by The Welthi Bureau 4th July, 2019
It’s not enough to say you have an ache in your belly or abdominal discomfort. You need to know exactly what each type of pain indicates, so that you seek the right kind of medical attention. It’s important to know that there are some benign aches and some that could point to a more serious condition.
Here are a few common types of stomach pain and their possible causes:
Excess Gas - Dull pain in the upper abdominal area
A dull bloated sensation in the upper stomach area could be excess gas caused by eating too fast and thereby imbibing a little too much air. Gas can also be caused by sodas, beer, dairy, leafy vegetables, beans and even artificial sweeteners.
You can prevent excess gas by avoiding foods that cause the problem. Try peppermint oil pills or active charcoal to deal with the issue.
Heartburn - Pain inthe lower chest area/top of the abdominal area
Heartburn or Acid Reflux can be recognised as an uncomfortable acidic taste at the back of the throat, and/or a burning pain in the chest and upper abdomen. Causes of this condition include greasy/spicy foods, alcohol, coffee and acidic juices. The problem can be exacerbated during pregnancy, and smoking is known to worsen it.
You can prevent Heartburn by cutting down on foods that cause the problem. Your Doctor will prescribe a good antacid to treat the symptoms.
Ulcers - Severe pain in the upper abdominal area
Ulcers develop when the lining of the stomach is damaged by strong doses of painkillers, or a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Stress and smoking aggravate the condition. Don’t ignore the symptoms. Consult a doctor immediately.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Cramping and bloating
IBS is generally caused by a sensitive digestive system which can be affected by certain foods. If you are suffering from IBS, your digestive system will either work faster than normal, causing diarrhoea, or slower than usual, causing constipation. Triggers for IBS include fizzy drinks, caffeine and caffeinated drinks; greasy foods, alcohol and stress. To successfully stave off IBS, be alert to triggers, reduce stress and increase the fiber in your diet.
Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) - Stomach cramps and diarrhoea
If you are experiencing cramping and diarrhoea that comes along very suddenly, you may be suffering from Gastroenteritis, caused by a virus or bacteria. Different bacteria commonly found in meat and dairy products, or water, can cause these symptoms, which often subside within two to five days. Keep hydrated so that your body can function, as severe dehydration can be dangerous. Consult your doctor the moment you recognise the symptoms of Gastroenteritis.
Lactose Intolerance - Mild stomach ache and indigestion
If you are experiencing frequent cramping, gas, bloating and indigestion, it could be caused by Lactose Intolerance, and the inability to digest the natural sugar found in dairy products. Consult your doctor immediately and follow a lactose-free diet while getting the necessary calcium from broccoli, kale, tuna, salmon, and calcium fortified soya milk.
Gluten Intolerance - Gas, chronic diarrhoea, bloating
Also known as Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance is a digestive disorder which indicates that your body is unable to process gluten-rich foods. Consult your Doctor and follow a gluten-free diet.
Gallstones - Severe pain in the upper right of your abdomen and under the shoulder
Too much cholesterol causes Gallstones. If you are experiencing the symptoms, consult your Doctor for treatment. In extreme situations, the Gallbladder may have to be surgically removed.
Appendicitis - Pain in the lower right abdomen
If you are experiencing a sharp pain in your lower abdomen or around your belly button, along with nausea and vomiting, you could have Appendicitis. This is caused when the entrance to the appendix is blocked and gets infected. This is a serious condition and requires immediate medical attention.
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