pain from the descriptions here. However, if you have a pain that is not going away quickly (within a few hours) or that you cannot cope with, you should see a GP. This may be your own GP, or an on-call GP if out of hours.
How can I prevent abdominal pain?
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.
Eat plenty of roughage (fibre)
Fibre is the part of food that is not digested. It is filling but has few calories. It helps your bowels to move regularly, which reduces constipation and other bowel problems. Fibre may also help to lower your cholesterol level.
Starchy foods, and fruit and vegetables contain the most fibre. So the tips above on starchy foods and fruit and vegetables will also increase fibre. If you switch to wholemeal rice and pasta and wholemeal bread, this can significantly increase your fibre intake. Pulses like lentils and beans are also full of fibre.
Have plenty to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet (at least 6-8 cups of fluid a day).
Dyspepsia (Indigestion) – Consumer Health News
What is dyspepsia?
Dyspepsia — commonly known as indigestion — is a catch-all term for pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Everything from stress to certain painkillers can cause indigestion, but with treatment and some basic lifestyle changes, most people find they can be free of it.
If you have persistent stomach trouble, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You can rest assured he or she has tackled this problem many times before. Every year, roughly one in four Americans has at least one bout of indigestion.
Although many people use dyspepsia interchangeably with indigestion, some specialists make a distinction between them. Indigestion, for example, is nonspecific: it’s often used to describe a feeling of over-fullness, bloating, or discomfort after eating. In contrast, dyspepsia generally refers to a gnawing pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.
What are the symptoms of dyspepsia?
The hallmark of dyspepsia is a gnawing or burning pain usually located in the stomach. The pain may be relentless, but it can also fade in and out. (It doesn’t apply to discomfort caused by irritable bowel syndrome.) You may also experience bloating, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and burping.
In very rare cases, dyspepsia may be a sign of a more serious problem. Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any of these warning signs: unintentional weight loss, trouble swallowing, severe vomiting, black stools (often a sign of intestinal bleeding), a strange lump or bulge in your abdomen, or severe pain in the upper-right abdomen.
What causes dyspepsia?
In roughly 60 percent of all cases, there’s no obvious organic disease, infection, or injury that might explain the pain. But that doesn’t mean the discomfort is all in your head. There’s a nervous system in our gut that sends and receives messages from the brain (the brain-gut axis), and at times nerve and muscle sensations in the gut may differ in some patients with more sensitive digestive systems, translating into pain or discomfort in a certain area. Your diet may also be a factor, along with how much exercise you get.
As many as one in four people with dyspepsia have an ulcer, an open sore on the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. These sores are almost always caused by either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or by an infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. In some cases, NSAIDs or H. pylori can cause dyspepsia without forming an ulcer.
NSAIDs aren’t the only medications that can irritate your stomach and cause indigestion. Tell your doctor about every drug you take, including over-the-counter products, herbal remedies, and alcohol, as they may have side effects or interact with each other in ways that affect your stomach.
Acid reflux disease is the next most common cause of dyspepsia. In this condition, stomach acid splashes into the esophagus. People with acid reflux disease generally suffer heartburn. On occasion, they may experience stomach pain as well.
Many people blame their upset stomachs on stress. But while stress can undoubtedly make your symptoms worse, it’s not likely to be the sole cause of indigestion.
In the worst-case scenario, dyspepsia may be a sign of stomach cancer. This condition is rare in the United States, especially among people under 50. People with stomach cancer usually have “alarm” symptoms such as weight loss, difficulty eating the amounts of food that one could previously handle with ease, and black stools or other symptoms that may be a sign of internal bleeding.
How is dyspepsia treated?
Doctors can take several different approaches to treating dyspepsia. Each has pros and cons, and no one strategy is right for everyone.
For many patients, treatment starts with a simple blood test for H. pylori, the bacterium that causes ulcers. If the test is positive, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to kill the germ. If the test is negative, acid-blocking medications such as lansoprazole (Prevacid) and ranitidine (Zantac) should bring quick relief. The downside to this approach is that H. pylori is often harmless, and many patients end up taking antibiotics for no good reason.
Before you take drugs, some specialists recommend that you instead take a good hard look at your lifestyle. In his book, Freedom from Digestive Distress, Dr. Gary Gitnick describes patient after patient who benefited from exercising and changing his or her diet. Gitnick, co-chief of the division of digestive diseases at University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, often finds that poor eating habits — such as too much fat, caffeine, and alcohol and not enough whole grains or fruits and vegetables — are the root cause of stomach pain.
Gitnick has patients keep a food journal to see if overeating or choosing the wrong foods affects their stomach pain. In addition to foods that may trigger indigestion, smoking can be a cause, as well as drinking coffee and alcohol. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, recommends that if you’re a smoker and you’re not ready to quit, at least try not to smoke before eating.
Gitnick is emphatic about exercise as a remedy for many digestive symptoms and insists that if he could give only one prescription, getting moving would be it. He advises 30 minutes of some sort of aerobic exercise each day. Just make sure your fitness routine isn’t so bouncy or jarring that it aggravates your symptoms.
If lifestyle changes don’t do the trick — or if acid-blocking medications fail or their effects fade after seven to ten days of treatment — your physician may order various tests to see if there’s a more serious problem at work. If you’re over 50 or show any symptoms of serious disease, your doctor may suggest an endoscopy, an exam in which a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end is slid down your throat to take pictures of your stomach.
If you’re taking any medications that can upset the stomach, your doctor may be able to offer an alternative. For instance, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is generally easier on the stomach than aspirin. (Tylenol isn’t generally recommended for people who drink three or more glasses or alcohol a day, though, because it can cause liver damage.)
Finally, you can take a few steps to give your stomach a break. If you smoke, stop. Smoking blocks the stomach’s natural healing process and greatly raises the risk of ulcers. Also, avoid heavy drinking and try to cut back on stress. The relief you get will be well worth the effort.
Bytzer P and NJ Talley. Dyspepsia. Annals of Internal Medicine. Vol. 134: 815-822.
American Academy of Family Physicians. Dyspepsia — what it is and what to do about it.
Gitnick, Gary, MD, Freedom from Digestive Distress, Three Rivers Press.
American Cancer Society. How Many People Get Stomach Cancer?
