What Causes An Upset Stomach
Many different things can cause pain or discomfort in the stomach. Some causes are more severe than others, and the treatment for stomach pain varies accordingly. Gas or bloating after a meal can be managed at home. However, drinking contaminated water while traveling requires care from a medical professional. Chronic health problems that cause stomach pain must be managed long term with the help of a healthcare professional.
Common causes of stomach pain include
- greasy or fatty foods
- bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli.
- chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohns disease
What Other Problems Can Chronic Pain Cause
If you have pain for a long time, it can make you feel very tired and may lead to depression.
It can get in the way of your usual social and physical activities. You may have so much pain that you can’t go to work or school.
The emotional upset may make your pain worse. And your body’s defence system may get weak, leading to lots of infections and illnesses.
Examples Of Anxiety And Stomach Issues
There are many different examples of how anxiety and stomach issues can be connected. Here are a few:
- Abdominal tension: This is when the muscles in the stomach area become tight. This can happen when someone is feeling anxious or stressed.
- Acid reflux: This is when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. It usually happens when someone is lying down or after eating.
- Chronic stomach pain: It is when stomach pain lasts for a long period of time. It can be caused by anxiety, stress, or other medical conditions.
- Irritable bowel syndrome : This is a condition that affects the digestive system. IBS is often associated with anxiety and stress.
Anxiety and stomach pain can both be very debilitating. They can cause a lot of physical and emotional distress. If you are experiencing either of these, it is important to seek help from a healthcare professional.
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Recurrent Abdominal Pain Syndrome
Recurrent abdominal pain syndrome is a prepubertal functional pain with two distinct peaks of frequency. The first peak occurs between five and seven years of age, with equal frequency in boys and girls and in 5 to 8 percent of children. It is often attributed to the adjustment to parental separation when starting school. The second peak, with a prevalence approaching 25 percent, occurs between eight and 12 years of age and is far more prevalent in girls.6 The pain is vague and is unrelated to meals, activity or stool pattern. Patients are not awakened by the pain. An epigastric location is reported by 10 percent of patients. It is accompanied by autonomic features such as pallor, nausea, dizziness, headache and fatigue. The family history is often positive for functional bowel disease such as irritable bowel syndrome.7 The physical examination is striking for its normality, and the screening laboratory investigations are by definition normal.
How Do I Know If Its Anxiety And Not An Ulcer
Its not uncommon to find yourself concerned that your struggle with stomach pain is not from anxiety or stress at all. For example, you may find yourself concerned that instead of anxiety, what you are really struggling with is an ulcer.
Only a doctor can diagnose whether or not your pain is from an ulcer, but there are some clues. The clearest signal is if you have any blood in your stool or acid burps . Thats often a clear sign of an ulcer. Also, if the pain or discomfort tends to occur after eating and isnt related to a similar condition, GERD , its possible you may have an ulcer.
However, this is complicated by the fact that ulcers can be caused by long-term stress and anxiety, as they stimulate the production of extra stomach acid. This excess acid in the stomach breaks down the gastric or intestinal lining and cause open wounds that may harm your health.
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How Is Rap Diagnosed
When you or your child sees the doctor about RAP, theyâll ask about symptoms and family history. Theyâll want to know when the pain starts and what seems to make it feel worse or better. Then, theyâll do a thorough physical exam.
Theyâll probably take samples of blood and urine to do some tests. They also can order a scan to look inside your body for a problem, such as a CT scan, MRI, or an ultrasound. If youâre over age 50, you may get a colonoscopy, which is when a doctor uses a thin, flexible tool with a camera to look for problems inside your colon and rectum.
The results of these tests will help your doctor decide what kind of treatment will help you or your child the most. If a specific health issue is making your stomach hurt, youâll need to get treatment for that problem. Your doctor could also suggest lifestyle changes like eating different foods or finding ways to manage stress. Often, a mix of different things helps.
If your belly pain keeps coming back for 6 months and your doctor canât find a medical reason why, you may have functional abdominal pain.
