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
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.
Consider Calling Your Boss
There are a few factors to consider when deciding if you should call in sick. If the stomach pain is nothing new or OTC medications seem to be working, you could probably handle a day in the office. But if the stomachache feels atypical or could be a symptom of the stomach flu, take the day off. If pain is sudden and out of the blue, that should give one pause, says Dr. Fleisher. Especially its severe, you might want to check in with your provider before heading in to work. And make sure you keep an eye out for these 15 signs your upper abdominal pain is an emergency.
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Make Sure Youre Emotionally Ready For Sex
As I mentioned earlier, you could be experiencing stomach pain after sex if you were feeling anxious or upset before or during intercourse. Clearly communicate your feelings with your partner, so that youâre feeling comfortable and emotionally prepared for sex. The more prepared and desirous of sex you are, the more likely you are to enjoy it.
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Vague Upper Abdominal Pain Associated With Nausea And Belching
Sometimes stomach pain is hard to identify or comes with multiple symptoms. Vague pain in the upper and mid-abdominal area that is linked to nausea, burping, or belching could be signs of a heart attack, particularly in older patients. Physicians say tests like an ECG or cardiac markers can be lifesaving. They also warn that vomiting with back or jaw pain and shortness of breath can also be a sign of a life-threatening emergency.
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When To Call Your Doctor
History of heart problems In case of abdominal pain, particularly if the pain arises in the stomach, people with a history of heart disease should immediately go for medical help.
History of diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol History of these chronic diseases demands medical attention.
Acute pain Sudden Acute pain might indicate a more serious condition, such as a gallbladder attack or appendicitis. Both of these organs are located on your right side.
If youre experiencing symptoms like the ones below, visit the emergency room:
- Chest pain, pressure or shortness of breath.
- Extreme stomach pain that continues to get worse.
- Stomach pain that releases to your back.
- Abdominal areas that feels hard or tender to the touch.
- Vomiting or coughing up blood.
- Blood in stools .
- Symbols of extreme dehydration Severe dehydration occur due to stomach flu.
- Lesser urine output or darker colour urine which defines that you are losing more liquid than you are taking in are the signs of dehydration
- Feeling woozy upon standing up and a rapid heart rate is also tell-tale signs of dehydration. If you are incapable to preserve fluids down for at least ten minutes, you may need to visit the ED to receive intravenous fluids.
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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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.
What Are The Chances Of Having A Gallbladder Attack
While anyone with a gallbladder can develop gallstones, there are many known risk factors for developing them. Here are some common ones, per the NIDDK:
- Being a woman: This is because estrogen can boost biles cholesterol levels and make your gallbladder contract less.
- Being over 40: As you age, the chance of developing gallstones increases.
- Losing weight too quickly: Losing a lot of weight very quickly is hazardous because it makes your liver excrete more cholesterol into your bile, raising your risk of gallstones.
- Obesity and diabetes: Obesity can increase the cholesterol in your bile, so its also a risk factor, as are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Having certain health conditions: Conditions like Crohns disease that screw up your bodys absorption of nutrients can also lead to gallstone formation. Additionally, people with hemolytic anemias, which are conditions where red blood cells continuously break down , are at increased risk. Thats because of how those damaged red cells can increase bilirubin, the chemical we mentioned that can raise your risk of pigment gallstones.
- Having a family history of gallstones: If members of your immediate family have had gallstones, youre at a higher risk of having them, too.
- Being of a certain cultural descent: Indigeneous people have the highest rate of gallstones. The reason: Certain genetic factors can increase the cholesterol in this populations bile. Mexican Americans also have a high risk of developing gallstones.
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Is Postprandial Pain Life
Some causes of postprandial pain such as pancreatitis can be very serious and severe. According to a large epidemiologic study from the United States, approximately 15-25% of patients with acute pancreatitis develop severe pancreatitis . Severe pancreatitis can result in fever, hypotension, and organ failure and require monitoring in the intensive care unit. It is important to not ignore symptoms of pain in the upper abdomen and seek medical attention before the condition worsens.
Gut Feeling: How To Know If Stomach Pain Is Serious
Abdominal pain is the single leading reason for emergency room visits in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, accounting for more than 12 million of the nearly 139 million annual ER visits. Most people call it stomach pain, but its not always a stomach problem. Your abdomen holds many other organs, too, including your intestines , pancreas, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen and appendix.
So its not surprising that, just as with chest pain or a headache, it can be difficult to tell whats really going on in there when your tummys not feeling well. Add in other vague symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and you could have the stomach flu, food poisoning, gallstones, kidney stones or any number of other conditions.
Here are some ways to tell what the source of your pain is and when you should seek medical care.
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Lime Or Lemon Juice Baking Soda And Water
Some studies suggest that mixing lime or lemon juice in water with a pinch of baking soda can help relieve heartburn and indigestion by reducing stomach acidity.
Pros and cons
While this home remedy may help with an upset stomach, it may not taste pleasant. Additionally, consuming too much baking soda
Basil leaves also contain high linoleic acid levels, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Pros and cons
Basil is usually available to purchase in grocery stores, gardening stores, and online.
However, those in food deserts may have to rely on online stores if they find it difficult to source fresh basil.
How Do I Find A Healthcare Provider
If you experience any of the symptoms outlined above, please consult with your healthcare provider. If you need a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD, we are here to helpour Find a Medical Expert tool is a great place to start. There are many factors that go into finding the right gastroenterologist. You may want to consider the following questions and preferences when selecting your gastroenterologist:
- Is the healthcare provider board certified?