Abdominal pain | UF Health, University of Florida Health
Abdominal pain is pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. This is often referred to as the stomach region or belly.
Video: Abdominal pain
Stomach pain; Pain – abdomen; Belly ache; Abdominal cramps; Bellyache; Stomachache
Almost everyone has pain in the abdomen at some point. Most of the time, it is not serious.
How bad your pain is does not always reflect the seriousness of the condition causing the pain.
For example, you might have very bad abdominal pain if you have gas or stomach cramps due to viral gastroenteritis.
However, fatal conditions, such as colon cancer or early appendicitis, may only cause mild pain or no pain.
Other ways to describe pain in your abdomen include:
- Generalized pain — This means that you feel it in more than half of your belly. This type of pain is more typical for a stomach virus, indigestion, or gas. If the pain becomes more severe, it may be caused by a blockage of the intestines.
- Localized pain — This is pain found in only one area of your belly. It is more likely to be a sign of a problem in an organ, such as the appendix, gallbladder, or stomach.
- Cramp-like pain — This type of pain is not serious most of the time. It is likely to be due to gas and bloating, and is often followed by diarrhea. More worrisome signs include pain that occurs more often, lasts more than 24 hours, or occurs with a fever.
- Colicky pain — This type of pain comes in waves. It very often starts and ends suddenly, and is often severe. Kidney stones and gallstones are common causes of this type of belly pain.
Many different conditions can cause abdominal pain. The key is to know when you need to get medical care right away. Sometimes, you may only need to call a health care provider if your symptoms continue.
Less serious causes of abdominal pain include:
Other possible causes include:
Sometimes, abdominal pain may occur due to a problem somewhere else in your body, such as your chest or pelvic area. For example, you may have abdominal pain if you have:
You can try the following home care steps to ease mild abdominal pain:
- Sip water or other clear fluids. You may have sports drinks in small amounts. People with diabetes must check their blood sugar often and adjust their medicines as needed.
- Avoid solid food for the first few hours.
- If you have been vomiting, wait 6 hours, and then eat small amounts of mild foods such as rice, applesauce, or crackers. Avoid dairy products.
- If the pain is high up in your abdomen and occurs after meals, antacids may help, especially if you feel heartburn or indigestion. Avoid citrus, high-fat foods, fried or greasy foods, tomato products, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
- DO NOT take any medicine without talking to your provider.
These additional steps may help prevent some types of abdominal pain:
- Drink plenty of water each day.
- Eat small meals more frequently.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit foods that produce gas.
- Make sure that your meals are well-balanced and high in fiber. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number (such as 911) 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 (especially if bright red, maroon or dark, tarry black)
- 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
Call your provider if you have:
- Abdominal discomfort that lasts 1 week or longer
- Abdominal pain that does not improve in 24 to 48 hours, or becomes more severe and frequent and occurs with nausea and vomiting
- Bloating that persists for more than 2 days
- Burning sensation when you urinate or frequent urination
- Diarrhea for more than 5 days
- Fever, over 100°F (37. 7°C) for adults or 100.4°F (38°C) for children, with pain
- Prolonged poor appetite
- Prolonged vaginal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your specific symptoms, the location of pain and when it occurs will help your provider detect the cause.
LOCATION OF YOUR PAIN
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Is it all over or in one spot?
- Does the pain move into your back, groin, or down your legs?
TYPE AND INTENSITY OF YOUR PAIN
- Is the pain severe, sharp, or cramping?
- Do you have it all the time, or does it come and go?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
HISTORY OF YOUR PAIN
- Have you had similar pain in the past? How long has each episode lasted?
- When does the pain occur? For example, after meals or during menstruation?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, eating, stress, or lying down?
- What makes the pain better? For example, drinking milk, having a bowel movement, or taking an antacid?
- What medications are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
- What other symptoms do you have?
Tests that may be done include:
MacGilchrist A, Iredale J, Parks R. The gastrointestinal system. In: Douglas G, Nicol F, Robertson C, eds. Macleod’s Clinical Examination. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:chap 8.
McQuaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 132.
Millham FH. Acute abdominal pain. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 11.
Smith KA. Abdominal pain. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 24.
Squires R, Carter SN, Postier RG. Acute abdomen. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 45.
Swartz MH. The abdomen. In: Swartz MH, ed. Textbook of Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 14.
Could It Be the Cause of Your Bad Bellyache? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
Do you ever find yourself doubled over in pain? Sometimes it’s mild — and other times, it’s an all-consuming, will-this-ever-end, curled-up-on-the-floor kind of pain.
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Gastritis can be a total downer — not just because of the stomach pains, but also because of how it crimps your lifestyle, causing you to live with the constant fear of when it might happen next.
It’s time to get to the bottom of what’s causing this pain.
What causes gastritis?
Gastritis is the term used to describe inflammation or irritation of the stomach lining. According to gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD, the irritation can be the result of wide variety of causes such as infections, medications like aspirin or NSAIDs, stomach (gastric) cancer, or toxic substances including excessive alcohol, ingesting poison or chemicals, or excess stomach acid buildup.
“Take a skinned knee: The surface lining is damaged and the body increases blood flow to the area to help the healing process,” says Dr. Lee. “Then, neutrophils and lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) come in to help fight off bacteria and start the repair process. The result is that the area gets inflamed (swollen or appearing bruised before healing). This inflammatory process can bear down on nerve endings and cause different levels of pain.”
That same process occurs in the stomach lining and — just like a skinned knee — it can “ache” or “hurt” in varying intensities.
But why does gastritis pain hurt so bad?
Doctors can’t explain why the pain is excruciatingly intense for some people and mildly nagging for others. The short answer is that people perceive pain at different intensities.
Dr. Lee says gastritis pain usually occurs in the mid-upper stomach region, just below the breastbone and above the belly button. People describe gastritis pain in different ways, but these descriptions are common:
- Nagging discomfort.
- Dull or burning pain.
- Intense stabbing pain.
The pain quality varies widely. It can come and go in some. In others, it may be constant with waxing and waning intensities — with or without specific triggers (like it may be worse before or after eating). Sometimes, the pain will come and hang around. Other times, it comes and goes with periods of little-to-no discomfort.