Prognosis Of Abdominal Pain
How long your abdominal pain lasts, and whether it gets better or worse, will depend on the cause of your pain and how the pain responds to any treatments.
Many forms of abdominal pain tend to respond to self-care measures or simply get better on their own, including pain caused by constipation, food allergies or intolerances, or stomach viruses.
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Treatment And Home Remedies For Abdominal Pain
How abdominal pain is treated is highly dependent on the diagnosis. Medications that reduce inflammation may help with stomach pains resulting from ulcers.
But other conditions, like kidney stones, may require more intensive treatment like shock wave lithotripsy. Inflammation of the gall bladder might require gall bladder surgery.
If you and your doctor have determined that your abdominal pain is not the result of a serious medical condition, there are a number of home health remedies that may provide relief. Heres a brief list:
- bitters and soda
- BRAT diet
Not all forms of abdominal pain are preventable. But you can minimize the risk of developing abdominal pain by:
- eating a healthy diet
- exercising regularly
- eating smaller meals
If you have an intestinal disorder, like Crohns disease, follow the diet your doctor has given you to minimize discomfort. If you have GERD, dont eat within 2 hours of bedtime.
Lying down too soon after eating may cause heartburn and abdominal pain. Try waiting at least 2 hours after eating before lying down.
Dealing With Pain By Relieving Stress
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Home Remedies For Stomach Pain May Work For You
Stomach pain is a common complaint that can range from mild stabs of pain to debilitating painful cramps.
Causes of stomach pain may be linked to an underlying health condition such as appendicitis or kidney stones, or it may be a reaction to a food product that irritates the stomach lining.
Many cases of discomfort are mild and may be alleviated by home remedies for stomach pain.
Using natural and widely available products like herbal teas and probiotic yogurt may offer fast relief without causing the additional pain sometimes triggered by the irritants in shelf medications.
Sudden and severe stomach pain may indicate a serious health condition. If it is accompanied by a fever, breathing difficulty, or bloody vomit, seek immediate medical attention.
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How Is The Pain Experienced
In IBS, some signals in the gut are experienced in some brain regions as pain. After the brain receives pain signals, it can modify the signals to increase or reduce the feeling of pain.
The brains ability to modify sensations is called the gate control theory of pain. Signals that travel from the body to the brain pass through the spinal cord, which can serve as a kind of gate. The brain can open and close this gate, like a volume switch on a stereo. Opening the gate increases the signals that reach the brain and increases the feeling of pain. Closing the gate decreases signals and blocks pain.
This explains how a person can sprain an ankle while running a race and not feel pain until the race is over. Or, how during a bad day at work, a minor discomfort can feel really painful all because the spinal cord acts as a gate to modify how much pain in the brain feels.
How Is Chronic Gastritis Treated
Medications and diet are the most common ways of treating chronic gastritis. And treatment for each type focuses on the cause of the gastritis.
If you have Type A, your doctor will likely address the problems related to the nutrients you are lacking. If you have Type B, your doctor will use antimicrobial agents and acid blocking medications to destroy H. pylori bacteria. If you have Type C, your doctor will likely tell you to stop taking NSAIDs or drinking alcohol to prevent further damage to your stomach.
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Rice Water To Relieve Stomachache
Last but not least, look to rice more specifically, look to the leftover water after you cook rice.
Rice water is capable of forming a coating over certain membranes like, for instance, the lining of your stomach. This barrier can be a soothing lining to help ease inflammation and offer relief from stomach pain.
For a simple rice water remedy, first wash one-half cup of white rice.
- Add rice to six cups of boiled water, cover, and allow to sit until rice is tender.
- Strain the water into a cup to cool.
- Add one-half teaspoon of honey.
- Sip on two cups daily.
What Kind Of Healthcare Provider Best Treats Ibs Pain
A gastroenterologist who works in neurogastroenterology addressing the brain-gut axis, or a primary care doctor who knows how to work with chronic pain is usually best to treat IBS pain. They may work with a multi-disciplinary team of therapists. Finding and working with a patient-centered healthcare provider familiar with the concepts presented here will help ensure the best care for chronic pain and other symptoms of IBS.
