Any discomfort or pain felt in the abdomen, which is the region between the chest and the pelvis, is referred to as abdominal pain. There are many different medical illnesses, digestive problems, infections, traumas, and even stress can result in abdominal pain. It’s crucial to remember that stomach pain could be a sign of a more serious underlying disease.
Consider it a signal from your body. Your body uses abdominal pain as a signal that something is amiss. It could indicate a serious medical problem or something less catastrophic. But in either case, it’s critical to pay attention to it and, if necessary, seek medical assistance.
Consider it a symptom rather than a diagnosis. It’s critical to consult a doctor to receive a diagnosis for abdominal discomfort because it can be brought on by a wide range of illnesses. Avoid attempting a self-diagnosis since this may result in a false positive and delayed treatment.
A hint to the cause may lie in the area of the pain. For instance, a problem with the pancreas, gallbladder, or liver frequently results in pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. An issue with the colon or appendix is frequently the cause of pain in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen.
Another indicator of the reason is the degree of the pain. A small ailment, such gas or constipation, frequently results in mild pain. A more serious illness, like appendicitis or a kidney stone, is frequently the source of severe discomfort.
Causes for Abdominal Pain
- Each organ plays a distinct purpose, but occasionally these roles might become out of rhythm, leading to abdominal pain. If the gallbladder drummer misses a beat, it could result in acute abdominal pain in the upper right.
- When faced with digestive difficulties, the Intestine Trumpets may blare loudly, resulting in cramping and discomfort. When there are problems with blood sugar management, the pancreas pianist could perform an unsettling melody. Abdominal pain is the result of this organ orchestra being out of tune, which calls for careful tuning and management.
- Intestinal obstruction occurs when something, such as a tumour, hernia, or scar tissue, blocks the intestines. Severe discomfort, nauseousness, vomiting, and constipation may result from this.
- Inflammatory bowel disease is a long-term disorder that results in intestinal inflammation. It may result in weight loss, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.
- This illness causes the lining of the intestines to develop into little pouches. These pouches have the potential to inflame or become infected, which can result in fever, constipation, and stomach pain.
- The gallbladder can develop these hard deposits. They may result in fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- Hard deposits known as kidney stones develop in the kidneys. They may also result in vomiting, nausea, and blood in the urine.
- Cancer that begins in the pancreas is referred to as pancreatic cancer. It may result in weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- Cancer that begins in the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. It may result in weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Symptoms for Abdominal Pain
- You can experience a tight grasp or a rubber band looping around your stomach as it is being twisted or squeezed.
- Your tummy may feel as though it has been inflated like a balloon, making it appear large and puffed out.
- You may occasionally feel queasy and desire to throw up, and if that happens, your stomach contents may come out of your mouth.
- If your restroom routine changes, you may experience loose, watery stools or difficulty passing stool at all.
- You might find that you’re passing wind a lot or that you have extra gas in your stomach.
- You can feel as though there is a fire inside in your chest or upper abdomen.
- Even if you haven’t eaten much, you might not feel as hungry as normal and struggle to eat.
You may feel more worn out than normal, low on energy, and in need of frequent rest.
- This is when stomach contents are compelled to leave the body through the mouth. Abdominal pain is one of several factors that might cause it.
- Diarrhoea is the repeated passing of watery, loose stools. Abdominal pain is one of several factors that might cause it.
- Hard, dry stools that pass only occasionally. Abdominal pain is one of several factors that might cause it.
- Gas is the result of air accumulating in the digestive system. Abdominal pain and bloating may result from it.
- An increase in body temperature is referred to as a fever. Abdominal pain is one of several factors that might cause it.
Effects of Abdominal Pain
- It can be brought on by a number of things.
- Stomach lining inflammation can result in discomfort, nauseousness, and vomiting.
- In the stomach’s lining, ulcers are open sores that can bleed, hurt, and produce other symptoms.
- GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a disorder where stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus, resulting in pain, heartburn, and other symptoms.
- A rare but deadly disease that can result in discomfort, weight loss, and other symptoms is stomach cancer.
- It may be challenging to work, attend class, or engage in enjoyable activities if you have abdominal pain that is related to your stomach.