Dr. Lee also says most people intuitively know when the symptoms warrant a trip to the ER. She recommends calling 911 or going to the emergency room if you experience alarming signs such as:
- Chest pains, shortness of breath, weakness or inability to tolerate any foods or liquids by mouth.
- High-grade fever.
- Vomiting or bowel movements with blood.
- Rapid change or severe escalation of your pain.
Gastritis. It’s a pain in the … stomach lining
If you’ve had periods of awful stomach pain, make an appointment with your primary physician or a gastroenterologist — a digestive specialist.
Gastroenterologists will try to get to the bottom of why you are in so much pain and rule out other concerns like peptic ulcer disease, gallstones, pancreatitis, celiac disease or abnormal cell growth. They’ll ask you when, where, and how severe the pain is on a scale of 1 to 10, and anything that makes your symptoms better or worse.
Common causes for gastritis include:
- Medications, like nonsteroidal pain relievers.
- Infections, intentional or accidental ingestions of toxins or poisons, or abnormal cell growth.
Sometimes, conservative measures — like avoiding triggers or staying upright for two to three hours after eating — can make a huge difference. You may need extra testing to figure out what will bring relief. Common gastritis treatments include medications or working with a dietitian to figure out the right eating plan for you.
Be honest: How dangerous is stomach inflammation?
Dr. Lee says only a small percentage progress into serious complications from chronic gastritis. These include different types of gastric cancers, peptic ulcer diseases that cause intestinal perforation, which can then lead to sepsis and possibly death.
In the majority of gastritis cases, with the right combination of treatments and lifestyle modifications, resolve themselves without any severe consequences.
“My best advice is to pay attention to your body. If you’ve been living with on-again, off-again pain for more than couple of weeks, or you’re experiencing unexplained weight loss, bleeding, or any new symptoms that fail to improve or resolve completely, it’s probably time to see a doctor,” says Dr. Lee.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms so you get the right type of evaluation. This will make sure you receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
7 Common Causes of Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can be very disconcerting, and the invention of the internet certainly hasn’t helped. In only a few clicks, even the most innocuous Google search will inevitably lead you to the conclusion that death is imminent!
But the truth is, pain or discomfort in your tummy can be down to several factors. And it might not even be your stomach causing the problem. Your torso is home to lots of key organs, like the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and intestines, that are located very close to one another. Your pain could be linked to a problem with one of these.
In the medical community, it is often said that common things occur commonly. If you’re experiencing mild pain in your stomach area, it could be down to one of the more common disorders listed below.
1. Gastric pain
Surprise, surprise! One of the most common causes of stomach pain is known as just that – pain. This can vary from a mild, dull ache to a severe, throbbing sensation in the upper stomach area. Most often, it’s caused by excessive acid in the stomach.
Other symptoms may include:
- Excessive wind, which can also make you feel bloated
- Feeling hungry but not being able to eat much before feeling full again
- Nausea or vomiting
Most cases of gastric pain will improve by themselves, or with a simple course of medication. However, if pain or discomfort does not improve, your doctor may arrange for a gastroscopy to exclude the possibility of an ulcer or bacterial infection.
If gastric pain is the most common cause of stomach pain, then gastroenteritis is not far behind. Symptoms often include:
- Lower abdominal cramps and pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever or chills
- Watery diarrhoea
- Body aches
Both bacterial and viral infections can cause gastroenteritis. Your doctor will likely recommend rest, fluids and certain medications to help clear it up. Luckily, most cases will go away within just a few days. However, if symptoms persist or you experience bloody diarrhoea, pay your doctor another visit.
Constipation commonly causes lower stomach pain, because it’s basically a build-up of digested food in your large intestine. Mild cases may only cause a bit of pain, but in more severe cases, symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lower abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive wind
Constipation is usually easily relieved with a course of laxatives, but if the pain doesn’t go away after using the toilet, it is best to consult your doctor.
4. Menstrual cramps
If you’re female, it’s very common to experience pain in the lower part of your tummy when you’re on your period. Everyone experiences this differently, and levels of pain may vary from person to person. Occasionally, menstrual cramps occur alongside:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Low fever
You know your body best, so if the pain is a lot more severe than during previous periods, if it’s worse on the right or left side of your stomach, or if it drags on for a long time, speak to your doctor for more advice. They may need to rule out other ovarian conditions, such as an ectopic pregnancy.
If you’re also finding it painful to urinate or there’s blood in your urine, bear in mind that it could be a urinary tract infection. This is a very common condition, especially if you are sexually active.
5. Kidney stones
Kidney stones can cause severe lower back and stomach pain. In fact, this is thought to be one of the worst culprits of stomach pain – some people have even compared it to childbirth. Ouch. Symptoms may include:
- Severe pain in the back that travels to the lower abdomen and groin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain that comes in waves
- Blood in urine
Depending on their size and location, the stones can either be broken into pieces using shockwave therapy or removed during a minor surgery. Occasionally, they will just pass out of your system by themselves.
Gallstones tend to block the gall bladder duct, which can cause the following symptoms:
- Pain in the right upper or middle stomach area
- Back pain in between your shoulder blades
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eye
The pain from gall bladder duct blockages often builds up quite rapidly. If the pain is accompanied by a high fever or the yellowing of the skin or eyes, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately.
More rarely, these symptoms are the result of a gall bladder inflammation, which will also require treatment.
So, it’s made the list (because you were expecting it!) but contrary to popular belief, appendicitis is not one of the most common causes of stomach pain. Generally, only 1 in 20 people are ever affected, and those are usually between the ages of 10 and 30.
Of course, it’s good to be aware of the symptoms, just in case:
- Initial pain in the central stomach area (on and off) before it shifts to the right lower stomach area after a few hours (then remains constant)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain made worse by pressing the right lower stomach, coughing or walking
If you experience pain in your right lower stomach area that gets worse, you should seek medical advice as early as possible to secure a proper diagnosis. That still stands even if you don’t have any of the other symptoms listed above.
Should you go see a doctor?
There are many, many other possible reasons for stomach pain that aren’t listed here. Even if your pain is mild, seeing your doctor can help to put any unfounded fears to rest. Remember:
- If your pain intensifies or worsens despite treatment or medications
- If there is fresh blood in your stools or urine
- If you have a high fever
- If you experience severe, debilitating pain
- If your symptoms are not improving with treatment
Always seek medical advice.
