8 Common Causes and Helpful Solutions
Unfortunately, stomach pain happens to us all. Sometimes you might feel the ache after eating a spicy burrito in which the cause for the discomfort is quite obvious. However in most cases, and more often, your stomach hurts and you may have no idea what’s causing the pain.
Here are 8 of the most common causes of stomach pain as well some suggestions to help ease the ache or make it go away.
- Indigestion: This results in burning in the stomach or upper abdomen, along with bloating, belching and gas. Indigestion may be a sign of gastro esophageal reflux, ulcers or gallbladder problems. Most cases of indigestion go away within a few hours, but if your symptoms get worse, you should see a doctor.
- Constipation: A swollen abdomen and abdominal pain is common with constipation. In children, constipation is the most common cause of abdominal pain, according to a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics. Constipation can often be relieved by:
- Drinking extra water(2-4 glasses a day)
- Drinking warm liquids
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Eating prunes or bran cereal
- Stomach flu: More than 90 percent of stomach flu outbreaks in the United States each year are caused by a group of related viruses called norovirus. The illness is usually self-limiting and will go away after a day or two.
- Food poisoning: Some of the most common causes of food poisoning are infections caused by bacteria, such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli and botulism. Most cases of food poisoning go away on their own in several days, but if the condition is persistent or severe you should see a doctor.
- Menstrual Cramps: 3 out of 4 women experience some form of menstrual discomfort, such as menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps may be caused by prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances involved in pain and inflammation that trigger your uterus to contract to expel its lining. Exercise, rest, massage, and yoga may all help to relieve the pain.
- Food allergies: If a particular food you are eating is causing you repeated stomach pain or discomfort, you may have a food allergy. There is no way to cure food allergies, so the best way to avoid a reaction is to strictly avoid the allergy-causing foods.
- Gas: Traditionally, one of the top recommendations, including from the American College of Gastroenterology, to keep gas to a minimum is to identify gas-forming foods in your diet, then avoid or reduce them. Foods that are considered to be increase gas discomfort include:
- Brussels sprouts
Pay attention to foods that you eat which seem to cause gas. Be sure to limit the consumption of these foods or try to omit them entirely from your diet.
- Lactose intolerance: Is the inability to fully digest lactose, or milk sugar, in dairy products. It’s caused by a deficiency in lactase, an enzyme produced by your small intestine that breaks down lactose.
If you love dairy but are lactose intolerant, there’s good news: it doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat dairy. Consuming dairy products in small amounts and with other foods usually helps to bypass symptoms.
If your stomach pain is severe, reoccurring, is preventing you from eating or accompanied by fever or chills, you should see your doctor.