When Should I See A Doctor For Stomach Pain At Night
When considering visiting your doctor for stomach pain at night, there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you are attending a celebration or special occasion and eat and drink more than you normally do, a brief bout of acute stomach pain and digestive upset is to be expected.
However, if you lay down every night and are unable to sleep because of pain, its time to talk to your doctor. They may initially suggest nutritional or lifestyle changes, but its important to investigate any pain that occurs regularly.
It can be helpful in the weeks before your appointment to keep track of what youre eating and when, along with how often you have stomach pain at night and what other symptoms you might be experiencing. This helps your doctor understand potential causes, design diagnostic tests, and make treatment recommendations.
Investigations And Attempted Treatments
It soon became clear that my GP practise had long dismissed me as being some kind of crank. I had been offered lots of dietary advice and medication, none of which helped. My given diagnosis was IBS, and I know only too well that once such a diagnosis is made, it is almost impossible to get doctors to move beyond it. In medical parlance, this common effect is known as labeling.
So I began my own research. I am sure you know this only too well from your own investigations. This is what I tried:
Treatments For Stomach Pain
Treatments for stomach pain will depend completely on the cause and diagnosis. Non-serious causes like acid reflux or overeating can be relieved with over-the-counter antacids, while gas pains and cramping can be relieved by either belching, passing gas, and getting rest.
More serious causes will need to receive recommendations from your doctor. They might prescribe a change in diet or lifestyle, additional medications, physical therapy, or surgery, as needed.
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Beat The Bloat Foods To Eat To Feel Slimmer
Most people who have abdominal pain in the absence of what we call red flag symptoms will not have a bad cause for the pain, said Dr. Stephen Hanauer, a professor of medicine and medical director of the digestive health center at Northwestern University.
Here are seven symptoms you should pay attention to:
What Causes Stomach Cramps At Night
The causes are different like stomach cramps at night pregnancy to the below
- Digestive problems are the most common cause according to doctors. Eating close to bedtime means getting close to indigestion.
- Acid reflux, this condition causes the stomach acids to travel up into the food pipe leading to burning sensation and stomach pain.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease is also one more major cause of stomach pain at night. Food pipe inflammation condition intensifies at night.
- Stomach and intestinal, or peptic, ulcers lead to inflammation, and this inflammation increases at night.
- Gallstones and associated symptoms can easily worsen at night when heavy and fatty food is taken.
- Few people complain about nighttime stomach cramps associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Celiac disease often leads to small intestine inflammation which further leads to stomach cramps and abdominal pain.
- Crohns disease, a type of IBD inflames the lining of the digestive tract that leads to abdominal pain at night.
- Menstrual cramps or endometriosis is also one of the leading causes of stomach cramps at night in women.
- Food allergies or intolerances for people who cant digest a few foods often experience stomach cramps.
- Lactose intolerance-a food intolerance leads to stomach pain and cramping.
- Constipation and strained tissues also lead to stomach cramps at night.
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Stomach Gas Pain At Night Causes And Treatment
One of the most common causes of stomach gas pain at night is the dreaded midnight snack. Indigestion symptoms can include an onslaught of increased gas production and when indigestion strikes as the result of a late night munch fest, the result can be bedtime gassiness. Other signs of indigestion are bloating and cramping and, when combined
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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Conditions That Cause Severe Abdominal Pain
Appendicitis: This illness happens when the appendix, which is part of the large intestine, becomes infected and inflamed. If the appendix ruptures, it can become life-threatening. Surgery to remove the appendix, called an appendectomy, is the usual treatment.
Stomach ulcers: Crater-like sores in the lining of the stomach and small intestine. They can bleed or burst and be life-threatening if not treated. Medication to reduce your stomach acid can help treat them.
Gallstones: Hard stones, made up of cholesterol and other materials, can form in the gallbladder, which is just below the liver. They can cause inflammation of the gallbladder, which can lead to inflammation known as acute cholecystitis. Treatment for these problems includes removal of the gallbladder.
Kidney stones: Crystals of varying sizes that form in your urine can build up in your kidneys and cause severe pain. You can pass some on your own through urination, or doctors may remove them surgically.
Inflammatory bowel disease : A chronic inflammation in the digestive tract that can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and rectal bleeding. Examples of IBD include Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
Pancreatitis: The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon the two hormones that manage how your body processes sugar and aids in digestion. Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis, which can affect its performance and cause severe stomach pain.
How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
The cause of abdominal pain is diagnosed based on your symptom history, a physical examination, and testing, if needed. Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about the characteristics of your pain, and whether you have any underlying physical or mental health conditions that could be contributing to your abdominal pain.
Questions from your doctor may address the following aspects of your abdominal pain:
- Where its located
- Whether its dull, stabbing, burning, or cramping
- Whether it comes and goes
- When you experience or notice it most
- Whether it radiates outward to other areas of your body
- How long youve had it
- Whether any activities or actions seem to make it worse or better
Your doctor may also ask about your overall health history, any recent injuries, and whether you might be pregnant.
- Blood, urine, or stool tests
- X-ray of the abdomen
- Computerized tomography scan of the abdomen
- Endoscopic procedures
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The Following Are Common Tips To Avoid This
- Dont eat when youre about to or near your sleeping time
- Elevate your head to prevent acid reflux
- Avoid drinking caffeinated and carbonated drinks at night
- Avoid fatty foods at night
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Use OTC medications available at your local pharmacy or online. This includes gas medications and antacids.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number 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
- 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
- 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 100Â°F for adults or 100.4Â°F for children, with pain
- Prolonged poor appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
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What Causes Stomach Pain At Night And How To Relieve It
Whether it is a few uncomfortable gurgles as your head hits the pillow or a cramping, stabbing sensation that rips you out of sleep, stomach pain at night can be a real eye-opener. Not only is it uncomfortable while it is occurring, the impact on your sleep can have a negative effect on your overall health. Heres what causes stomach pain at night and steps you can take to relieve it.