- It may be challenging to socialise and engage with others due to the discomfort and other symptoms related to abdominal pain from the stomach.
- The discomfort and other side effects of stomach-related abdominal pain can cause sadness, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Preventions for Abdominal Pain
You can take a variety of steps to help reduce stomach-related abdominal pain. Here are some pointers:
- Maintaining a healthy digestive system and avoiding stomach-related pain can be accomplished by following a diet that is low in processed foods, high in fibre, and rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Eat less spicy food because it can aggravate your stomach’s lining and make it hurt. Avoid spicy meals if you frequently get stomach pain that is related to your stomach.
- These two substances might irritate your stomach’s lining and make it hurt. It is advised to stay away from caffeine and alcohol if you are prone to stomach-related abdominal pain.
- Getting enough sleep will help you feel better overall, which can lower your risk of experiencing abdominal pain related to your stomach.
- Abdominal pain from the stomach may be caused by stress, among other health issues. Find healthy stress-reduction techniques, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation, if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Smoking can aggravate the stomach lining and raise your risk of experiencing abdominal pain linked to the stomach. The best thing you can do for your health if you smoke is to stop.
Natural remedies for Abdominal Pain
In rare circumstances, natural treatments for stomach discomfort can offer momentary relief. It’s crucial to remember that these treatments might not deal with the underlying source of the discomfort. It’s critical to speak with a healthcare provider if you have persistent or severe stomach discomfort so they can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of action.
- Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that can aid in easing nausea and stomach pain. Ginger can be consumed fresh, used in cooking, or made into a tea.
- Another all-natural anti-inflammatory that can aid in calming the muscles in your stomach and intestines is peppermint. You can consume candies made of peppermint flavour, peppermint gum, or peppermint tea.
- An upset stomach can be calmed down with chamomile tea, which is a relaxing herb. Chamomile tea is available at the majority of supermarket stores.
- Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are bland foods that can soothe an upset stomach.
- Your abdominal muscles can be relaxed and pain relieved with the use of a heating pad.
- Water is crucial for general health and can also be used to ease stomach discomfort. Drink a lot of water all day long.
- Eat less greasy, hot, and acidic food. These foods may aggravate your stomach’s irritation and your pain.
- Eat little meals often. This will prevent your stomach from being overstuffed, which can hurt.
- Get adequate rest. Your body is better prepared to fend off disease and mend itself when you get enough sleep.
- Stress management. Stomach aches can be made worse by stress. Choose stress-reduction strategies that are beneficial, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.
Treatment for abdomen pain
The goal of treating abdominal discomfort brought on by gastrointestinal problems is to treat the pain’s underlying source.
- PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors: PPIs are frequently given for illnesses like gastritis, peptic ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) because they decrease the production of stomach acid.
- H2 blockers: These drugs lessen the production of stomach acid and can be useful for treating stomach pain.
- Avoiding trigger foods: Some foods, including citrus fruits, spicy or fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol, might make stomach symptoms worse. Keeping away from these stressors could ease stomach discomfort.
- Frequently eating : Eating more frequently and in smaller portions can help to lessen abdominal pain and the stress placed on the stomach.
- Keeping a healthy weight: Carrying too much weight can impose strain on the abdomen, causing gastrointestinal symptoms and pain in the abdomen. Symptoms may be lessened by maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Upper GI endoscopy: During this operation, a flexible tube with a camera allows the doctor to see what’s going on inside the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It aids in the diagnosis of diseases like inflammation, peptic ulcers, and gastritis.
- Testing for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): H. pylori is a bacteria linked to gastritis and ulcers in the stomach. H. pylori can be detected through testing on the breath, blood, or faeces.
- Imaging procedures, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans, can be used to examine the shape and operation of the digestive system and spot any anomalies that may be causing abdominal pain.
- Surgical Procedures:Surgery may be considered in severe cases where medicine and lifestyle changes fail to relieve the symptoms. A surgeon could suggest procedures like fundoplication for GERD or surgical gallbladder removal for gallstones.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and appropriate treatment.
Author Contribution: Reviewed by Dr. Ram Reddy, MD – General Physician, and Rajeshwar Rao, Pharm D.