Table of Contents
Stomach Problems – What’s up with Your Tummy
Chapter 1:What Are Stomach Problems?
Stomach problems are a broad, and vague term we use to describe problems in our gut or abdomen. There are many causes of stomach problems. We’ve all experienced them, often they last a couple of hours, possibly a day or two before resolving on their own.
In most cases, you probably know what is causing your stomach ache. It could be the take-away food you bought that is irritating the wall of your stomach. Or you might be someone who experiences, reflex or too much stomach acidity daily. These are just two common stomach problem causes.
Fortunately, common stomach problems, most of the time, are not worth worrying about. In addition they can easily be treated and diagnosed. In fact, most of the time, they pass without you having to do anything about it.
However, there are sinister causes of stomach problems which you should certainly see a doctor about. If you have a new stomach problem or it’s getting worse, you should see a health professional.
Chapter 2:What Is Stomach Pain?
Stomach pain is pain felt anywhere from the bottom of your rib cage to your pelvis. This region is called your abdomen. The abdomen contains many organs, including your stomach, pancreas, small and large bowel, liver, kidneys and reproductive organs. There are also nerves, muscles and major blood vessels in the abdomen.
As we mentioned earlier stomach pain is a vague term used to describe abdominal pain. Therefore, when someone says they are experiencing stomach pain, they could be referring to pain anywhere in their abdomen.
Chapter 3:Types of Stomach Pain
Types of stomach pain are based on the duration of the pains.
- Acute pain -Lasts for about a few hours or a few days.
- Chronic pain – Lasts for longer
- Progressive pain – gradually worsens over time and often comes with other symptoms.
Chapter 4:Common Causes for Stomach Problems
The most common cause of stomach issues is digestive problems. This topic divides into some of the most heard issues, including constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and bloating. However, something to keep in mind is that these problems only become minor if they are treated. Most importantly, even the most insignificant issue can be life-altering without proper care.
Beneath are a few causes that can create stomach problems.
Constipation takes place due to the low consumption of fiber, and water. The stomach bloats due to excess gas. One of the common symptoms may be the difficulty to pass stools by them becoming very hard.
Gastritis takes place due to the inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This is a result of an infection. It creates pain and unusual fullness in the abdomen. Nausea is another symptom. After that, the pain may escalate into a gnawing burning sensation in your upper abdomen.
It is always important to request the doctor to explain the side effects some of the prescribed medicine can have on an individual. Without knowledge, when these issues take place, confusion is inevitable.
Stomach pain can be a side effect of prescribed medication. These may take place as diarrhea, indigestion, or constipation.
These are deposits that are formed inside the gallbladder. This issue can happen by not emptying the bladder when necessary or by consuming too much cholesterol. This condition creates sharp pain around the right abdomen area.
Consumption of a lot of water helps an early-stage gallbladder case. In addition to that, medication can help too. It can also become severe to the point that surgery becomes necessary.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A series of cramps, pains, and other uncomfortable situations appear as a cluster without proof of an underlying issue. This is recognizable by the stomach discomfort which can spring up as frequently as three times a month.
However, it is hard to see what is expected in this situation. Whatever it is, it is going to be different and uncomfortable.
Noticing blood after passing stool may be an indication of hemorrhoid. These are caused by the inflammation of blood vessels that are at the end of your digestive tract. In addition, this is a prevalent issue and causes severe pain and itch. Hemorrhoids are caused mainly by constipation.
Eating more fiber and drinking a lot of water can help you prevent this painful situation.
Abdominal hernias can cause stomach pain. A body tissue visibly appears through an abdominal wall area. This wall area can be weak or torn.
Appendicitis pain tends to develop around the belly button. However, with time it proceeds to the lower right part of the abdomen, creating extreme pain. Patients with this condition will experience nausea as well.
The pancreas is a tiny gland, which releases insulin to the body. It helps the digestion of fat and controls blood sugar levels. The inflammation of this small gland leads to Pancreatitis. It can be commonly caused by gallstones or alcohol abuse. Symptoms would be severe pain in the upper belly.
During this situation, consumed gluten causes the immune system to attack the small intestine. It can cause discomfort as well as loose bowel, weight loss, and gastritis.
A lactose intolerant person is short of the enzymes necessary to digest the sugar in dairy products. Thus, these individuals experience bloating after consuming dairy products, diarrhea, or a gassy stomach.
This is a less common situation, but that does not mean impossible. Among many other less severe issues, lower abdominal pain or upper abdominal pain which concerns ovaries, stomach, colon, pancreas, or liver, makes cancer a possibility. Usually, this condition is associated with other symptoms such as blood with stool passing, continuous abdominal pain, or weight loss. Also, it is crucial to make sure that you inform your doctor of all the symptoms you are experiencing for a precise diagnosis.
Chapter 5:Getting Medical Help for Stomach Problems
Stomach pain may be one of the most common issues that do not alarm one. However, there are a few signs of severe illnesses that can be present with a sharp stomach ache.
These symptoms may be signs of abdominal distress. Patients experiencing these symptoms do need medical attention. However, they may not be in a life-threatening situation
- very dark urine, which may also indicate dehydration
- hard stool and difficulty passing stool.
- tender belly
- the feeling of having a full bladder even after urinating
As opposed to that, if the below conditions appear, it is time to run to the doctor.
- high fever
- black or discolored bowel movement
- blood vomiting
- pain does not stop. Keeps coming back.
- nauseous and vomiting
- not passing stool for days.