Early treatment often means a better prognosis, and visiting your doctor will help you to catch any disease early and start treatment as soon as possible.
Article contributed by Dr John Su, family physician at Parkway Shenton, Alexandra Retail Centre
How to tell if abdominal pain is
Everyone experiences abdominal pain from time to time, but in most cases they go away on their own and without a trace. However, it is important to know the signs of really serious illnesses that can cause these pains – and see a doctor in time.
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TFR: cramps in the lower abdomen
TFR is irritable bowel syndrome, one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders.The reasons for its development have not yet been fully understood, however, researchers believe that it may be due to increased intestinal sensitivity. Abdominal pain that is accompanied by bloating, increased gas production, and changes in bowel function (constipation or diarrhea) are all signs of IBS. Be sure to see a doctor.
Inflammation of the intestines: abdominal pain and cramps, as well as rectal
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term for conditions that are accompanied by chronic swelling of the digestive tract, namely Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.Both of these diseases are accompanied by very similar symptoms, which greatly complicates the diagnosis. In any case, if abdominal pain is accompanied by cramps and bleeding, you need to see a doctor urgently.
Acid reflux: burning and pain in the central part of the abdomen
Almost every one of us has experienced “harmless” heartburn once in a lifetime. But if the burning sensation is stronger than usual, and is also accompanied by a bitter taste in the mouth, perhaps we are talking about acid reflux – a condition in which gastric juice enters the esophagus.If left untreated, this condition can lead to chronic disruption of the digestive tract. So it is worthwhile to see a doctor in time!
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Gallstones: pain in the navel
If the pain in the abdomen is concentrated in its central part, and is also accompanied by a dull pain radiating to the shoulder area, and intensifies after eating a fatty meal, you may be dealing with gallstones bubble.The high-risk group includes women over 40 years of age with children. The fact is that fluctuations in estrogen during pregnancy can provoke the formation of stones.
Ulcer: burning pain in the abdomen that gets better after eating
Other symptoms of peptic ulcer disease are bloating, loss of appetite, belching, weight loss. But one of the main signs is that the dull pain seems to pass after eating, but then invariably returns. The cause of the development of this disease can be the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, as well as constant stress and frequent use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.Do not hesitate to see a doctor – it can be quite serious!
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Diverticulitis: sudden pain in the left lower abdomen
One of the most common intestinal diseases in the elderly is diverticulitis, an inflammation of the small masses lining the walls of the large intestine. If measures are not taken in time, this can lead to bowel perforation and peritonitis.Symptoms of the disease are nausea, fever, pain in the left lower abdomen, bloating and constipation. Be sure to see a doctor!
Appendicitis: Acute pain in the lower right abdomen
With appendicitis, the pain increases with movement and whenever the patient coughs, sneezes or takes a deep breath. It is important to remember that this disease is not always accompanied by a high fever – on the contrary, sometimes it is lowered. It is important to urgently call a doctor to prevent rupture of the appendix and the development of peritonitis.
Causes of abdominal pain / Blog / Gastro-hepatocenter EXPERT
How to treat abdominal pain
Common pain from eating disorders, poisoning or overeating should be treated at home with bed rest and proper diet. Analgesics and antispasmodics will help reduce discomfort. It is also advisable to take enzymes to improve digestion, probiotics to normalize the intestinal microflora. If you are severely poisoned, sorbents will help to save the situation (they cleanse from toxins and poisons, the remnants of undigested food), as well as anti-dehydration drugs (Regidron).
For the period of the diet, give up tonic drinks, alcohol and smoking. To normalize digestion will help the intake of medicinal broths in a bite with breadcrumbs or lean rice. Do not use enemas, laxatives, or manganese solution to induce vomiting on your own. All of these methods are outdated and can lead to intestinal dysbiosis and severe dehydration.
If you asked a therapist for help, be prepared to describe in detail the nature and intensity of pain, frequency of occurrence, area of localization, etc.e. Next, the doctor will conduct a visual examination, prescribe additional tests (feces, urine, blood) and laboratory tests. He will also write out a referral to highly specialized doctors (gynecologist, gastroenterologist, surgeon, infectious disease specialist, etc.).
Appendicitis is treated by a gastroenterologist and surgeon. Anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics are prescribed, and sometimes surgery is required to remove the appendix. Treatment is carried out in a hospital.
Treatment of diverticulitis involves cleaning the intestines from toxins and relieving inflammation.For this, antibiotics and antispasmodics are prescribed, bed rest, a liquid diet (grated soups, minced meat, mucous cereals), the obligatory intake of dietary fiber, an enhanced water diet.
Diseases of the gallbladder involve taking medications that normalize the level of bile, as well as pain relievers. A diet that excludes the intake of fatty, fried and spicy foods is also required.
Irritable bowel syndrome can be treated at home. It is necessary to increase the content of vegetables and fruits in the diet, drink plenty of juices and fluids (to prevent dehydration).However, this disease is often associated with the patient’s psychosomatic state, therefore, the consultation of a psychotherapist may be necessary.
Problems with women’s health are treated by a gynecologist, depending on the symptoms and causes of the disease.
Timely elimination of the causes of abdominal pain and adherence to the correct diet will help maintain the health of the digestive tract for many years.
As you know, pain in the abdominal cavity can cause diseases of the organs that are located in it.Unlike, for example, a heart attack, in this case, pain does not require urgent measures, although here the correct diagnosis is no less important. If your life after the first heart attack will never be the same, then if the surgeon removes your gallbladder or inflamed appendix, thereby he will destroy the disease itself. And men who experience abdominal pain, as a rule, are very much afraid of appendicitis, ulcers. Though they are better off worrying about gallstones or diverticula, as ulcers and appendicitis are not so common these days.
Also, unlike chest pain, acute abdominal pain almost never requires an immediate response, even with a perforated ulcer, a short delay for a couple of hours is not at all fatal. However, if they are late for a couple of days, usually patients either die, or the doctors are sued. But fortunately, abdominal pains in many cases are symptoms of very minor disorders. And in order to better understand them, you can use the following tips.
