When To See A Doctor For Your Stomach Pain
Stomach pain after eating that results from overeating or indigestion is not very serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. However, persistent pain accompanied by other symptoms that do not seem to be getting better may be something concerning.
If you have any medical conditions that can cause stomach pain, you should call your doctor. If the stomach pain continues to occur right after you eat or while you are eating, and lifestyle and diet changes are not working, it may be something serious or deeper, and medical attention becomes necessary. It could be some undetected health issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, schedule an appointment at Manhattan Gastroenterology today. The experienced and award-winning gastroenterologists offer expert advice regarding matters of the gastrointestinal tract and help you find relief from the pain and discomfort you experience right after eating food. They specialize in diagnosing and treating pain that affects your gastrointestinal tract and offers a variety of treatments, including medications and home remedies to protect you from gastrointestinal damage. The top-rated doctors study why you feel uncomfortable or your stomach hurts after eating, including food and medical causes, and come up with the best solutions to ensure you enjoy healthy digestion.
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Heartburn Or Acid Indigestion
One of the most common digestive complaints, heartburn is described as a feeling of burning behind the sternum, with the discomfort often radiating upwards towards the mouth. It can also be described as a cramping, bloating, or a stabbing feeling. Heartburn happens when a sphincter in the stomach doesnt close properly, allowing stomach acid into the wrong areas of the intestinal tract. In many people, heartburn can be exacerbated by large meals, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine. While taking an antacid may bring on relief, Adam Prinsen, a naturopath based in Peterborough, Ont., says suppressing stomach acid may not be the best long-term solution. Stomachs produce acid for a reason: to digest the protein in your stomach, he explains. If you dont have enough of it, you will compromise your digestion. And that could make the problem worse. Because sphincters are affected by stress, Prinsen recommends calming your nerves as a first step. Your digestive system wont work properly when youre stressed, he explains, because your body is in a fight-or-flight response-so all your blood goes to your muscles, rather than to your digestive system. Because people are always in a chronic state of stress, the digestive system eventually just shuts down. Thats why the secret to easing heartburn may be as simple as slowing down.
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Causes Of Recurrent Stomach Pains
- Stress or Worries. The most common cause of frequent stomach pains is stress. Over 10% of children have a “worried stomach.” These children tend to be sensitive and too serious. They often are model children. This can make them more at risk to the normal stresses of life. Examples of these events are changing schools, moving or family fights. The pain is in the pit of the stomach or near the belly button. The pain is real.
- Abdominal Migraine. Attacks of stomach pain and vomiting with sudden onset and offset. Often occur in children who later develop migraine headaches. Strongly genetic.
- Functional Abdominal Pains. Functional means the stomach pains are due to a sensitive GI tract. The GI tract is free of any disease.
- School Avoidance. Stomach pains that mainly occur in the morning on school days. They keep the child from going to school.
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A Bladder Or Kidney Infection
Bladder infections can definitely cause abdominal pain, as well as painful and urgent urination, and/or blood in the urine. If its a kidney infection youre dealing with, you may also have a fever, chills, thigh pain, and joint tenderness.
How to treat it: Most cases can be treated with a course of oral antibiotics, though severe cases may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. In rare cases, surgery may be required, says Dr. Dann.
Stomach Ache Risk Factors
Risk factors associated with stomach aches in children include:
- Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Emotional stress or disturbances
- Traumatic events such as abuse, a motor vehicle accident, or a poor home life
- Prior stomach infections
Some research suggests that eating a diet that is high in junk food may play a role in the onset of stomach aches in children, although more research is needed to determine whether a poor diet can be a risk factor for stomach pain.
Although the risk factors for headaches and stomach aches vary, one of the most common risk factors for both ailments is stress.
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Middle Of The Abdomen
The upper middle part of the abdomen contains the liver, the cardiac region of the stomach, part of the body of the stomach, the pyloric region of the stomach, and the pancreas.
The liver filters blood and creates bile, which is a substance that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fat in the foods you eat.
The cardiac region of the stomach is where food enters from the esophagus.
The pyloric region of the stomach is the last part of the stomach before food enters into the duodenum of the small intestine.
The pancreas is a large glandular organ that releases digestive enzymes and hormones.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
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
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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.