- What are their specialties?
- Some physicians have an expertise in liver diseases, IBS, or IBD. You can find a healthcare providers specialty by visiting their website or asking the office staff when calling.
- Do they work with other gastroenterologists or GI surgeons who they can consult with?
- Visit our Find a Medical Expert directory
The Foundation offers a listing of healthcare professionals including adult and pediatric gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutritionists, and mental health clinicians on our Find a Medical Expert Directory. Each professional listed has expressed an interest in IBD by becoming a member of the Crohns & Colitis Foundation. If you need additional assistance finding a gastroenterologist, please contact the IBD Help Center they will provide additional guidance and suggestions for locating a healthcare provider.
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Could It Be Norovirus
Christopher Ramos, MD, a gastroenterologist at Medical City Alliance and Medical City Fort Worth, says that the difficulty when dealing with stomach painespecially in the upper abdomenis knowing whether its heartburn or something more serious.
Dr. Ramos has seen many norovirus cases in North Texans returning from cruises.
Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S., so its very common but sometimes hard to diagnose, he says. Members of the same family can have the same disease process but different symptoms and duration.
Dr. Hanscom agreed, adding that there is no point-of-care test for norovirus.
We dont have a test for norovirus in the ER, he says. Diagnosis is done by looking at the patients symptoms and other clues, such as if theres a local outbreak, if the patient has been on a cruise or if its during the colder parts of the year when people congregate indoors and spread germs.
What Are The Four Types Of Abdominal Pain
Since your abdomen it is home to many organs, your healthcare provider may want to narrow down the kind of pain youre having by narrowing down the region youre feeling it in. Healthcare providers often divide the abdomen into quadrants or four parts. They may ask if your pain is in the:
- Right upper quadrant.
- Left lower quadrant.
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When In Doubt About Your Abdominal Pain Physicians Say Its Best To Call Your Doctor Or Head To The Er
The egg salad didnt taste quite right, but you were hungry. Or maybe your craving for cheesecake outweighed the punishment you knew your lactose intolerance would inflict. You expect stomach distress in situations like these, but other times, abdominal pain can come out of nowhere. Sometimes its severe enough or lasts for so long that you know its not simply a matter of eating something that didnt agree with you.
Digestive system issues account for 45.1 million visits to doctors offices and emergency departments yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The severity of the pain, its location within your abdominal area, and accompanying symptoms may provide clues to the origin of the pain and if you should seek help immediately. Here are some of the most common signs your tummy troubles need more than an over-the-counter remedy.
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Abdominal Pain In The Er
What emergency physicians do is look for life threats, limb threats, or pregnancy-related issues when patients come in with abdominal pain, says Mike Swindle, MD, who chairs the emergency department for the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.
Dr. Swindle, whos spent 30 years as a emergency room physician, acknowledges that diagnosing abdominal pain is challenging, saying that we dont figure out about half of the belly pain cases that come into the ER. Thats why in addition to the ER docs, you may meet with a gastroenterologist, like Moses. Tests will probably be needed because stomach pain can indicate such a wide array of medical concerns, from the less severe gas to the more severe gastritis, ovarian cysts, or gallbladder disease, and from potentially fatal conditions such as food-borne illness to others that might demand prompt surgery, like a small bowel obstruction.
Here are just a few possible diagnoses that illustrate why medical care and testing are often a must:
- Pain in the upper abdomen could be pancreatitis.
- Tenderness on the lower right side of the abdomen could be appendicitis.
- Pain throughout the abdomen could be a perforated ulcer.
- Pain in the upper right abdomen or lower left side might indicate peritonitis.
- Pain and being 8 or 10 weeks late in your menstrual cycle could signal an ectopic pregnancy.
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Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if its concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and youll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Stomach
- Apple juice vinegar treats stomach hurts brought on by gas or heartburn. The anti-toxin nature of apple juice vinegar mitigates the stomach and enhances absorption.
- Blend one tablespoon of apple juice vinegar in lukewarm water.
- Include one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this arrangement at regular intervals until the stomach pain is no more.
- Note: If you dont have apple juice vinegar, you can attempt customary vinegar.
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Right Or Left Lower Abdominal Pain In Women
Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain or left lower abdominal pain can indicate a ruptured ovarian cyst in a woman who is mid-cycle. This kind of pain could also be a sign of ovarian torsion, which is the rotation of the ovary and part of the fallopian tube, or possibly a twisting of the ovary due to compromised blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
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Why Does My Stomach Hurt
There are numerous reasons for abdominal pain. It can come from any of the organs in your belly gallbladder, pancreas, liver, stomach and intestines or the abdominal wall the outer shell of the body. Sometimes you feel the pain in your belly, but its actually coming from the chest, back or pelvis.
Abdominal wall pain is common and easy to miss as healthcare professionals may direct their attention to internal organs as a cause of the pain. Once the abdominal wall is considered as a suspect, it is generally easy to nail down this diagnosis. If a patient strains the ab wall muscles from exertion, he may tell his doctor that he has right sided stomach pain. Clearly, this pain is not caused by a diseased internal organ such as the gallbladder or the stomach.
Healthcare providers can often determine where pain is coming from by taking a detailed history from you. Depending upon the physicians style, you may be simply asked to relate your medical story in your own words as a narrative. Other physicians may prefer to ask a series of detailed questions. Others may utilize both techniques. This medical history is paramount, even more important than the physical examination. After the history and physical, certain diagnostic tests may be advised to make an accurate diagnosis.
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