First of all, you need to determine exactly where you are hurting. So the navel serves as the border between the lower and upper parts of your digestive tract (although the large intestine goes higher, but there, serious pain is usually located just below). And the small intestine, coiled in loops, is located in the center of your belly, behind your navel. He usually rarely suffers from serious illness. The most common sources of abdominal pain can be:
- The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine, about 25 cm long.Food enters it directly from the stomach and here ulcers usually occur more often than in the stomach, however, in the duodenum, pain is indistinguishable from stomach pain.
- Stomach – located above the horizontal line, which under the arch of the ribs of the chest passes through the navel (the so-called epigastric region). Back in school, they explained to us that the stomach digests and mixes food, and its main function is to store and accumulate it. However, a person deprived of a stomach can also normally digest food, only if consumed in large quantities, then unpleasant sensations may appear.
- The liver is the largest organ located in the abdominal cavity. The liver is located in its upper right part. It should be noted that it is quite rare that liver disease is a source of acute abdominal pain.
- The gallbladder is a small sac located on the lower right side of the ribcage. So oily bile continuously enters the gallbladder from the liver, where it accumulates and concentrates. And after eating, the gallbladder feeds it into the duodenum in order to improve the absorption of food fats.In the gallbladder, pain can occur for completely different reasons. The most common cause is stones, formed from hardening bile. This is due to the appearance of cholesterol in bile, which precipitates first at high concentrations, as well as when bile is dehydrated. However, the stones are completely harmless as long as they lie motionless in the gallbladder. And problems can begin when they move, a blockage of the bile duct that leads to the small intestine. And the pain that can occur when the stone is pushed through the duct can last up to several hours.
- Large intestine. Most often, pain in it occurs somewhere in the left lower abdomen (cramps, diverticulitis, diarrhea, constipation), and sometimes even in the right lower abdomen (appendicitis). However, the most serious diseases in the colon can rarely cause pain above the navel. But we must not forget about the pain in the left upper abdomen, which occurs with the syndrome of congestion in the splenic flexure of gases. Also, the large intestine on the right under the liver has a different 90 ° turn, but with a much smoother radius, and therefore pain from gas is not often noted here.
- Pancreas – located in the abdominal cavity rather deep behind the duodenum, stomach. It produces a certain secret, which contains many enzymes, which then enters the small intestine through a separate duct. With inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), pain usually occurs in the epigastric region, which can be felt on the left.
After you determine the nature of your pain (aching pain, burning, pain from gas), try very hard to somehow abstract from it.In some textbooks, the pain of an ulcer is described as a burning sensation, and the pain from a blockage of the duct with a stone is like colic, which increase to a maximum and immediately subside. And pains from gases are usually compared there with a kind of movement of a large ball along the insides. All these descriptions sometimes may not correspond to your sensations, since the nerves that transmit pain signals from the internal organs, unlike the nerve endings of the skin, are too primitive. Sometimes your life depends on many subtle sensations, but signals inside your body can only serve as a rough warning.A burn of the stomach with acid can cause both aching, dull, gnawing, sharp pain, and not cause any pain at all.
When exactly do you feel pain?
The pain that woke you up in the middle of the night deserves special attention. Usually, pain in the night in the stomach area can signal an ulcer, since after midnight the stomach is usually empty, and the secretion of acid increases after about 2 hours. Such pains sometimes appear with almost any dysfunction of the stomach, as well as with various indigestion and dyspepsia.
You can think about the relationship of pain to your food. Often, ulcers feel “hungry pains” because the food neutralizes the acid, but they usually disappear immediately after eating, but not always. And pain from gas usually occurs after eating in 1-2 hours, but not because of the fact that their food secretes, when it enters the stomach, but precisely because during the digestion of food, the intestines are intensively contracted, thereby compressing the gases already present there …
Symptoms associated with pain
Fever can sometimes accompany infections.Also, with catarrh of the stomach, diverticula, appendicitis, the temperature may rise. However, with stones in the gallbladder, gases, ulcers, this is not observed. And the absence, presence, even a slight rise in temperature cannot accurately indicate the severity of the violation.
Vomiting can begin when the outlet from the stomach is blocked, and even with a chronic ulcer. And blocking the exit from the stomach sometimes requires surgical intervention. Often, vomiting is accompanied by severe pain with stones in the gallbladder, exacerbation of ulcers, but basically vomiting is not a specific signal of some kind of malfunction in your digestive tract.The same applies to diarrhea.
A small hernia (diverticulum) often occurs on the large intestine in middle-aged and older people, since after prolonged consumption of food, which is poor in coarse fibers, its walls weaken, the weakest parts of the colon sag, thereby bulging outward with sacs-diverticula. Usually, dozens of diverticula can be found in older people, which absolutely do not bother them, but until they start bleeding a little or rupture the colon wall.A breakthrough (perforation), as a rule, provokes a very painful infection (diverticulitis), which is usually treated with antibiotics, a liquid diet, but sometimes this violation may require surgical intervention.
If you constantly ate large amounts of coarse fiber food and did not suffer from constipation, it means that your colon experienced little stress, and your risk of diverticulitis is quite small.
It should be noted that appendicitis at any age is dangerous, but usually this disease is typical for people of adolescence or early adulthood.And pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, which is accompanied by nausea, a slight fever, a general painful condition, can usually indicate appendicitis.
Also, severe pain in the same area, while the general state of health is normal, usually associated with irritation of the intestines, gas.
In women, stones in the gallbladder are noted twice as often as in men.
How severe is your pain?
Most often, moderate pain may indicate a not very serious illness.And excruciating pain, too, may not necessarily be a symptom of an illness that threatens your life, since it can accompany even simple gastroenteritis (stomach catarrh), but you should still pay attention to it.
Do not self-medicate.
Seek medical attention promptly.
How to deal with the most common complaint – Wonderzine
What to do to relieve pain
Pain itself is stress for the body, which means that it is harmful to endure it.Sometimes breathing exercises, diaphragmatic breathing (“belly breathing”), stretching exercises of the ligamentous apparatus of the spine and abdominal cavity help to weaken or completely relieve abdominal discomfort – the meaning is that in the process the muscles and ligaments of the lumbar spine and muscles that pass inside are stretched belly. But in most cases, a medication is needed.
