Feeling Nauseous Or Vomiting
At some point in your life, you will feel nauseous which can be accompanied by vomiting . The reasons we feel nauseous and/or vomit are many, including motion sickness, overeating, gastrointestinal infection, or a bowel obstruction . If you or a loved one frequently feels nauseous with or without vomiting, its important to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
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.
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 Alzheimer’s 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.
You May Like: Herbs For Liver And Kidney
Upper Abdominal Pain Between The Ribcage
If you develop an aching or stabbing pain or pressure in the upper abdominal area just under the ribs, this may indicate a heart-related problem. Physicians say this pain is often accompanied by shortness of breath and is concerning if the pain persists. People often assume this type of pain is indigestion, and while that may be the case, anyone with risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension should see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you do struggle with acid reflux, it may be time to talk to a gastroenterologist. They can help you manage your symptoms through medications, lifestyle changes and diet.
When Should I Call The Doctor
Sometimes, what seems like one problem food poisoning, for example can turn out to be something more serious, like appendicitis.
- the pain is very strong
- youre vomiting a lot
- you already have another health condition
- the pain gets worse over time, doesnt go away, or wakes you up from sleep
Also let the doctor know if you:
- have a fever
- have pain when you pee
- have trouble pooping or peeing
- have blood in your poop or pee
- think the belly pain is from an injury
- might be pregnant
Don’t Miss: Can You Take Excedrin On An Empty Stomach
Can Stomachaches Be Prevented
Not all belly pain can be prevented. But to help avoid common types of stomachaches:
- Wash your hands before eating or preparing food, and after using the bathroom.
- Don’t overeat, and try not to eat right before going to sleep.
- Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to keep food moving through your digestive system.
- Avoid foods that have passed their expiration date or or weren’t stored properly.
- If you have a food allergy or intolerance, avoid eating foods that make you sick. If you have a food allergy, always carry two epinephrine auto-injectors, and know when you should use them.
Abdominal Pain Treatment And Home Remedies
The treatment for abdominal pain depends on its cause, and may include:
- Medications to lower inflammation, prevent acid reflux, or treat ulcers or infection
- Surgery to treat a problem with an organ
Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate your stomach and worsen your pain. Donât take them unless a doctor has diagnosed the cause of your belly pain and recommends their use.
Some diet and lifestyle changes may help belly pain caused by gas and indigestion. Here are some things you can try:
- Eat smaller portions at more frequent meals
- Eat slowly
Also Check: Sudden Weight Gain In Stomach And Thighs
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s 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 you’ll 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.
What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the persons symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the pain and the tests that may need to be done .
Doctors ask particularly about activities that relieve or worsen the pain. Whether the pain or other digestive upset occurs after eating or drinking dairy products is important because lactose intolerance is common, especially among Black, Hispanic, Asian , and American Indian people. Doctors also ask about other symptoms , about diet, and about any surgery involving the abdomen, drugs used, and previous tests and treatments for the pain. Whether any family members have disorders that cause abdominal pain is also important.
Doctors also ask about a persons diet because ingesting large amounts of cola beverages, fruit juices , or gas-producing foods can sometimes be the cause of otherwise puzzling abdominal pain.
Between the initial visit and follow-up visits, people are often asked to record information about the pain, bowel movements, diet, any activities that seem to trigger pain, any remedies tried, and the effects of the remedies.
Recommended Reading: Foods That Are Good For The Gut
Chronic Abdominal Pain Symptoms
Symptoms of chronic abdominal pain vary from patient to patient, and they may change with each episode. The most common symptoms include:
- Sharp or dull pain
- Severe pain that causes you to become sweaty, cry or bend over in pain
- Pain that lasts a few minutes or hours
- Pain in the belly button area or anywhere in the belly
- Pain that may or may not be related to eating
- Pain that occurs any time of the day or night
- Abdominal pain that occurs with vomiting, headaches, or pain in the arms or legs
- Not being hungry like usual or skipping meals, usually without losing weight
Symptoms that require a doctors immediate attention include a high fever, loss of appetite or weight, pain that awakens the person, blood in stool or urine, jaundice, severe nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the legs or abdomen.
Dont Miss: How Can I Strengthen My Stomach Muscles
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.
Also Check: Bone Broth For Leaky Gut
Types Of Abdominal Pain
There are several types of abdominal pain, which are based on how quickly your pain starts and how long it lasts:
- Acute pain starts over a few hours or days and may come with other symptoms.
