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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Why Can Diagnosis Of The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Be Difficult
Modern advances in technology have greatly improved the accuracy, speed, and ease of establishing the cause of belly pain, but significant challenges remain. There are many reasons why diagnosing the cause of it can be difficult.
Symptoms may be atypical
- For example, the pain of appendicitis sometimes is located in the right upper abdomen and diverticulitis on the right side. Elderly patients and those taking corticosteroids may have little or no pain and tenderness when there is inflammation, for example, with cholecystitis or diverticulitis. This occurs because corticosteroids reduce inflammation.
Tests are not always abnormal.
- Ultrasound examinations can miss gallstones, particularly small ones.
- CT scans may fail to show pancreatic cancer, particularly small ones.
- The KUB can miss the signs of intestinal obstruction or stomach perforation.
- Ultrasounds and CT scans may fail to demonstrate appendicitis or even abscesses, particularly if the abscesses are small.
- The CBC and other blood tests may be normal despite severe infection or inflammation, particularly in individuals receiving corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system.
Diseases can mimic one another.
The characteristics of the pain may change.
- Examples discussed previously include the extension of the inflammation of pancreatitis to involve the entire abdomen and the progression of biliary colic to cholecystitis.
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When To Make An Appointment To See Your Doctor
Schedule an appointment to see your doctor if:
- Your stomach pain doesnt go away within a couple of days.
- The pain comes back after going away.
- Symptoms like diarrhea dont go away within a couple of days.
- Youre urinating more or less often, and/or its painful.
- You have unintended weight loss.
Know your body, Dr. Kingsley says. If you start having pain that you have not had before and does not go away, you should contact your doctor to be evaluated further.
Bottom line:;Trust your gut! Contact your doctor if youre concerned about lingering or unusual stomach pain.
National Health Service, Stomach Ache
National Health Service Inform, Stomach Ache and Abdominal Pain
U.S. National Library of Medicine, Abdominal Pain
What Lifestyle Choices Can I Make To Prevent Abdominal Pain
Lifestyle changes really depend on the cause of the pain.
- Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption to reduce the chances that you will experience certain causes.
- Good hygiene, especially hand washing and avoiding materials and foods contaminated with viruses and bacteria will reduce your chances of developing illness from many infectious causes.
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Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Brussels Sprouts
When researchers from Japan tracked 88,000 people for 17 years, they discovered those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables were less likely to die from any cause during the study period than those who ate the least.
Thats a compelling reason to load up on the crunchy veggies, but resist the urge to add too many too fast. Like legumes, cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of fiber that arent broken down until they reach your large intestine.
The compounds at play with cruciferous vegetables are raffinosea type of oligosaccharideand hydrogen sulfide. When the bacteria in your gut start working to break down the compounds, they end up producing gas as a byproduct.
Its similar to what you might feel after eating beans or legumes, but theres one key difference: The sulfur compounds produced during the breakdown of cruciferous vegetables are responsible for the particularly potent-smelling flatulence you may experience after eating. Dining partners beware.
Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
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How To Eat Vegetables Without Gut Symptoms
Just because youre experiencing gut symptoms doesnt mean you have to ditch all veggies.
There are many ways you can consume vegetables while still being kind to your gut and keeping those pesky gut symptoms at bay.
Keep reading for a few of my tips for eating vegetables without experiencing gut symptoms.
Tests For Diagnosing The Cause Of Abdominal Pain
In many cases, doctors and other providers can determine or at least suspect the cause just by your symptoms. For example, abdominal pain with and fever suggests a bladder infection. Imaging exams and blood and urine tests may be necessary to pinpoint the cause of abdominal pain and determine the best treatment.
The cause of abdominal pain can be difficult to diagnose in some cases. If you have continued abdominal pain without a diagnosis, seek a second opinion.
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Vegetables That Cause Gas & Less Gassy Alternatives
Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Regular intake is associated with a lower risk of many serious conditions and they provide a wide range of nutritional benefits.
Unfortunately eating too much of certain vegetables can also cause bad gas and other digestive issues like belly bloat, intestinal cramps and even diarrhea.
If you are having problems with excessive flatulence that you think might be caused by vegetables, this page lists the 14 most likely culprits. As well as some simple suggestions to help avoid gas and bloating when you eat them.