Analgesics (for example, based on paracetamol, ibuprofen, metamizole), antispasmodics, as well as combined drugs with analgesic and antispasmodic effects are popular pain relievers that are sold in pharmacies without a prescription.However, it is not safe to drink analgesics or combination drugs for spasms. Such means do not take into account the nature of the pain, but only mask the latter – they block the transmission of the pain signal without affecting its cause. This can make it difficult to make a diagnosis and cause serious damage to health. In addition, if the pain is caused by diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastritis or ulcers, taking an analgesic or a combination drug will irritate the mucous membrane, which will only worsen the condition.
For abdominal pain, experts advise taking an antispasmodic first. It does not interfere with the mechanisms of pain sensitivity and does not “erase” symptoms in acute surgical diseases. This drug can affect the spasm in different ways: affect receptors, block the pathways of transfer of substances into the cell, prevent the work of protein-enzymes. In case of spastic pain, it always has a targeted effect – relaxing the muscles, eliminates pain syndrome. Some antispasmodics work only on the muscle of the intestine, on the intestines and uterus, or on the intestines and biliary tract – an appropriate option if the nature of the pain is known.If the pain does not go away within a couple of hours after taking the antispasmodic, the cause of the discomfort is unlikely to be associated with spasm, and the drug will be ineffective. In this case, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Medical consultations also require regular pain, which is often a signal of irritable bowel syndrome, which needs full treatment, and not just pain relief. Obstetrician-gynecologist Eliso Jobava notes that acute persistent abdominal pain is an alarming signal.Such discomfort can be associated with life-threatening situations: appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy (against a background of two to three days of delay), ovarian apoplexy with bleeding into the abdominal cavity (in the middle of the cycle during ovulation). If the pain appears for the first time, its intensity increases or it is accompanied by an increase in temperature, nausea, vomiting, an ambulance should be called.
Photos: blackday – stock.adobe.com (1, 2)
90,000 types of pain, causes and their treatment
Stomach pain is one of the symptoms of many diseases.Moreover, often it is not directly related to this digestive organ and indicates problems with others. What can stomach pain speak about, how to find out its cause, and what makes sense to take to relieve pain?
Causes of stomach pain
The first question your doctor will ask you is about the nature of your stomach pain. It is the answer that can say a lot about the disease that caused the pain.
- Acute stomach pain that comes on suddenly often indicates pancreatitis, cholecystitis, and duodenal ulcer.
- Sharp, sudden pain can be caused by chemical burns of mucous membranes or poisoning.
- Very severe sharp pain, which patients describe with the words “like a knife stuck in”, is often the result of perforation of the ulcer.
- A burning sensation is characteristic of an ulcer or gastritis, and a dull aching pain in the stomach is a sign of the same diseases in a chronic or initial form. With gastritis, there is a clear connection with food intake: pain appears either immediately after eating, or when a person is pretty hungry.
- Spasmodic, cramping pain is often a sign of an ulcer or inflammation of the duodenum. Such pain often bothers at night or a few hours after the last meal.
- Acute, but short-term (a few seconds) “shooting” pain, which occurs when inhaling or a sudden change in body position, is typical for diaphragm spasms that occur due to inflammation or circulatory disorders.
- Constant weak aching pain in the stomach often accompanies malignant neoplasms, as well as stomach polyps.As the cancer spreads to the pancreas, the pain becomes girdle.
- Severe cramping pain is most common in gastrointestinal infections.
- Intense pain in the upper abdomen, which subsides after a couple of days, but remains constant – a fairly characteristic symptom of pathologies of the large intestine, in particular, colitis.
- Severe pain in the navel that travels to the right upper abdomen for several hours may indicate appendicitis.
These are not all causes of stomach pain. Sometimes this symptom accompanies other diseases – irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal thrombosis, dissection of the abdominal aorta, intestinal obstruction, stomach trauma, ischemic heart disease, some nervous diseases, allergic reactions, etc.
Most diseases associated with this symptom are very serious and require immediate medical attention. Moreover, in some cases, the word “immediate” has a literal meaning – with appendicitis, perforation of an ulcer and severe poisoning, it can take hours, and even a slight delay can become fatal.
What to do in case of pain in the stomach area
Whatever the cause of the pain in the stomach, you cannot treat it yourself. Even an experienced doctor with many years of practice cannot make a diagnosis with complete certainty based on external signs alone. And a person without a medical education is even more unable to do this.
The number of first aid measures that can be provided for stomach pain is very small. The most you can do before the doctor arrives is to take an antispasmodic or analgesic.For heartburn, antacids are taken – drugs that reduce acidity, or antisecretory drugs that inhibit the production of acid. However, heartburn is not always associated with high acidity, so taking such funds may not only be useless, but also worsen the condition.
Special care should be taken with drugs in general: exposure to drugs can distort symptoms and create difficulties in diagnosis. It is also important to understand that modern pain relievers are very effective and can completely eliminate stomach pain for a fairly long time.This creates a false impression of recovery. However, the disease does not disappear anywhere. Removing pain in the stomach with pills, you only waste precious time: treat the effect, forgetting about the cause.
Never use a heating pad to relieve stomach pain. In some conditions, heat can actually help and relieve pain, but in others (in particular, with purulent inflammation and bleeding), it significantly accelerates the development of the disease and worsens the condition.
You can help your doctor make a diagnosis. To do this, you will need to provide him with as complete information as possible about your condition. Therefore, before admission to the clinic, try to remember and formulate in as much detail as possible:
- the circumstances of the onset of pain (before, after or during meals, day or night) and its nature (sudden or gradually increasing, acute, aching, sharp, burning, cramping) … Try to remember if the source of the pain moved, and if so, how.
- ration in the last days before the onset of pain: what, when and how much did you eat (food and drinks).
- List of medicines you are taking (including dietary supplements and vitamin complexes).
- all additional symptoms. It is important for the doctor to know if you have experienced nausea and vomiting, bitter taste in the mouth, diarrhea or constipation, belching and bloating, if there is blood or mucus in your stools, rash, fever, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and dizziness, any other pain ( head, muscle, articular).
- Recent changes in health status. These include both natural (pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause) and pathological. Remember all the illnesses, nervous shocks, episodes of severe fatigue, suffered in recent times. Factors such as sudden weight gain or unreasonable weight loss, the development of anxiety and depression, and changes in lifestyle may be significant.
Organizing this information is the best help you can give yourself.But the diagnosis and treatment should be carried out by a qualified specialist.
