When Should I See My Doctor
In some cases, you should seek urgent medical attention or consult a doctor if you have abdominal pain.
If you have a sudden, severe, incapacitating pain in your abdomen, go immediately to your nearest emergency department or call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
You should also seek urgent medical attention if you have pain that:
- is severe and/or getting worse
- has lasted for several hours or more
- wakes you from sleep
- is spreading to your neck, chest or shoulders
- makes it difficult to swallow
Urgent medical attention is also required if you have abdominal pain accompanied by
- unexplained weight loss
- skin that appears yellow
If you are experiencing pain high up in your abdomen that is made worse by exercise it could be angina or a heart attack. If you, or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance.
If you are pregnant and experiencing abdominal pain, check with your doctor or midwife. Abdominal pains are common in pregnancy, but should always be checked out.
If your abdominal pain does not match the situations above, but it is recurrent or persistent , or it started mild but is worsening, you should still consult a doctor.
How Can You Help Prevent An Ulcer
Dr. Simpson advises, First you shouldnt try to treat an ulcer on your own. If you think you have one see your doctor, and you should undergo a test called an endoscopy where they look into your stomach to see if you have a problem. When they look in your stomach they will take a biopsy to see if you have the bacteria, and if you have it they will use antibiotics to treat it. Drinking more than two drinks a day can also cause an ulcer, by disrupting the mucosa of the stomach.
According to Dr. Lalezari, As always an ounce of prevention is better than a gallon of cure so its best to follow a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and a diet high in healthy fiber to prevent ulcer disease. Avoiding prolonged use of NSAIDS, and smoking will also help prevent ulcers from forming. Lastly, taking a few minutes each day to meditate and exercise can help decrease stress levels and help prevent a pesky ulcer from developing.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Some kinds of stomach pain need immediate attention. With others, you can call or visit your healthcare provider. It can be hard to know what you should do. Listen to your body and trust your instincts if you’re not sure.
If you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain, call your healthcare provider within one to two days:
- Fever for three days or longer
- Loss of appetite
- Pain that gets worse or doesn’t get better within one or two days
You should also call your healthcare provider if you have stomach pain while being treated for cancer.
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There Is Hope With Cancer
Dr. Mitchell says. A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. The fear of the unknown is hard to shake, and it can be challenging to wrap your mind around what is happening. The treatment process can be long and arduous, and the side effects can be debilitating. Cancer can also be excruciating, both physically and emotionally. It is hard to watch a loved one suffer, and it can be tough to stay positive when things seem hopeless. However, it is essential to remember that cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. With early detection and proper treatment, many people can beat the disease and live happy and healthy lives. So if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, dont give up hope.
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Signs And Symptoms That Warrant A Trip To Your Healthcare Provider Or The Er
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them aren’t serious, but some are, and you need to be able to recognize the warning signs.
If you rest, avoid certain foods, take medication, or use a heating pad, you may get relief from some kinds of pain. For others, you may need urgent medical care.
This article offers some at-home remedies, but also presents symptoms that mean you should contact your healthcare provider. It also explains why some symptoms point to a true emergency.
Verywell / JR Bee
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Sudden Stomach Cramps With Diarrhoea
If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause may be a tummy bug . This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel. It should get better without treatment after a few days.
Gastroenteritis may be caused by:
- coming into close contact with someone who’s infected
- eating contaminated food
If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome .
Dealing With Stomach Pain At Night
Picture this you have sent that important email, rushed to cook and eat dinner, cleaned up the house and put the children to bed. Now its your time to cuddle up and get a good nights sleep. But as you are dozing off in the world of dreams, you are interrupted by a throbbing pain the stomach. Stomach pain at night is a surprisingly common condition.
In this article, Dr Mayank Madan, a leading general surgeon at the CK Birla Hospital, discusses some common reasons behind nighttime stomach pain and what you can do about it.
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When Is Stomach Pain Most Likely To Occur
If you have anxiety, stomach pain can occur anytime even when no anxiety is present. However, many people experience stomach pain during panic attacks.
The exact link between an anxiety attack and stomach pain is not clear, other than the fact that during a panic attack, your body is under a considerable amount of stress, and your hormones are often on overdrive. Also, those with anxiety attacks are prone to hyperventilation, which may lead to symptoms that create stomach pain.
Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may take several different forms. In addition to how severe it is, abdominal pain can be described in the following ways:
Generalized Pain This refers to pain felt in more than half of your abdominal area, and is typical of stomach viruses, indigestion, or gas as the cause of your pain.
