By Dr R Prasanth
MBBS. DNB (Med) DM (Gastroenterology)
Published on 18/07/2022
Abdominal pain is such a frequent and common symptom that it makes it difficult to determine whether it is caused by a major condition requiring immediate medical attention or a common discomfort that can resolve on its own.
However, pain can also be an indicator of underlying diseases, and we must admit that it is an important protective mechanism that can help with the early identification of a serious condition and its treatment.
Only basic treatment is needed to help relax the common symptoms of stomach pain. Sometimes, even home remedies can help. If there is a serious underlying condition like cancer or others, then you definitely need proper treatment given by an expert doctor.
What is Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal pain can strike anywhere between the chest and the groine. The pain may feel like mild, moderate, or extreme stomach cramps. This pain in your stomach may be due to gas, bloating, or constipation as well.
The pain in the abdomen is colicky that can come and go. You might feel good one minute and then have acute, abrupt abdominal pain the next moment. A few other common causes of this pain are kidney stones and gallstones.
Common Causes of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is a frequent problem that can be caused by a variety of factors.
Some common causes which are easily resolved with treatment include:
1. Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
In this condition, the abdominal pain is usually accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and fluid-filled stools, which occur much sooner and more frequently than normal after eating.
The majority of cases are caused by bacteria or viruses, and the symptoms normally go away after a few days. Symptoms that persist for more than two days could indicate a more serious health concern, such as an infection or an inflammatory disorder like inflammatory bowel disease.
When microorganisms in the small intestine digest foods that the body does not tolerate, gas is produced. Severe pain may be caused by increased gas pressure in the intestine. Flatulence and belching can also be caused by gas.
3. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS patients have a harder time digesting particular foods or types of foods for unknown reasons. Many patients with IBS experience abdominal pain, which is often relieved after a bowel movement. Gas, nausea, cramps, and bloating are very common symptoms.
4. Acid Reflux
Stomach acids can sometimes go up to the throat. This reflux is nearly always accompanied by a burning feeling and pain. This can also cause bloating and cramps.
Pain can occur when the stomach lining becomes irritated or bloated. Other symptoms of gastritis include vomiting, nausea, bloating and gas.
6. Food Intolerances
When the body is unable to digest food, bacteria in the intestines and stomach break it down, releasing gas in the process. When there are a lot of undigested items, a lot of gas is created, which causes pressure and pain. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.
A person who suffers from food intolerance will be hypersensitive to particular foods.
When too much waste accumulates in the bowel, the pressure on the colon rises, causing pain. It could also be an indication of a neurological problem or an intestinal blockage. Constipation should be treated by a doctor if it persists and is causing pain.
8. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a long-term condition caused by acid reflux. It can cause nausea, heartburn, and abdominal pain. It can eventually lead to problems, such as esophageal irritation. Usually, it is a regular occurrence and can be easily treated.
9. Stomach or peptic ulcers
Severe and persistent stomach pain is often caused by ulcers or wounds that fail to heal. Bloating, indigestion, and weight loss are all possible side effects. This can be one of the common causes of stomach pain.
How can I prevent abdominal pain?
Here are some tips to reduce the pain:
- Have a proper healthy diet
- Drink lots of water
- Exercise regularly
- Eating smaller meals
If you have an intestinal disorder, such as Crohn's disease, stick to the diet your doctor recommends to keep your symptoms to a minimum. If you have GERD, avoid eating within two hours of going to bed.
Heartburn and abdominal pain can occur if you lie down too soon after eating. Before lying down, wait at least 2 hours after eating.
Don't be worried! Not all abdominal pain is serious; it can be caused by some common causes that are easily treated. If your acute abdominal pain is severe, contact the doctor right away so you can figure out what's wrong and start treatment.