When To Call The Doctor
If you experience symptoms for more than a week, its wise to make a doctors appointment. However, if you have severe symptoms at any point throughout, it is also a good idea to be seen. Other symptoms that warrant a doctor visit include high fever, nausea and vomiting, confusion, difficulty speaking, vision problems, rapid heart rate, and seizures. While the most common symptoms of diarrhea and stomach problems are flu, food reactions, medications, stress, alcohol consumption, IBD, and IBS, these conditions can also be indicative of cancer, cystic fibrosis, appendicitis, or intestinal obstruction. If you have persistent symptoms, its best to be safe and be seen.
If you need to see a doctor for diarrhea and abdominal pain, or you are experiencing other GI upset, book an appointment at Carolina Digestive today.
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Elm & Rye Probiotics For Bloating
Image courtesy Elm & Rye.
Elm & Ryes Probiotic Formula is a daily supplement that contains 14 probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 , a beneficial bacteria that improves digestion and reduces gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Elm & Ryes formula is also gluten free and vegan-friendly with no added preservatives or artificial ingredients. Plus, it doesnt need refrigeration, so you can take it anywhere on the go.
Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, and they recommend acetaminophen instead.
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What Causes Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is frequently caused by a problem in the digestive tract . However, it can also be caused by other organs located in the abdomen, such as the kidneys. Large blood vessels, such as the aorta are also found in the abdomen and may give rise to pain. Abdominal pain can even be caused by some medicines.
Causes of abdominal pain connected to the gut include:
- trapped wind or indigestion
- gallstones, gallbladder problems, liver problems
- medicines to help manage the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimers disease
Some of the causes of abdominal pain are short-term , whereas others are long-term or ongoing conditions. Find more information about the underlying causes of abdominal pain here.
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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.
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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 whos 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 .
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Severe Acute Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
Sudden pain in the lower part of the abdomen may be a sign of appendicitis. It may also be accompanied by a fever. Pain often begins around the belly button area and becomes worse with time. Vomiting or constipation or diarrhea along with the pain also indicate it’s time to go to the emergency room.
Appendicitis mostly affects kids and teens between the ages of 5 and 20. While there are many digestive health issues that can cause stomach pain in kids, it’s important to talk to your child’s doctor immediately if you suspect appendicitis – especially if the pain comes on suddenly over several hours or is persistent. Appendicitis often requires surgery. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can be deadly.
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Probiotics Side Effects Are Usually Only Temporary
Most of these side-effects only occur in a handful of cases. They usually only last for a short period of time after starting a probiotic regime, and will go away as your body adjusts.
If the side effects are caused by your gut adjusting and rebalancing, the worst thing you can do is stop taking the probiotic!
If your side effects are caused by an allergy or intolerance, or by an excess of histamine, you may want to look for a different probiotic or stop taking probiotics altogether.
Speak to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your gut health and overall wellbeing.
are living bacteria that provide countless health benefits when ingested. These bacteria are naturally occurring in the gut but canand shouldbe replenished through external means. The gut contains beneficial bacteria that make up the microbiota and plays a key role in maintaining health in both the body and mind. A healthy gut keeps the digestive process working smoothly, which prevents free radical and toxin build up in the body known to lead to many acute and chronic illnesses
It is also thought that probiotics secrete substances that trigger the immune system to react more strongly, thereby preventing pathogens from being able to take root and cause illness.
How Common Are Stomachaches
Just about everybody will experience abdominal pain at one point or another. Most causes of abdominal pain are not serious and resolve spontaneously. A healthcare provider can usually readily diagnose and treat these conditions. However, abdominal pain can also be a sign of a serious illness, or even an emergency. Abdominal pain is responsible for some 5% of emergency room visits.
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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 arent 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
What Happens When Your Gut Is Not In Balance
If your gut microbiome is out of balance, your body is more prone to some illnesses and diseases. The medical term for this imbalance is dysbiosis.
Acute symptoms you might notice include:
diarrhea, constipation, or both
While all of these are common symptoms and happen to most people from time to time, chronic digestive issues could be a sign that your gut bacteria are not able to digest your food properly.
There is no one-size-fits-all fix for these issues, but changing your diet to be more gut friendly can have a big impact.
With the ZOE program, you find out which foods work best for your metabolism and your unique gut microbiome to help your good bugs thrive.
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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.
Can Abdominal Pain Be Prevented
Eating enough fibreand doing regular exercise can help prevent constipation and keep your bowels working well, which will prevent some forms of abdominal pain. It will also reduce your long-term risk of some diseases, such as diverticular disease or bowel cancer.
Drinking plain water but not carbonated or fizzy drinks will reduce the chance of pain from bloating as well as keeping your body healthy.
Following a specific diet can help reduce pain due to lactose intolerance, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome and trapped gas, or wind.
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