- Chronic pain lasts longer — from weeks to months or more — and may come and go.
- Progressive pain gets worse over time and often comes with other symptoms.
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.
Change In Bowel Movement Frequency
There is no magic number of bowel movements we should all be having each day. Some people go three-to-four times a day, and that is normal for them. Others only move their bowels once a day and that is their normal. However, if you or a loved one experiences a significant change in bowel movement frequency, whether more or less often, its important to discuss this change with your healthcare provider.
Chronic Or Prolonged Constipation
Almost everyone experiences occasional bouts of constipation, and studies show that it’s especially prevalent among older adults. Constipation is typically defined as three or fewer bowel movements per week. It may not seem like a big deal, but if your constipation isn’t treated, over time the stools in your colon can become so large and solid that your body can’t remove them and that can be painful or even deadly, Anthony warns. If it goes longer than seven days, I want to see you, he says. Constipation can be caused by a wide variety of issues, including certain medicines, a diet low in fiber, and medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid issues, diabetes or, in rare cases, colorectal cancer.
Read Also: Does Pancreatitis Lead To Pancreatic Cancer
If Your Stomach Hurts Suddenly
Acute stomach pain comes on quickly and lasts for a limited amount of time, typically a few hours to a few days. Its usually caused by external factors, like a particular food or contaminant that didnt agree with your stomach. Even people with completely healthy digestive tracts will experience occasional stomach pain.
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.
Dont Miss: Can Stomach Cancer Kill You
Read Also: Gallbladder Cleanse With Apple Juice
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.
Why Does Your Stomach Hurt
Stomach cramps can range from mild achiness to severe, stabbing pain.
Common causes of stomach cramps include eating foods that can irritate your stomach, constipation, food poisoning, or a stomach infection. People who have anxiety may also develop stomach cramps.
Pregnant people may experience stomach cramps as the fetus grows. Menstrual cramps are also very common, though they actually take place in the uterus.
Sometimes stomach cramps are constant. In this case, a chronic digestive illness, such as irritable bowel disease, may be the cause.
Most stomach cramps go away on their own within a few hours or a couple of days. Changing what you eat and taking over-the-counter medication can help with symptoms while you recover.
Some stomach cramps may require medical attention. You should be concerned about stomach cramps if they last for a week or longer or are so severe that you cant function, or you also have symptoms like fever or blood in your vomit or stool.
Also Check: Stomach Hurts After I Eat
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.
Chronic Constipation Or Constipation Alternating With Diarrhea
It is normal to occasionally feel constipatedhaving difficulty moving bowels or infrequent bowel movements. There are a variety of reasons why someone may experience occasional constipation. But if you or a loved one is frequently experiencing constipation, or constipation alternating with diarrhea, it is important to see a healthcare provider or gastroenterologist. Your healthcare provider will be able to run tests to determine the cause of the constipation and recommend for the best course of treatment for you or your loved one.
Recommended Reading: Michael Landon Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Signs Of Passing A Kidney Stone
David Cameron, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Medical City Lewisville and Medical City McKinney, says that you will know immediately if you are passing a kidney stone, with pain in the side of your back or abdomen.
This is the worst pain of your life that you’re experiencing, Dr. Cameron says. It’s so profound that it’s beyond a 10. You’ll be incapacitated with the pain, quite often. It’ll lead to nausea and vomiting, the pain is so severe.
What Helps Anxiety In The Stomach
Anxiety is an emotion that can make people feel unease, nervousness, and uncertainty. It can strike at any time and last for as long as it takes for the body and mind to return to normal. For some people, anxiety can be a chronic feeling. For others, it can come in waves.
For some people the cause of their anxiety will be obvious but for others, it may be more of a mystery.
Wherever it comes from and whatever the cause, anxiety can have a big impact on your life some people with anxiety experience it as a sense of dread while others feel overwhelming worry or nervousness. For many people with anxiety, it manifests itself physically in stomachaches or headaches.
Others feel despair and hopelessness which often leads to depression. Many people with anxiety also feel the need to take more and more medication even if it is not helping their symptoms this is known as self-medicating with drugs or alcohol which only worsens the problem since drugs are addictive substances.
Anxiety is more than just a feeling its an emotional response to a problem. If youre looking for more information about anxiety read on for a deeper look at what anxiety is, how it affects your life, and how you can get help if you need it.
Don’t Miss: Foods Good For Gut Bacteria