Diagnosis of diseases that cause stomach pain begins with interviewing the patient (here the above information will be very useful to you) and an external examination, including palpation of the abdomen, listening to the heart rate and lung function.
Then the doctor will without fail send you to the delivery of biomaterial for laboratory tests. Typically, this list includes urine and feces analysis, general and biochemical blood tests, and gastric juice analysis.
For an accurate diagnosis, instrumental studies are also necessary – ultrasound of the abdominal organs, less often – an X-ray with contrast, CT or MRI.
In the vast majority of cases, the diagnosis is clarified after these basic studies. Much less often, more serious diagnostic measures are required, such as laparoscopy, in which a microcamera on a flexible probe is inserted through a small incision into the hollow organs, which allows the doctor to assess their condition visually.
Treatment of diseases and conditions that provoke pain syndrome
The treatment regimen for stomach pain depends entirely on the reasons that caused these unpleasant sensations.Consider the principles of therapy for the most common causes of stomach pain.
Elimination of heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation behind the breastbone, in the upper abdomen. The reason is the ingress of stomach contents into the esophagus. Most often, it manifests itself half an hour after eating. Heartburn is not an independent disease, but a symptom of diseases such as gastritis, duodenitis, stomach or intestinal ulcers, cholecystitis and others. Heartburn is often confused with the manifestations of some heart diseases – angina pectoris and hypertension, in which a similar sensation appears, in no way, however, not related to the gastrointestinal tract.However, most often heartburn is the result of gastritis or gastric ulcer.
Measures to eliminate heartburn are to treat the underlying condition that caused it. In addition, a special diet is recommended: for all types of heartburn, you need to eat often (5-6 times a day), but little by little, completely eliminating fatty foods, hot spices, smoked meats and pickles, carbonated drinks and alcohol, legumes and vegetables with a high content fiber (they can cause flatulence and worsen the condition). If heartburn is associated with high acidity, antacids and antisecretory drugs are prescribed.
Treatment of gastritis
Gastritis is an inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Its development can be provoked by frequent prolonged stress, the presence of pathological microflora, metabolic disorders, chronic infectious diseases, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, autoimmune diseases, long-term use of certain types of medications (most often non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and some other reasons.
In the treatment of stomach pain caused by gastritis, drugs based on acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen are not used – these are effective pain relievers, but they irritate the gastric mucosa.Usually, absorbents and agents that envelop the stomach from the inside are prescribed. If gastritis is caused by a bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics is needed. A diet for gastritis involves avoiding spicy, fatty and salty foods, as well as foods rich in fiber and foods that can cause fermentation processes (primarily milk and baked goods, as well as some fruits, such as grapes).
Stomach ulcer treatment
Without proper treatment, gastritis can lead to the development of peptic ulcer disease.A stomach ulcer most often develops due to the activity of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or the regular intake of large doses of acetylsalicylic acid preparations. Stress, as has long been believed, does not cause ulcers by itself, but significantly accelerates the progression of the disease. With a peptic ulcer, burning and rather severe pain in the stomach appears about 4 hours after eating, is localized in the middle of the abdomen and is often accompanied by belching, a feeling of heaviness, vomiting or nausea.
Stomach ulcer is a dangerous disease that can lead to complications such as bleeding and peritonitis.Therefore, treatment should be started immediately. Usually antibiotics are prescribed to kill hostile bacteria, anti-inflammatory drugs, antacids to reduce acidity. There are also drugs with complex effects: they simultaneously kill the Helicobacter pylori bacteria and protect the gastric mucosa from aggressive effects.
The diet for peptic ulcer disease should consist of light, low-fat food: food should be taken in a grated form (mousse, puree), since the chewing process itself stimulates the production of gastric juice.
Stomach pain cannot be tolerated!
It must be remembered that stomach pain cannot be tolerated, suppressed with pills and treated with folk remedies. Many diseases and pathologies that cause stomach pain are characterized by rapid development, so the sooner you seek qualified help, the higher the chances of recovery.
For example, appendicitis, one of the most common diseases that emergency department doctors have to deal with, is easily treatable with medication at its earliest stages.And on time, the operation to remove the appendix is considered relatively simple, and the prognosis after it is favorable. However, until now, approximately 0.75% of patients who see a doctor only a day after the onset of the first pains die from this disease. The reason is the very rapid development of the disease (from the first signs to the appearance of foci of gangrene, only three days pass) and the implicit severity of symptoms. About a fifth of patients with necrotic appendix changes experience only minor pain and ignore it until it’s too late.
Delay in stomach pain is also extremely dangerous in case of poisoning, ulcers and infections – the consequences can be not only sad, but also tragic.
So, unpleasant sensations in the stomach area may indicate both minor malfunctions in the body, and extremely serious pathologies. In any case, ignoring pain is unacceptable. Correctly selected medications and procedures in most cases can eliminate not only pain, but also its causes.
Pain in the mammary gland
Painful sensations in the mammary gland (mastodynia) are the most common reason for women to visit an oncologist-mammologist.
According to statistics, 70 to 82% of women have ever experienced this condition.
Pain can have many different causes:
taking various medications (especially oral contraceptives),
Despite the fact that the patient often complains to the oncologist-mammologist, most often after examination, ultrasound and / or mammography, she is sent for further examination to a gynecologist.
Why is this happening, and why shouldn’t these recommendations be ignored?
Let’s start with the fact that pain in the dairy can be constant or periodic (non-cyclic, i.e. not associated with the menstrual cycle).
Constant pain is most often stabbing or burning and is usually associated with various manifestations:
less often declare themselves like this:
adenoma or fibroadenoma of the breast,
sclerosis or liposclerosis of breast tissue (manifestations of age-related changes in breast tissue),
extremely rare, breast cancer.
Non-cyclic chest pain is more common in women in late reproductive age and postmenopausal women, i.e. 40+.
It is these patients who must undergo mammography and ultrasound of the mammary glands without fail, and these studies are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other and give the doctor a complete picture of the state of the mammary gland.
It is not surprising that a doctor, after a complete examination, can refer such a patient to a neurologist or rheumatologist, excluding the pathology of the mammary gland.
The situation is more complicated with cyclical chest pain , which can be either a manifestation of various types of mastopathy, or presented as an independent diagnosis.
