Local

Abdominal Pain Causes, Treatments – Why Does My Stomach Hurt?

These conditions may be behind why your stomach hurts, according to doctors


A sudden, piercing stomach ache is a pain that’s hard to ignore, especially when it can be linked to almost anything – from a bad batch of takeout to serious health conditions like appendicitis. So it’s perfectly normal to wonder, “Why does my stomach hurt?” The reality is that there are many reasons for abdominal pain. In fact, abdominal pain accounts for 1.5% of outpatient visits and 5% of emergency room visits, according to research. So learning more about it can’t hurt. Keep reading to understand different types and common causes of stomach pain, so the next time a rough tummy hits, you can be prepared. What is stomach pain or abdominal pain? “Abdominal pain is pain you feel between your chest and groin,” explains David Greenwald, MD, director of clinical gastroenterology and endoscopy at Mount Sinai Hospital. And while it’s commonly referred to as stomach pain, pain doesn’t always come from that organ. They can actually originate in the abdominal wall or any of the gastrointestinal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestines, and appendix, says Indira Mahidhara, MD, MPH, medical editor at MCG Health. Some stomach pain is even linked to the chest (eg, pneumonia or pulmonary embolism), the urinary system, and even migraines, he adds. Stomach pain also varies in intensity from mild to severe and can manifest many different sensations, including a sharp or dull knife-like pain, burning, squeezing and spasms, Dr. Mahindara added. Common Causes of Stomach Pain About 40 percent of emergency department visits that begin with abdominal pain are reported to have an “undiagnosed cause,” Dr. Mahindara explained. He added that 30% of these patients under the age of 50 had a final diagnosis of appendicitis. With that said, the list of potential culprits for stomach pain is quite extensive. The most common causes of stomach pain, according to Dr. Greenwald and Dr. Mahidhara, are: Indigestion or acid reflux Gas or bloating Diarrhea Constipation Menstrual cramps Irritable bowel syndrome Food poisoning Food allergies Symptoms associated with abdominal pain vary, but can vary depending on the cause. appetite, weight gain or loss, difficulty swallowing, chest pain or burning, bloating, fullness, nausea or vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, black or bloody stools, burning with urination, blood in the urine, back pain, rash, jaundice and bruises, Mahidhara said. How is stomach pain diagnosed? Most abdominal pain problems can be diagnosed with a careful review of the health history and physical exam, explained Dr. Greenwald, who adds that “the vast majority are not serious.” In some cases, additional tests may be required to fully understand the underlying problem, which may include blood tests, stool and urine samples, and imaging of the abdomen through X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans. How to treat minor stomach ache at home’. Treatment of course depends on the underlying problem,” said Dr. Greenwald. But antacids and tweaking your diet (think: the BRAT diet) are standard solutions for relief, he says. Hydration, “even frequent sips of fluids,” is also key in the midst of diarrhea, Dr. Mahindara adds, and anti-inflammatory medications and a heating pad should help ease abdominal cramps. Just be careful with medications, he advises, “because they can help or worsen a condition depending on the cause.” How to know when stomach pain is serious (and when to see a doctor) If things take a turn for the worse and there are symptoms such as increased pain, fever, profuse vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or the development of a rigid, “boardy” surface of the abdomen, said Dr. Greenwald to seek emergency medical attention. Other alarming signs to look out for, according to Dr. Mahindara, are a change in mental status, lethargy or weakness, and decreased urination. If these symptoms occur or acute abdominal pain persists for a few days, seek treatment immediately.

A sudden, piercing stomach ache is a pain that’s hard to ignore, especially when it can be linked to almost anything – from a bad batch of takeout to serious health conditions like appendicitis. So it’s perfectly normal to wonder, “Why does my stomach hurt?” The reality is that there are many reasons for abdominal pain.

In fact, abdominal pain accounts for 1.5% of outpatient visits and 5% of emergency department visits. research shows. So learning more about it can’t hurt. Keep reading to understand different types and common causes of stomach pain so the next time a rumbling tummy strikes, you’ll be prepared.

What is stomach or abdominal pain?

“Abdominal pain is pain you feel between your chest and groin,” she explains. David Greenwald, MD director of clinical gastroenterology and endoscopy at Mount Sinai Hospital.

And while it’s commonly referred to as stomach pain, pain doesn’t always come from that organ. They can actually originate in the abdominal wall or any of the gastrointestinal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestines, and appendix, says Indira Mahidhara, MD, MPH, medical editor at MCG Health. Some stomach pain is even linked to the chest (eg, pneumonia or pulmonary embolism), the urinary system, and even migraines, he adds.

Stomach pain also varies in intensity from mild to severe and can manifest many different sensations, including a sharp or dull knife-like pain, burning, squeezing and spasms, Dr. Mahindara added.

Common causes of stomach pain

About 40 percent of emergency department visits that begin with abdominal pain are reported to have an “undiagnosed cause,” Dr. Mahindara explained.

He added that 30% of these patients under the age of 50 had a final diagnosis of appendicitis. With that said, the list of potential culprits for stomach pain is quite extensive. The most common causes of stomach pain, according to Dr. Greenwald and Dr. Mahindara, are:

  • Indigestion or acid reflux
  • Gas or bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Food Poisoning
  • Food allergies

Symptoms associated with abdominal pain vary depending on the cause, but may include fever, lack of appetite, weight gain or loss, difficulty swallowing, chest pain or burning, bloating, fullness, nausea or vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, black or bloody stools. burning with urination, blood in the urine, back pain, rash, jaundice and bruising, Mahindara said.

How is stomach pain diagnosed?

Most abdominal pain problems can be diagnosed with a careful review of the health history and physical exam, explained Dr. Greenwald, who adds that “the vast majority are not serious.”

In some cases, additional tests may be required to fully understand the underlying problem, which may include blood tests, stool and urine samples, and imaging of the abdomen through X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans.

How to treat minor stomach ache at home

“Treatment of course depends on the underlying problem,” said Dr. Greenwald.

But the antacids and diet modifications you use (think: the BRAT diet) are established suggestions for relief, he says. Hydration, “even frequent sips of fluids,” is also key in the midst of diarrhea, Dr. Mahindara adds, and anti-inflammatory medications and a heating pad should help ease abdominal cramps. Just be careful with medications, he advises, “because they can help or worsen a condition depending on the cause.”

How to Know When Stomach Pain Is Serious (And When to See a Doctor)

If things take a turn for the worse and symptoms such as increased pain, fever, severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea or the development of a rigid, “board-like” surface of the abdomen, Dr. Greenwald said to seek emergency medical attention. Other alarming signs to look out for, according to Dr. Mahindara, are a change in mental status, lethargy or weakness, and decreased urination. If these symptoms occur or acute abdominal pain persists for a few days, seek treatment immediately.

Abdominal Pain Causes, Treatments – Why Does My Stomach Hurt? Source link Abdominal Pain Causes, Treatments – Why Does My Stomach Hurt?

Related Articles

Back to top button