Stomach pain is not fun. It is also not that easy to treat because there are so many causes of stomach pain some of which may be linked with what’s happening to/with other organs. Stomach pain may involve gas, bloating, turbulence or just general aches but what are some of the most common causes?
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is amongst the most common causes of stomach pain. IBS causes stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas - not pleasant. If you see a doctor about the symptoms of IBS you will also be tested for colitis, Crohn’s disease and other bowel diseases. If you are negative for these illnesses then it is probable that you have IBS. You can help to control IBS when you work out the types of foods which cause a flare up and avoid them. For more info on IBS and diet read Alison’s post here health.allwomenstalk.com or stick IBS in the AWS search box.
2. Intolerance to Gluten
Gluten is in foods such as rye, barley and wheat and some people are very sensitive to it. If you are intolerant to gluten then you will suffer abdominal cramping, gas, extreme bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Again it can be eliminated through your diet but don’t make an assumption – get tested.
Not heard of this before? Well it is a uterine condition that effects women and is pretty painful. It happens when the cells of the uterine wall move to other areas within the pelvis and it feels like the pain is concentrated around the abdomen area. If you have this then you will suffer from cramping, irregular periods, spotting and unfortunately it can cause infertility. To be diagnosed with the condition you will need to have an ultrasound. If you do have it then you will be given painkillers and hormone therapy, and possibly even surgery.
4. Stomach Ulcers
Around one in every ten Americans will develop a gastric or peptic ulcer in their life. An ulcer causes a burning or sharp pain in your stomach, one which is impossible to ignore. The pain is usually worse after eating or when pressure is on the stomach. Stomach ulcers can be caused by excessive drinking, taking meds such as aspirin or smoking.
Love to swim in open water, lakes and ponds? If so then you could be at risk of suffering from a nasty parasite. Parasites cause painful cramping, stomach pain, nausea, gas and diarrhea. The most common parasite are called Giardia worms, these will live in your digestive tract just a few days after you have been swimming. You can also contract parasite when you drink water or unpasteurized drinks that have been contaminated.
If your pancreas is inflamed then it will be no surprise that you’ll get a pain in the tummy. You will also find that it gives you a burning pain in your abdomen and a vibrating in your back. This can lead you to feel quite sick and even to being physically sick.
7. Lactose Intolerance
It is said that roughly 65 percent of the world’s population suffer from intolerance to lactose. Lactose is found in milk products and if you are intolerant to it then you might find yourself with gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pains, nausea and diarrhea after drinking milk or consuming food containing milk.
Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD) is something that attacks the valve that prevents stomach acid from going up to the esophagus. When the valve is weakened and the stomach acid splashes up to the esophagus, you can get heartburn and upper abdominal pain. Eating fatty and rich foods can be a cause of GERD and you can help to avoid the symptoms when you eat healthier and avoid overeating.
9. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by bad bacteria finding its way into your food. When the bacteria are ingested you will suffer with gas, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and bloating. Food poisoning symptoms usually go within a few days, however in the elderly or the very young, the bacteria can be very serious and even life threatening.
If your stomach pains are severe or regular enough for you to be concerned, self diagnosis is not a good idea. Please book an appointment and get tested. Many stomach pains can be dealt with through changes to your diet – as long as you know which changes to make.