Last Updated: 27th December, 2020
Abdominal Pain or Stomach Ache is a typical symptom and in most cases, it is neglected. If you enjoyed a plentiful meal or have eaten outside there are chances that you might end up clutching your stomach and rolling on a bed as your stomach starts to hurt. Most of the time you are instructed to lie down till you feel better or asked to eat something light. While chewing a teaspoon of fennel seeds or putting some Roasted Split Coriander Seeds in your mouth is what provides respite after having a stomach full meal.
Discomfort or pain in the stomach after enjoying a generous meal, which subsides within some time, is relatively common. But what if it fails to subside even after a day? Adeptly, in that case, you should consult a doctor. This is because abdominal pain or stomach ache may not always be due to irregular eating habits or having a plentiful meal. Moreover, it is not the precise thing to ignore stomach ache as it could be a symptom of an underlying condition that may range from stomach infection or food poisoning to abdominal cancer or stomach cancer.
Over here, in this article, we will not only shed light on some of the common causes of an abdominal pain, but also let you know when to consult a doctor for a stomach ache.
What Is An Abdominal Pain Or Stomach Ache?
Abdominal pain or stomach ache refers to the pain or discomfort in the stomach (most people refer to any pain in the abdomen as stomach pain). It is typically the only symptom a person exhibits. But in some cases, there are other associated symptoms which can be experienced and help in the diagnosis of the underlying health problems. Some of the typical symptoms seen along with stomach ache include:
- Belching or burping
- Heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)
- Feeling full too quickly
- Nausea and/or vomiting
What Does Abdominal Pain Or Stomach Ache Indicate?
Abdominal pain is often nonspecific and may present with other symptoms. Moreover, the onset may be of sudden, rapid, or gradual in nature. If you experience pain in the lower abdominal region, then it could indicate kidney disease. Pain in the pelvic region might be a sign of the bladder or urinary tract infection. Therefore, depending upon the exact location of the pain in the abdominal region, your doctor will try diagnosing the condition.
Abdominal pain can be a typical symptom of multiple health problems. Accordingly, to assist you with a proper understanding of the core stomach problems, over here is what you require to comprehend.
Gastroenteritis: It is an inflammation of the abdomen and intestinal lining. It is caused by contaminated food and can lead to severe abdominal pain associated with nausea, vomiting and loose stools.
Gastritis: It is the same as gastroenteritis, but in this only the stomach lining is affected and not the intestine. Also, symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are more pronounced in gastritis.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: It is a stomach condition that causes abdominal pain usually relieved after bowel movements. Moreover, it can also lead to frequent and recurrent episodes of constipation and diarrhea.
Acid Reflux: Equally known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), in this, the stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining leading to pain in the abdomen. Other typical symptoms include burning sensation in the chest, and bloating, which require medical attention.
Lactose Intolerance: It is a condition in which the person is not capable to digest lactose, a compound present in milk and milk products. It can also lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain which can further lead to throwing up.
Coeliac Disease or Celiac Disease: It is an autoimmune disorder which causes severe damage to the intestine on the consumption of food containing gluten, a protein typically found in wheat and wheat extracts. The classic symptom of coeliac disease or celiac disease is diarrhea along with abdominal pain or stomach ache and bloating.
Food Poisoning: It happens if a person consumes food contaminated with bacteria, virus or parasites. The typical symptoms include abdominal pain or stomach ache and discomfort with vomiting and loose stools.
Abdominal Cancer or Stomach Cancer: In extreme cases, severe abdominal pain along with changes in bowel habits and blood in stools could indicate even abdominal cancer or stomach cancer.
This is just a handful of diseases which can lead to abdominal pain or stomach ache, the comprehensive list is comparatively long and some diseases may even be gender specific. Hence, it is always more satisfactory to consult a doctor to identify the exact cause and get it treated because ignoring any symptom can not only delay its diagnosis but also lower the chances of effective treatment. This may impair the general health of a person in the long run. Therefore, never neglect any pain.
When To See A Doctor For Abdominal Pain Or Stomach Ache?
You must consult a doctor if you suffer an abdominal pain or stomach ache along with:
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Blood in stools
- Severe, continuous pain that lasts for more than an hour
- Persistent pain over a period of 24 hours
- Inability to eat or drink for an hour
- Acute fever
- Unexplained weight loss
Based on the severity of the symptoms and the cause of the condition, your doctor might recommend medicines. However, your doctor might carry out a thorough physical examination followed by the clinical evaluation of the tests and reports to diagnose the condition and treat it accordingly.
Can It Relieve Abdominal Pain Or Stomach Ache At Home?
To relieve abdominal pain or stomach ache, you need to identify the cause of it. Consuming antacids to get rid of acidity or popping OTC painkillers to alleviate stomach pain is unadvised as it can lead to side effects and may worsen the condition. What you can implement is to maintain an absolute control on your diet intake. This is because what you consume can also lead to abdominal pain or stomach ache, hence, it is advised to keep a tab on your eating habits to lower and prevent the chances of abdominal pain or stomach ache.
Some of the traditional tips to follow to prevent abdominal pain or stomach ache at home include:
- Prevent foods loaded with fats like butter, cheese, and fried foods as it might lead to indigestion and stomach ache.
- Stay away from foods that cause your symptoms worse, like milk, if you are lactose intolerant.
- Consume six smaller meals rather than three substantial meals in a day as it helps ease pressure on the abdomen and aid in digestion.
- Avoid taking over the counter (OTC medicines) painkillers without inquiring your doctor as it might worsen the condition.
- Consume fiber-rich foods as it can ease constipation-related stomach pain and also help in relieving the condition.
Make sure you exercise every day without fail to stay healthy and fit as it can help in preventing the stomach related problems including pain and discomfort in the abdomen.
Keep in mind, there are numerous causes of abdominal pain or stomach ache and hence, it is inadmissible to pop any pill or ignore a stomach ache. Consult a doctor if you experience any pain in the abdomen and get it treated to stay healthy and happy.