Also ahead is a helpful list of low gas vegetables that you can enjoy with your meals without risking feeling bloated, gassy or having bad smelling flatulence the next day.
Right Side Of The Abdomen
The upper right side of your abdomen contains the gallbladder, liver, and first part of the small intestine.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile made by the liver. The duodenum, known as the first portion of the small intestine, is where food empties from the stomach into the small intestine.
The center right side of the abdomen contains the ascending colon and the transverse colon. Food then passes from the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
The cecum of the large intestine with the appendix and the small intestine are in the lower right side of the abdomen. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine that the end of the small intestine connects to.
Some experts believe the appendix plays a role in the immune system. Others think it has no purpose.
If your doctor performs a physical exam and then suspects a medical condition is causing your abdominal bloating or pain, theyll run various medical tests.
The types of tests they order will depend on your medical history and physical exam results.
Some common tests for abdominal problems include the following:
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Health Reasons Not To Eat Your Vegetables
Vegetables really are the key to weight loss, disease prevention, and health but there are a few times when it is more than okay to cut back these superfoods.
How many times have you been told to eat your vegetables?
If youre like most Americans, too many to count. And if youre like most Americans, youre eating far fewer than the five to nine daily servings recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Vegetables offer a big bang for your nutritional bucks, explains Alissa Rumsey, RD, of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center. Theyre a good way to bulk up your meal, add fiber to your diet, and get a lot of nutrients for a low amount of calories. Vegetable consumption is one of the behaviors most associated with long-term weight management, health, and longevity.
Still, there are times when you can skip the salad bar. Certain medical conditions affect the way you digest and absorb food, Rumsey explains. Some medical conditions can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain, and some people with those conditions might want to avoid high-fiber foods, including vegetables. Besides stomach discomfort, there are a few more reasons to occasionally not eat your vegetables.
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Crampy Pain With Diarrhea Or Constipation
Lower “crampy” abdominal pain accompanied by bloating and diarrhea or constipation can be signs of irritable bowel syndrome , says Singh. “It’s exceptionally common and affects 15% of the U.S. population, particularly younger women, although it can happen at any age.” Symptoms of IBS can usually be controlled by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Medication and counseling may be needed in some cases.
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What Causes Abdominal Pain Accompanied By Belching
Abdominal pain: This is an uncomfortable feeling that originates between the chest and the pelvis. The abdominal pain can be cramping, painful, dull, or sharp and is often called stomach ache.
Burping: It is the process of expelling gases from the stomach through the mouth. This usually occurs after the stomach has expanded due to swallowing a lot of air. The burping releases air.
Swallowing air into the stomach may cause bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain accompanied by belching.
How Does Ibs Cause Abdominal Pain
As previously mentioned, the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome is due either to abnormal intestinal muscle contractions or visceral hypersensitivity. Generally, abnormal muscle contractions and visceral hypersensitivity are much more difficult to diagnose than other diseases or other health conditions, particularly since there are no typical abnormalities on physical examination or the usual diagnostic tests. The diagnosis is based on the history and the absence of other causes.
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The Link Between Your Gut Microbiome And Your Health
In addition, many of the underlying conditions that cause abdominal pain can lead to serious complications, including the possibility of structural damage to the digestive system from infection, cancer and its treatments, and inflammatory bowel disease .
To reduce the risk of complications, its important to seek medical attention for your abdominal pain if its sudden and severe, or if it includes symptoms like fever, bloody stool, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, or visible swelling.
When To Call Your Doctor
There’s a bit of a gray area in terms of which stomach pain cases need immediate attention and which would warrant a call or visit to your doctor instead, as there can be symptom overlap. Again, listen to your body and your instincts if you’re not sure.
If you don’t have any of the symptoms listed above and instead have any of the following features of your abdominal pain, it is important that you contact your doctor within a day or two:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding or blood clots
- Vaginal bleeding that lasts for longer than usual
You should also call your doctor if you experience stomach pain while you are being treated for cancer.
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Foods Natural Remedies And Otc Treatments For Certain Causes Of Abdominal Pain
If you arent sure if you need to seek medical advice for belly pain, contact your doctor or other health care professional before using any home remedies.
