Everyone regardless of age and gender has digestive problems from time to time. Occasional abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion or abdominal bloating is normal.
For some people, however, these troubles are chronic and more serious.
Qualified gastroenterologist, Dr. Schneider of GIDOCJHB, treats conditions and diseases of the digestive system that cause mild or difficult symptoms such as stomach pain, gallstones, ulcers, and acid reflux.
With early detection and specialized care, your digestive disorder can be successfully managed the right way.
Our goal is to help you gain access to quality care and create a personalized pain management plan, so you can start feeling better and get back to your day to day lifestyle without feeling uncomfortable or suffering from chronic pain.
What Causes Abdominal and Stomach Pain?
Some reasons for abdominal pain are obvious, like when someone has an upset stomach. Other times, it’s not so obvious.
Below are some of the things that cause stomach pain. This article also serves as a valuable resource to find out more about natural remedies for abdominal pain.
Sometimes pain in your lower abdominal area is just a buildup of gas in your gut.
A lot of gas can make your stomach hard and look like its bloated, which leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling.
This can happen after you eat a large meal or if you ate a lot of gassy or greasy foods.
You might feel pain in your upper abdomen or feel like burping or have an acid taste in your mouth.
This usually happens after eating certain types of food or eating just before bed and then laying down.
Most cases of indigestion last for a short time, from a few minutes to hours and usually heals on its own.
Constipation is very common among adults. It means either going to the toilet less often than usual to empty the bowels or finding it difficult to pass stools (faeces).
Constipation commonly causes lower stomach pain, because it’s basically a build-up of digested food in your large intestine.
Constipation can be a sign that you’re not eating enough fiber, not getting regular exercise, or failing to drink enough water
Kidney stones are hard mineral and salt deposits that form inside the kidneys; the only way to get them out is to wait until they pass through your urinary tract.
Kidney stones can cause severe lower back and stomach pain, both on the left and right side of the stomach.
Kidney stones are thought to be one of the worst culprits of stomach pain – some women have even compared it to childbirth.
If you’re female, it’s very common to experience pain in the lower part of your stomach when you’re on your period.
The pain is often mild but for some women, the pain is severe enough to affect day-to-day activities. An anti-inflammatory painkiller often eases the pain.
Appendicitis means inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that comes off the gut wall.
It can become blocked, inflamed, and swollen, irritating the surrounding tissues and triggering lower abdominal pain.
Typical symptoms include abdominal pain and being sick (vomiting) that gradually become worse over a few hours.
Many people do not know they have gallstones and usually just pass it off as heavy stomach cramps and pain.
Symptoms can include pain in the right upper or middle stomach area, back pain in between your shoulder blades and nausea and vomiting.
The pain eases and goes if the gallstone is pushed out into the bile duct (and then usually out into the gut) or if it falls back into the gallbladder.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a common gut disorder among men and women. The cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not yet known.
Symptoms can be quite different among people but include abdominal pain, wind, bloating, and regular rounds of diarrhea and/or constipation.
Symptoms tend to come and go. Symptoms can often be temporarily eased and managed with treatment.
Viral or Bacterial Infections
One of the most common causes of lower abdominal pain are infections caused by various viruses or bacteria known as gastroenteritis.
When bacteria or viruses get into a person’s digestive system, the body reacts by trying to rid itself of the infection, often through vomiting or diarrhea.
I recommend patients seek medical care if symptoms last for longer than 48 hours or if you have a fever.
Abdominal Pain Home Care
If your abdominal pain is not severe, you may be able to manage the pain at home with a heating pad or over-the-counter medications, such as antacids or pain relievers.
However, if you believe your pain is caused by stomach irritation, do not take ibuprofen or aspirin, as these can irritate your stomach further.
You can try the following home care steps and advice to ease mild abdominal pain:
- Chew your food slowly and well
- Stay away from foods that bother you (spicy or fried foods, for example)
- Ease stress with exercise
- Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
- Reduce your intake of coffee, tea, and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
- Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
- If you have been vomiting, wait 6 hours, and then eat small amounts of mild foods such as rice, applesauce, or crackers. Avoid dairy products.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make sure that your meals are well-balanced and high in fiber. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Get plenty of rest.
When to See a Gastroenterologist
If your abdominal pain is severe, doesn’t go away, or keeps coming back, talk to your gastroenterologist. It’s time to get medical help if:
- You have severe stomach pain or the pain lasts several days
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- You have nausea and fever and can’t keep food down for several days
- Can’t touch your abdomen because it’s too tender
- You have bloody stools
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen and its paining
- You have blood in your urine
- You cannot pass stools, especially if you’re also vomiting
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- You had an injury to your belly in the days before the pain started
- You have heartburn that doesn’t get better with over-the-counter drugs or lasts longer than 2 weeks
- Signs you’re getting dehydrated, including not urinating frequently, dark-colored urine, and being very thirsty
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.