How To Sleep With A Stomach Ulcer
Ulcers are particularly painful, making sleep difficult. You need medical intervention for an ulcer to heal. If you have persistent stomach pain, see your doctor for medication treatment.
In the meantime, you can manage the pain of an ulcer and improve your sleep with some lifestyle changes. One of the most important things you can do is avoid eating close to bedtime. Your stomach makes acid in response to food, which will exacerbate the ulcer just as youre trying to fall asleep. Avoid acidic foods and alcohol in particular.
Stress also exacerbates the pain of an ulcer. Take steps to reduce stress in your life in general and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Meditation at any time of day, but especially before bed, can help you manage stress and better cope with ulcer pain.
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How To Treat This
Treatment depends entirely on the cause. For example, acid reflux may be eased with an over-the-counter antacid, and gas pains may clear up after the gas passes.
For other conditions, however, treatment from a doctor may be necessary. In addition to needing a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will need to determine a treatment that is most likely to ease your symptoms. Most common causes of unexplained stomach pain will require treatment from a doctor.
The Mission: Restore Bowel Function Suppress All Further Herpes Outbreaks
At the time of writing , it is still early days, but I am pleased to report things are going very well and I am feeling healthier than I have done in over 10 years.
So, the plan is to: stop all further herpes outbreaks increase the motility of the bowel and reverse the neuropathy.
Increase gut motility.
Ill spare you all the juggling about that I did and get straight to the solution I implemented. First off, increase motility:
Note: owing to the fact that psyllium swells and is a soluble fibre, I always drink water with it. I avoid taking other medications at that time, as the psyllium is known to also absorb that too and thus reduce the bioavailability of the medication.
Reduce gas in the bowel
When I experimented with the FODMAP diet previously, it didnt really help, but it did noticeably reduce the amount of farting. So I now avoid my main triggers: peas, apples, garlic, anything sugary, milk, cabbage.
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Three Things To Look For With Stomach Pain
Here are three things you can look for that might help provide some clues about the source of abdominal pain, including:
- Type of pain: Is it a dull, achy, constant pain? Or more of a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes? This can tell doctors a lot about what might be going on.
- Location of pain: Pinpointing the exact location can be difficult, but try to narrow it down to the upper abdomen, the lower abdomen, the right side or the left. The abdomen has multiple organs, Dr. Sharif says, and as such any organ can cause abdominal pain.
- Additional symptoms: Are there other symptoms associated with your abdominal pain, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or indigestion? Your doctor will take all of these into account when making a diagnosis.
Dashing Of Hope And Onset Of Peripheral Neuropathy
What developed next was permanency to the nocturnal abdominal pain. Further deep dives into the medical literature revealed the following: herpes infection can cause a temporary or permanent neuropathy to a portion of the bowel.
Abdominal distention and constipation followed by herpes zoster infection
Herpes Simplex Proctitis Mimicking Inflammatory Bowel Disease in a Teenaged Male
Acute constipation due to abdominal herpes zoster: an unusual association
HSV1/2 Genital Infection in Mice Cause Reversible Delayed Gastrointestinal Transit: A Model for Enteric Myopathy
This means that the movement of matter through the canal of the bowel is impaired, and gas can pool. Specifically here:
With abdominal gas collecting in these areas, increased pressure is exerted as the bowel is dilated, causing pain.
Im purely guessing here, but based on what I understand of the medical literature on the matter, the choice of sites will depend on which part of the bowel is affected by herpes.
I recognised that the pain is mostly focused on the left lower abdominal .
A full bladder applies a counterpressure to the pressure in the sigmoid colon, hence why there is only onset of pain once the bladder is emptied.
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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 medicines are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
When To Go To The Er With Stomach Pain
You should seek immediate medical attention or go to the ER if you have:
- Constant or severe abdominal pain
- Pain associated with a high fever
- Changes in pain intensity or location, such as going from a dull ache to a sharp stab or starting in one area and radiating to another
- Pain accompanied by other serious or unusual symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or change in behavior
- Pain localized to one particular area
- Right lower quadrant could indicate appendicitis
- Right upper quadrant could indicate cholecystitis or a gallbladder infection
- Left lower quadrant could indicate diverticulitis or a colon infection
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Causes Of Stomach Pain At Night
Stomach pain at night can be a symptom of a mild or serious health condition that seems to worsen when we lie down. It may also be associated with our digestive tract and its response to food consumed in the evening. Whether it is a stomach ache that becomes more uncomfortable as the evening wears on or a sudden pain that awakens us during a sound sleep, letâs look at some possible causes.
Common Causes Of Stomach Pain
Harmless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours. Some of the common causes for stomach pain are from:
- Gas: Formed in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food, gas can cause general stomach pain and cramps. This often can be indicated by belching or flatulence.
- Bloating: Related to gas, bloating occurs when excess gas builds up in your digestive tract. Your stomach usually will feel full, and you may experience cramps.
- Constipation: This occurs when you are having difficulty making bowel movements. If you are having two or fewer bowel movements a week, constipation is the likely cause. In addition to feeling bloated and uncomfortable, you may experience cramping and pain in your rectum.
- Indigestion: This is typically experienced as an upset stomach, burning, or belly pain after eating.
- Stomach flu: Your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
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