- pain lasts for hours or days
- continuous vomiting with very little intervals at most
- breathing becoming hard
- pale or yellow skin
- bleeding during pregnancy
- chest pain
- being unconscious, unalert, or unresponsive
- increased heart rate
These signs may be indicating a severe problem happening within the body that needs immediate medical attention. In other words, they can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. These conditions can persist inside the body for a long time. Thus, these symptoms call for urgent medical help. Any waste of time could put you in tremendous danger.
Chapter 6:Diagnosing Stomach Problems
There are a million different causes of stomach pain. Thus, there will be a thorough physical examination. However, here are some of the questions your doctor may ask to decide on what is causing your abdominal issues.
- Where does it hurt?
- For how long has the pain lasted?
- Can you describe the pain? Is it pulling, throbbing, etc.?
- Is the pain centered in one place or is it all over?
- What makes the pain easier? What makes it worse?
- Have you noticed a change of it after a certain food or drink?
- Does the pain move towards other parts of the body?
- Are you pregnant?
- Is there a possibility of you being pregnant?
- Did you sufer from an illness or an injury recently?
- Do certain postures make the pain worse?
- What is your menstrual pain like?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Are you taking any medications?
After going through these simple questions, doctors are also likely to conduct examinations to determine the underlying issues. These can include and may not be limited to,
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Stool tests
At the end of these examinations, the doctor will come up with a diagnosis. The treatment plan will be decided accordingly.
Chapter 7:Treating Stomach Problems
The treatment methods for abdominal issues depend on what is causing them. Similarly, based on your diagnosis, a treatment method will be recommended to you by your healthcare provider.
Medication for stomach problems
Medication is often used to reduce abdominal pain. They act to lower inflammation, prevent acid reflux, and also fight infections. It’s important to have prescribed medicine for your condition. This is because over-the-counter pain relievers can have negative side effects, which will make the initial cause of the pain much worse.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed if the stomach problem is due to an infection. These antibiotics can be taken at home while some may have to be given through the vein, under the guidance of a medical professional.
Steroids may be used to reduce the progression of bowel diseases caused by inflammation.
Surgery for stomach problems
Surgery is the first option when it comes to gallstones, appendicitis, hernia, and some more issues. Also when it is often the last resort option for most stomach problem situations. Depending on the situation, an appropriate surgery will be recommended. Most of the time, surgery is recommended when there are no easier ways out.
Lifestyle remedies to reduce stomach problems
Most stomach problems happen due to harmful practices. For example, not drinking enough water can easily lead to constipation and gallstones. Not passing urine when needed can lead to gallstones. Not eating when hungry and skipping meals can lead to gastritis. Similarly, the best treatment for stomach problems comes from home remedies. All it takes is altering the harmful practices into healthy ones.
Chapter 8:How Can I Help Myself with a Stomach Problem?
As said before, surgery is a painful way to end the pain. Not to mention the side effects that will follow along. These complications can be skipped before it gets to that point by following some simple home remedies.
If you are currently suffering due to a stomach problem, the first thing you need to do is get a proper diagnosis. After that, follow along the below instructions to improve your quality of life and be rid of the pain.
Eat healthily to avoid stomach problems
Add a lot of fiber to your diet. Add vegetables and fruits more than meat, especially if you are already facing constipation issues. Meat tends to make the situation worse.
Drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated helps waste travel with ease and out of your body. Therefore, urine being less thick in consistency will reduce the chance of gallstone developing.
Exercise and avoiding alcohol
Staying active helps you to maintain a balanced healthy body while also consuming healthy food. If one tends to stay in one place after a full meal, it can increase the risk of attracting illnesses.
However, this does not mean strain yourself. It is important to identify the cause of your pain to determine which treatment method is best for you. For example, doctors may advise someone not to tire themselves, depending on the diagnosis.
Alcohol consumption can directly lead to issues such as Pancreatic. Alcohol is also one of the leading issues of cancer.
Good hygiene to reduce stomach problems
Make sure your fruits and vegetables are washed well before consuming them. Wash your hands before eating. These simple lifestyle remedies that we have been taught since childhood hold more importance than one might understand. Especially when it comes to stomach problems.
Bacteria and other germs that can exist on the surfaces can easily create confusion inside our bodies. After that, it can result in diarrhea, nausea, fever, or other problems.
Develop good eating habits
There are simple practices you can follow to reduce inflammation and digestion issues.
Eat slowly and chew food well before swallowing it. This makes it easier to digest. Try consuming smaller portions in a few meals than having one or two big meals. Avoid extremely cold or hot temperatures. Recognize food that may give you increased gas or digestion issues. Engage in things that cause you enjoyment because stressful situations can increase in pain and lethargy. Avoid lying down right after you eat. Let your food digest. Take a short walk to help the process.
Try to rid yourself of alcohol consumption. The negative effects it has on one’s body may increase aches and pains and lead to cancer very easily.
Chapter 9:Other Issues Related to Stomach Problems
Stomach problems can be related to any part of the body. Therefore, it is never guaranteed why or which part of the body is related to a stomach ache. Thus, not seeking treatment can result in harming very significant parts of your body. It is very important to refer yourself to a doctor and follow the recommended treatment because these plans are specifically designed according to each patient’s diagnosis.
Below are a few complications that can come up if stomach problems are left untreated.
- Intestinal wall being ruptured
- Infertility risks
- Appendix being ruptured
- Cancer spread
- Infection spread