Be on the alert for pain management clinics that use opioids as treatment, which are not a treatment for IBS and may worsen symptoms. Pain is the dominant symptom of IBS. Like all functional gastrointestinal disorders, IBS is a disorder of braingut interactions. The pain in IBS is related to a change in the part of the brain that receives signals from the gut, which turns up the volume on sensations. This understanding of the braingut connection is essential, not only to the cause of the chronic pain, but also to its treatment. There is no cure for pain in IBS. However, there are a few options that can reduce and control the pain. These include self management, psychological approaches, and medications. Opioids are not a treatment for IBS pain there is no evidence of long-term benefit. Finding and working with a patient-centered healthcare provider familiar with these concepts will help ensure the best available care for the chronic pain and other symptoms of IBS.
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What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the pain and the tests that may need to be done or come and go . Chronic abdominal pain usually occurs in children… read more ).
Doctors ask particularly about activities that relieve or worsen the pain. Whether the pain or other digestive upset occurs after eating or drinking dairy products is important because lactose intolerance is common, especially among blacks, Hispanics, Asians , and American Indians. Doctors also ask about other symptoms , about diet, and about any surgery involving the abdomen, drugs used, and previous tests and treatments for the pain. Whether any family members have disorders that cause abdominal pain is also important.
Doctors also ask about a person’s diet because ingesting large amounts of cola beverages, fruit juices , or gas-producing foods can sometimes be the cause of otherwise puzzling abdominal pain.
Between the initial visit and follow-up visits, people are often asked to record information about the pain, bowel movements, diet, any activities that seem to trigger pain, any remedies tried, and the effects of the remedies.
Wide Range Of Symptoms
One of the more surprising issues with some types of anxiety disorder is the way that they change sensations in our body. For example, for many, feeling full is a nice feeling. However, it can lead to a variety of natural body sensations, including:
- Feeling lightheaded
- Slight stomach discomfort
In those without anxiety, these are natural. In people suffering from some degree of anxiety, those sensations feel much more pronounced and can trigger a full-blown panic attack.
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Centrally Mediated Abdominal Pain Syndrome
People with functional gastrointestinal disorders can have a variety of symptoms that range from painless diarrhea or constipation to pain associated with diarrhea and/or constipation . There is another, less common condition of abdominal pain that is chronic or frequently recurring it is not associated with changes in bowel pattern or with another medical condition. This condition is called centrally mediated abdominal pain syndrome formerly known as functional abdominal pain syndrome .
CAPS is a functional GI disorder. There are no abnormal x-rays or laboratory findings to explain the pain. It occurs because of altered sensitivity to nerve impulses in the gut and brain, and it is not associated with altered motility in the intestines. CAPS is characterized by continuous or frequent abdominal pain that is often severe. It has little or no relationship to events such as eating, defecation, or menses.
For people with CAPS, the pain can be so all-consuming that it becomes the main focus of their life. Not only does it impact quality of life, but it has a major economic impact as well.
When To See A Doctor
If people with chronic abdominal pain develop warning signs, they should see a doctor right away unless the only warning signs are loss of appetite, jaundice, and/or swelling. People with loss of appetite, jaundice, and/or swelling or with steady, worsening pain should see a doctor within a few days. When warning signs are present, a physical cause is very likely. People without warning signs should see a doctor at some point, but a delay of a few days or so is not harmful.
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How Is Chronic Pain Diagnosed
Your doctor can find out if you have chronic pain by asking about your past illnesses and your overall health. He or she will also do a physical examination.
You may have tests to find out if a medical problem is causing the pain. Your doctor may check for problems with your nervous system and may order blood tests. He or she may also ask you questions to check your mood and mental health and to see how well you are able to think, reason, and remember.
In most cases, test results are normal. This can make it hard to know the exact cause of the pain. But this doesn’t mean that your pain isn’t real.