Stomach Aches and Abdominal Pain

 

Person experiencing stomach pain | Healthier Me Today

Stomach Aches and abdominal pain are never delightful feelings to feel. Stomach Aches are more than just a dull pain; they can cause nausea and result in vomiting. The good thing about Stomach Aches is that they can be caused by many things! Stomachaches and Abdominal pains are very common and are typically nothing to worry about.

Although this is true, if you start to feel severe symptoms and are unable to communicate because you are in pain, you should go see a medical care professional as soon as possible! Most of the time, stomachaches are an ache or sore feeling in your lower stomach.


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Causes of Abdominal Pain and Stomach Aches

Before people can treat their stomach aches and abdominal pain, we need to dive into the many causes. Stomachaches are common and can occur because of anything! The brain and the stomach are connected, and even feelings of nervousness can harm your stomach.

Indigestion

The most common reason behind stomach aches and abdominal pain is indigestion! When you eat too much food or eat too quickly, there is always a chance your stomach will feel upset. If your stomach starts to try and digest the food but struggles, you will feel pain similar to the feelings of butterflies. Indigestion is not a serious cause and can be treated fairly quickly.

Stress/Anxiety

Mental health and the stomach are connected! If you are feeling a lot of stress or anxiety, then your stomachaches may be a result of those feelings. Anxiety is not only a psychological feeling or disorder but can also be physical. 

Stomach Aches due to stress feel like nervous butterflies and are typically followed by nausea. This type goes away on its own and is nothing to be concerned about unless you don’t eat properly.

Food Allergies

A lot of the population in the U.S has some form or level of lactose intolerance. This does not stop everyone from eating or drinking dairy products. Since this is the case, food allergies like dairy cause allergic reactions that present themselves as stomach aches and abdominal pain.

Everyone reacts to food allergies differently, but typically if you have a mild allergy, you develop stomach pain as your body struggles to digest the allergen.

Symptoms

The symptoms of stomach aches and abdominal pain vary depending on the cause. While this is the case, the most common symptoms of stomach aches and abdominal pain are:

  • Sharp pain
  • Dull pain in the lower stomach
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea
  • Throwing up
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea

Diagnosis

Stomachaches don’t need a diagnosis from doctors if the symptoms are not severe. Typically, the patient can tell what kind of pain they are feeling. However, depending on the cause, there are a few tests that can detect underlying conditions.

For example, some stomach aches are caused by conditions like Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) where a person’s digestive system is inflamed. The only way to tell if a person has this condition is by testing them with an MRI or CT scan. The images then show if any area is affected or irritated.

If the pain is severe, you can go to an emergency hospital where the medical professionals can take various tests and exams to figure out the cause. There are severe cases, but they are rare like Appendicitis. If the stomach pain does not feel normal, don’t hesitate to get medical attention!

Treatment

For general stomach aches and abdominal pain caused by things like indigestion and anxiety, you can treat the pain at home. For indigestion, sip water slowly. If you chug the water too quickly, you can bloat your stomach causing more discomfort and pain.

Sometimes, the only way to treat a stomach ache is to consume over-the-counter pain medications which decrease the pain levels. If your stomach hurts because of stress or your emotions, you should try to relieve those feelings.

Management

Managing stomach aches and abdominal pain is similar to treating it. However, if there is no cure for your stomach ache, it may go away on its own. There are a few things that you can do to lessen the pain and bring yourself more comfortable.

If you are laying down, don’t lie down with your back completely straight on your mattress. The pressure from the air will weigh down and against your stomach. This can cause issues like heartburn and acid reflux as the food and stomach acid can come back up.

To manage stomach ache pain, you can also avoid exercise and rigorous movement until the pain goes away. If you move too much while your food is digesting, it can cause stomach pain as the digestion is disturbed.

Prevention

It is a lot easier and more enjoyable to prevent stomach aches and abdominal pain than to have to treat and manage the pain. Since most stomachaches form because of overeating, you should be careful with your food. Sometimes, it is hard to notice when you are full. The best way to do this is to drink a cup of water before your meal.

Sometimes, dehydration is what we feel, rather than hunger. Our bodies need water, as well as food to survive and thrive. You can also prevent stomach aches by avoiding the foods you are allergic to. If you know that you are lactose intolerant, buy foods that are lactose-free. There are many non-dairy options for desserts, cheese, and milk! Purchasing a substitution can save your stomach trouble for later.

Managing Stomach Pain

Overall, stomach aches and abdominal pains are general feelings that can be caused by a long list of things. As scary as that sounds, usually stomach pain has a simple answer. The most common reason people develop stomach aches and abdominal pains are indigestion from eating too much food or eating too rapidly.

There are more severe causes though! Some people develop stomach aches and pains because of underlying conditions like IBD and Appendicitis. These conditions are relatively rare though. There are plenty of at-home treatments to reduce the discomfort and pain brought by stomachaches.


FAQ

  1. Is Stomach Pain deadly? Not necessarily, depending on the condition related to your stomach pain, it could result in the trip to the hospital, but if you do not have any cancer or stomach ulcer symptoms, you should be ok. 
  2. Are there home remedies for stomach pain? Yes. There are a few simple things you could do, such as drink water, walk around, and take a warm bath.

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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