Common home remedies and over-the-counter medicines include:
- Eat less food
- Medications such as bismuth subsalicylate , loperamide , ranitidine and other over-the-counter substances
Some of these may help reduce symptoms, but if symptoms persist, seek medical care. Beware of “cures” advertised as a single treatment that can cure all causes of this problem because no such remedy or cure exists.
What Otc Laxatives Treat Constipation
Saline laxatives contain non-absorbable ions such as magnesium, sulfate, phosphate, and citrate [for example, magnesium citrate , magnesium hydroxide, sodium phosphate). These ions remain in the colon and cause water to be drawn into the colon. Again, the effect is softened feces.
Magnesium also may have mild stimulatory effects on the colonic muscles. The magnesium in magnesium-containing products is partially absorbed from the intestine and into the body. Magnesium is eliminated from the body by the kidneys. Therefore, patients with impaired kidney function may develop toxic levels of magnesium from chronic use of magnesium-containing products.
Saline laxatives act within a few hours. In general, potent saline products should not be used on a regular basis. If major diarrhea develops with the use of saline products and the lost fluid is not replaced by the consumption of liquids, dehydration may result. The most frequently-used and mildest of the saline products is milk of magnesia. Epsom Salt is a more potent saline laxative that contains magnesium sulfate.
Stimulant laxatives cause the muscles of the small intestine and colon to propel their contents more rapidly. They also increase the amount of water in it, either by reducing the absorption of the water in the colon or by causing active secretion of water in the small intestine.3
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How To Relieve Stomach Pain Symptoms
There isnt necessarily a cure for the stomach pain symptoms themselves. When your body is under stress, your stomach tends to hurt based on the acids in your stomach and the foods youve already eaten. If you have stomach pain as a result of an anxiety attack, you may need to wait it out.
Water can help a little, however. So consider sipping cool water. Antacids may also be beneficial in some cases, but if you have stomach pain often, you may not want to depend on antacid treatments.
Stomach pain from anxiety can be caused by several stress-related issues, including abdominal tension, digestion issues, and irritable bowel. Although the stomach pain may be caused by anxiety, the acids in the stomach are still very real. There are ways to treat both your stomach discomfort and anxiety.
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What Exams Procedures And Tests Help Diagnose The Cause Of Severe Constipation
Many tests can diagnose severe constipation, and most people only need a few basic tests. First the doctor or health care professional will take a medical history and physical examination to allow the doctor to define the type of constipation that’s present; uncover any supplements or prescription products you are taking; or diseases or other health problems you have. This, in turn, directs the diagnosis and therapy. For example, if defecation is painful, the doctor knows to look for anal problems such as a narrowed anal sphincter or an anal fissure. If small stools are the problem, eating foods low in fiber may be the cause. If the patient is experiencing significant straining, then pelvic floor dysfunction is likely.
A careful dietary history-which may require keeping a food diary for a week or two-can reveal a diet that is low in fiber and may direct the physician to recommend a high-fiber diet. A food diary also allows the physician to evaluate how well an individual increases his dietary fiber during treatment.
Other tests are available for people who have severe constipation that doesn’t respond easily to treatment.
Blood tests may be appropriate in evaluating your condition. More specifically, blood tests for thyroid hormone and for calcium may be helpful.
Colonic transit studies
Anorectal motility studies
Magnetic resonance imaging defecography
Colonic motility studies
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Serious Recent Procedures Or Diagnoses
Some abdominal issues causes may result from recent abdominal medical procedures such as surgery to the appendix or severe medical conditions such as a ruptured appendix, cancer, cardiac conditions, or organ failure. For instance, if you experience abdominal pain after a recent surgery, then constipation or infections may be the immediate problem. But the severity of the symptoms that you experience will determine whether you should visit the ER.
If you experience abdominal discomfort and youve undergone the following procedures or diagnoses, then it may be prudent to promptly visit the ER instead of going to an urgent care clinic.
- Recent surgery in the abdomen
- Upper abdominal pain and chest tightness, especially if youre over 45 years old
- If you have a history of cardiac problems such as stroke and heart attacks
- If youve undergone a recent gastric bypass surgery
- If youve undergone a recent upper endoscopy or colonoscopy