To understand the causes of pain, I would like to recall the anatomical structure of the mammary gland. If you try to simplify, the mammary gland is like a cross-section of an orange, where the flesh is glandular lobules, interspersed with fatty tissue, separated by Cooper’s ligaments – connective tissue fibers similar to citrus septa.That is, the mammary gland is a multicomponent formation.
Most often, complaints of pain in the mammary gland appear at the end of the menstrual cycle, on the 22-24th day of the cycle. Let me remind you that the menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of the previous menstruation to the first day of the next.
Such mastodynia is associated with the function of the ovaries and should be considered only in conjunction with the general state of the female reproductive system.
The fact is that with the normal functioning of the ovaries in the mestrual cycle, there is an alternation of the secretion of ovarian hormones, i.e.That is, at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the secretion of estrogens prevails, and in the second phase – progestogens (progesterone).
If enough progesterone is secreted in the second phase, if receptors for it work correctly in the mammary gland, and if all metabolic products of the body in general and hormones in particular are utilized in the liver, then the mammary glands can only slightly coarse on the eve of menstruation, which does not cause discomfort in women.
But, unfortunately, all these “ifs” rarely coincide, which is why most women suffer from one or another manifestation of mastodynia, but rarely seek help.
Today, the generally accepted point of view is that mastodynia is caused by fluid retention, edema, overstretching of the Cooper’s ligaments and subsequent compression of the nerve endings.
Progesterone just contributes to the regulation of water metabolism, and with a deficiency of progesterone in the body, sodium ions are retained, fluid retention, an increase in the volume of the mammary gland and body weight in general.
That is, cyclic chest pain (mastodynia) is not an isolated disease, it is a manifestation of hormonal imbalance, and it occurs in patients with high estrogen levels.
It is also very common to hear about mastodynia from patients taking COCs. Here, the mechanisms of the onset of pain are the same as those described above, only they are part of the normal adaptation period.
When prescribing COCs, the body is rebuilt from synthesizing its own hormones to receiving similar substances from the outside and therefore the first 3 months of taking COCs are allotted for the body to “get used to” the new way of working.If, after 1-3 months, complaints of mastodynia persist, it is better to choose another contraceptive drug.
The format of this article does not allow to tell in detail about all the pros and cons of hormonal contraception, but the most important thing is the following principles of its use:
Oral contraceptives are prescribed only by a gynecologist.
For optimal selection of COCs, the gynecologist should prescribe a woman an examination, including hormonal status, biochemical blood test, coagulogram, ultrasound of the pelvic organs and mammary glands, examination of the cervix.
Reception of COCs should be strictly under the supervision of a gynecologist. Usually, control is prescribed 3 months after the start of therapy, then every 6 months.
Thus, it is obvious that a woman with complaints of pain in the mammary gland should first seek help from a gynecologist , for a faster and more accurate search for the causes of this pathology, and only the gynecologist will refer to the oncologist-mammologist …
Pain in the perineum ✚ Your Doctor
1. Pain or any discomfort in the perineum almost always indicates problems with the prostate gland, most often – chronic prostatitis or seminal vesicles. In acute prostatitis, the pain is sharp, pulsating in nature, given to the anus, sacrum, glans penis. In chronic prostatitis, the pain is not intense, long-lasting and pulling in nature.
2. In acute urethritis, pains are sharp and painful, in chronic urethritis they are less severe and are perceived as a burning sensation.The pain may not be associated with the act of urination and may be permanent – this is usually the case with colliculitis (i.e., inflammation of the seminal tubercle in the posterior urethra). Pain in diseases of this part of the urethra is localized in the perineum.
3. Abscesses (abscesses) occur more often in isolation in one lobe of the prostate gland, while the pain is most disturbing on the affected side. Almost always stool is delayed, gas does not go away, urination is difficult.In the stage of active formation of an abscess, severe pain in the perineum is observed, radiating to the sacrum, inner thighs, rectum with high body temperature.
4. Inflammation of the bulbous urethral gland (cooperitis) most often accompanies urethritis of any origin, since the infection enters these glands directly from the urethra. If the outflow of secretion from the bulbous-urethral gland during its inflammation is not disturbed, then the patient feels moderate pain in the perineum, especially in the sitting position and during the act of defecation.
If the outflow of secretion is difficult, the gland suppuration occurs, the pain in the perineum and at the root of the penis sharply increases, the body temperature rises, and there may be chills.
5. Traumatic injuries of the urethra and prostate:
Closed injuries of the urethra occur most often as a result of direct exposure to traumatic force on the urethra (fracture of the pelvic bones, falling onto the perineum, forced introduction of a metal catheter, bougie or cystoscope, birth trauma, prostate surgery, etc.).NS.). The main symptoms are shock, dull pain in the perineum, scrotum, sharp pain in the urethra, urethrorrhagia, acute urinary retention, frequent unsuccessful urge to urinate, bladder hyperextension, hematoma and urinary leakage on the perineum, scrotum, hips.
Open injuries of the urethra are divided into isolated and combined (gunshot, stabbed, cut, bruised, torn, bitten).Stab wounds are localized in the perineal region, and the penis is also damaged. Cut wounds can be complete or incomplete, and with bite wounds, it is mainly the spongy part of the urethra and the penis that is damaged. These injuries are manifested by acute urinary retention, frequent urge to urinate, urethrorrhagia, pain in the perineum and lower abdomen, an increase in the bladder, urine discharge from the wound during urination.
Among the closed injuries of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles, bruises and ruptures are distinguished, which often occur with fractures of the ischial bones, a strong blow to the perineum, falling onto a hard object, as well as with forced or incorrect introduction of metal catheters, bougie, cystoscopes into the urethra.Clinically, this type of injury is manifested by pain in the lower abdomen, in the anus and perineum, frequent painful urination, micro- or macrohematuria, hemospermia.
Among the open injuries of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles, bruises, tangential, blind and perforating wounds are distinguished. The most common are gunshot and stab wounds, usually combined. Patients complain of pain in the perineum, urethrorrhagia and dysuria.Possible tamponade of the bladder with blood clots, urinary infiltration, rectal or perineal urine excretion
6. Infringement of the pudendal nerve, which can occur suddenly or develop over time.