Cramping This type of pain come and goes, or changes in its severity or perceived position in your abdomen. Cramping is rarely serious and is typical of gas, passing a stool, or menstruation as the cause of your pain.
Its important to call your doctor if your abdominal pain is so severe that you cant move without feeling more pain, or sit still in a comfortable position.
- Nausea and vomiting that doesnt resolve
- Abdomen very tender to touch
- Swollen abdomen
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How Can I Avoid Stomach Pain At Night
There are a variety of preventive measures you can take for stomach pain at night. Most precautions require basic lifestyle moderations.
Here is a list of fairly simple lifestyle changes you can do:
- Avoid overeating before bedtime
- Try to go for a walk after eating meals
- Do not eat heavy meals during nighttime
- Maintain a list of foods that you are allergic to
- Avoid eating fried and oily foods at night
- Limit your intake of alcohol
- Elevate the level of your head while sleeping
- Do not miss medications for chronic conditions
- Avoid specific gas-producing foods such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, beans and coffee night
- Try to limit your intake of citrus fruits and tomatoes, especially before bedtime
- Dont eat with your mouth open
- Avoid talking while you eat to avoid swallowing air
- Try to chew your food slowly
- Do exercises to strengthen your abs
Prevention Of Abdominal Pain
In many cases, abdominal pain can be prevented by adopting lifestyle and dietary choices that address the cause of your pain. Constipation, digestive upset, and even abdominal injury can often be prevented.
The following steps may help you prevent abdominal pain:
Drink plenty of water.
Develop regular bowel habits. Many people can train themselves to have regular bowel movements to help avoid constipation.
Follow a balanced, fiber-filled diet. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, can help support healthy digestion and reduce constipation.
Eat regularly and slowly. Eating moderately-sized meals, instead of waiting until youre very hungry and stuffing yourself, can help avoid pain from overeating or eating on an empty stomach.
Exercise regularly. Getting enough physical activity can help prevent constipation and strengthen your abdominal muscles, which may help prevent straining.
Wear a seatbelt properly.
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Drink Warm Lemon Water To Relieve Stomach Pain
Since pregnant women should avoid fennel, they can try warm lemon water instead. The high acidity of the lemon will trigger extra production of your stomachs hydrochloric acid to further break down food and keep things moving smoothly.
- Squeeze the juice from one-half of a lemon into one cup of warm water.
- Mix well and drink while warm.
How Can I Feel Better
Most bellyaches don’t have a serious cause. They can happen for many different reasons, but most are easy to treat.
If stress or anxiety seem to be behind the pain, the doctor may recommend that you talk to a counselor or therapist. They help people figure out what’s behind their stress and give advice on how to fix problems or handle them better.
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What Does Abdominal Pain Location Tell You
Location is an important clue to your abdominal pain, though its not the only factor. It may indicate which organs are involved. For example, pain in the upper right quadrant may indicate a problem with your liver or gallbladder.
However, your healthcare provider will also want to know more about what your pain feels like, how often you feel it, and how severe it is. This will give them additional clues about what kind of condition you may have.
Symptoms Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
The type of pain can vary greatly. When abdominal pain occurs, it can:
- be sharp, dull, stabbing, cramp-like, twisting or fit many other descriptions
- be brief, come and go in waves, or it can be constant
- make you throw up
- make you want to stay still or make you so restless that you pace around trying to find âjust the right positionâ
- vary from a minor problem to one needing urgent surgery.
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How To Control Your Anxiety Upset Stomach
Stomach upset can really put a damper on your ability to live a happy life. Ideally, you’ll need to treat your anxiety to experience a calmer stomach.
Even though anxiety is causing your stomach to feel sick, many of the symptoms can be reduced with various medications. You should always consult with a doctor before taking medication and do not want to rely on medication to cure your upset stomach. However, many people have had success with basic medications that calm the stomach. Common examples include:
Eating healthier can also help. Remember that your anxiety is affecting your gut, but it’s not causing the symptoms all on its own. What’s in your stomach has an effect on the severity of the symptoms as well. Eating healthier – especially on days you expect to experience anxiety – can be very helpful. Drinking water may also be useful since water is gentle on the stomach.
You may also try distracting yourself. While your upset stomach may be severe, anxiety causes a tendency to focus on the experience, which causes further anxiety and exacerbates the severity of the stomach pain. A positive distraction, like a funny TV show, can actually make a big difference in the way you experience your upset stomach.
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Avoid Rapid Weight Gain
Rapid weight gain is linked to bloating for several reasons.
First, a buildup of fat in your stomach area may constrain your bowels, increasing tension and contributing to bloating. Additionally, fat may have inflammatory effects, contributing to hypersensitivity in your gut .
