Stomachache is the pain felt anywhere in the abdomen region. It can vary from dull pain to more severe form of staggering pain. Cause of stomach pain would be trivial most of the time and serious in rare instances. The abdomen is the place that includes many important organs like stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, kidneys and reproductive organs. The complete process of digestion takes place in the abdominal cavity wherein nutrients from the food are absorbed in the blood excreting waste products.
In this article, you will get to know some of the causes of stomach pain.
Acidity or Heartburn :
At some point of our life, every one of us would have experienced heartburn. It is a feeling of burning pain starting from the stomach region and extending through the esophagus and throat up until the mouth. This occurs when the excess of acid flows from the stomach towards the esophagus. It causes a bloating sensation with burning pain in the stomach. Sphincter muscles present in the stomach may not close completely, allowing the excess of acid and enzymes of the stomach which flows backward till the mouth. This discomfort feeling occurs often when you eat spicy foods or after completing large meals.
Antacids can give relief from acidity or heartburn temporarily. But that cannot be the complete solution for heartburn. You can reduce the intake of spicy items in your food. And most importantly, you should not eat anything when you are stressed. In the contrary, many people end up eating more during stressful situations. The metabolism of the body would be in the rise when a person is in heightened stress increasing blood flow to the muscles and nerves. Your digestive system would not be in a position to secrete enzymes and digestive juices when you are in stress. But as you eat food, it forces the system to produce acids and other enzymes for aiding in digestion and excess of acid is pushed back into the throat and mouth causing heartburn.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome :
Irritable bowel syndrome can cause moderate pain in the stomach. This condition occurs when the bowel movement is either too slow or too quick. As the bowel moves quickly in the intestine the system will not be in a position to absorb the essential nutrients from the food. What exactly causes IBS is not clear, but the symptoms of this problem can be managed by making changes in lifestyle and eating habit. Medications can be taken to control the pain caused by IBS but it is very much necessary to follow regular diet in scheduled time. Factors like emotions, stress and anxiety can aggravate the symptoms of stomach pain caused due to IBS.
Stomach Ulcer :
Peptic ulcer is the cause for moderate to severe stomachache among millions of people. Ulcer is the cause of various factors including intake of certain drugs, bacterial infection and wrong food habits. Pain caused by ulcer is high when your stomach is empty and it reduces once you eat something. People who are taking anti-inflammatory medications for specific diseases regularly are prone to develop stomach ulcer. For some people eating hot and spicy foods often can irritate the soft mucous lining of the stomach and intestine leading to peptic ulcer. It can occur due to bacterial infection by Helicobacter pylori. People with prolonged anxiety disorder and aggressive behavior are likely to develop ulcer. Stomach ulcers can be treated with medications along with diet modification.
Ulcerative Colitis :
Pain at the right lower quadrant of the stomach can be due to ulcerative colitis. The colon is affected due to irritation and develops inflammation causing bloody discharge with bowel. You need to consult your doctor if you see blood discharge regularly on every bowel movement since it can be due to inflammatory bowel disease or colitis. The soft lining of the colon develops swelling and often this disease is chronic. Increased sound from the abdomen, bloody stool, diarrhea, fever, loss of weight and rectal pain are some of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Medications like Azulfidine, Colazal or Dipentum are prescribed for colitis to reduce swelling of colon. In case of severe symptoms like heavy bleeding and formation of hole in the colon, surgery is to be done.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by eating gluten, a special protein found in wheat and barley. This disease affects the entire digestive system and sometimes may even affect other parts of the body. Some of the symptoms of celiac disease are abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, foul smelling stools and weight loss. The effective treatment for celiac disease is to strictly avoid gluten containing foods from the diet. There are some people who may not actually have this disease but still they can be sensitive to gluten.
Trapped Wind :
For many people stomach pain can be caused due to trapped wind in the stomach or intestine. The pain gets reduced automatically when the gas is released or you can try over the counter medications like buscopan for getting relief.
Range Of Pain :
Dull to moderate pain in the abdomen can be tolerated and treated. But if you have severe pain in your abdomen it can be due to serious causes like appendicitis which needs immediate medical attention. A sudden perforation in the colon can also cause severe stomach pain demanding medical care. Acute stomachache can also be caused due to cholecystitis or kidney stones or diverticulitis.