Finally, unwanted weight gain may cause you to focus attention on your stomach area, which may increase your perception of bloating .
If you have overweight or obesity and are experiencing bloating, trying some healthy strategies for weight loss such as exercise and limiting portion sizes may be beneficial.
Rapid weight gain may contribute to bloating by increasing bowel tension, inflammation, and mental focus on your stomach area. Conversely, weight loss may help reduce these effects.
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What Causes Anxiety Related Upset Stomach
Scientists have many different theories about why anxiety causes an upset stomach. One of the key beliefs is that anxiety causes changes in neurotransmitter function, particularly serotonin. There are serotonin receptors in the gut, and so when your body is experiencing anxiety, it’s likely receiving chemicals that tell it to respond with that upset feeling.
Other causes include:
- Adrenaline Body Changes Adrenaline works with cortisol, the stress hormone, to allow the body to respond to danger quickly. These hormones may change the general physiological traits of the gut. Further, the ratio of good versus bad bacteria in the GI system may be altered by these hormones.
- Slowed Digestion Anxiety activates the fight or flight system. Studies have shown that the speed of digestion decreases as a result of the fight or flight system, and this may cause discomfort in the stomach and intestines as a result.
- Stomach Tension Anxiety also puts a great deal of pressure on the stomach muscles, and these, in turn, put pressure on the stomach. Any stomach pressure has the potential to change the way that your stomach feels during periods of stress.
All of these are potential issues that lead to problems with your stomach during periods of stress.
Peppermint Tea To Relieve Stomach Pain
For more generalized pain relief, try peppermint tea, or even sucking on a candy cane if youre feeling festive. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, a natural analgesic known to help nausea and upset stomachs. Whether you get it from a candy, tea, chewing on the leaves, or sniffing some extract, peppermint can alleviate stomach pain and any accompanying nausea.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to one cup of boiling water.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes before straining.
- Add a dab of honey for taste.
- Or, chew on one fresh peppermint leaf throughout the day.
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Stomach Cramps With Bloating
Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind, or constipation. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing, but is easily dealt with. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a product, which can be bought over the counter to treat the problem. If problems persist, you should see your GP.
Remedies And Treatments For Bloated Stomachs
While stomach bloating will often resolve on its own, the following measures may help reduce bloating or address its underlying causes:
Exercise and Posture
Physical exercise can help reduce bloating and clear gas from the body. Posture adjustment can also help. The body retains more gas when you are lying on your back, so try to stay active throughout the day.
Both simethicone and activated charcoal are marketed as gas-reducers. The two have proven ineffective and/or inconsistent when used on their own in clinical trials. However, there is some evidence to suggest that they may work when combined or when used with magnesium oxide or loperamide .
The use of probiotics to help with digestive issues is common but little studied. Still, there is some evidence that using probiotics can help reduce stomach bloating. The formula in VSL#3 proved to reduce bloating in both adults and children in clinical studies.
One common cause of stomach bloating is the inability to digest certain foods. Most digestive enzyme supplements are effective only for people who cannot produce enzymes for medical reasons. However, over-the-counter enzymes have proven to help with the digestion of two commonly problematic foods: dairy and legumes .
If you have a hard time digesting the sugars in these foods, you might benefit from lactase supplements for dairy or alpha-galactosidase supplements for legumes.
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Are There Foods That Reduce Stomach Pain
Anxiety-related stomach pain is not usually the result of your diet , so there arent necessarily any dietary changes that can help reduce stomach pain.
That said, those with panic attacks are more prone to experiencing more severe stomach discomfort, even when no anxiety is present. In other words, when you have panic attacks, its possible to have stomach pain even without a panic attack.
Also, those with anxiety attacks and severe anxiety are prone to whats known as over-sensitization. That means that they are more likely to notice and feel smaller, normal changes in the body, and these can trigger an anxiety attack. So if your diet does contain foods that cause you gas, stomach discomfort, or mild indigestion, it may be best to avoid them because the slight amount of discomfort could feel worse than it should and may trigger a panic attack.
Thats why healthy eating is important in those that get stomach pain with anxiety. Make sure youre getting:
- Whole-Grain Carbohydrates
Also, if you suffer from stress-induced hyperacidity, then it is recommended that you consume dairy products and non-spicy foods. In moderate amounts, over-the-counter antacids may be needed as well.
In addition, if possible, try to avoid eating until youre too full. Those with severe anxiety sometimes interpret the full feeling as pain, and this could trigger a panic attack and further pain.