Did you know?
- Around 70% of the immune system resides in the stomach
- The gut is also known as the second brain of the body
- At rest, the capacity of the stomach is around 70 grams which can expand to approximately 946 grams to hold food
- The stomach helps absorb vitamin B12 from the foods eaten
- Foods loaded with sugar digest quickly and increase hunger
- Foods full of healthy fats and proteins digest slowly and minimizes hunger
- Whether a person is fat or thin, the stomach size remains the same
The stomach is one of the most crucial parts of the body. Its main function is to digest food and send it to the small intestine.
The small intestine then absorbs all the nutrients in the food. These nutrients travel throughout the body for storage or usage with the assistance of the circulatory system.
Most people ignore stomach aches, thinking it’s normal and will go away in a while. However, experts suggest that any discomfort in the stomach should not be left untreated as it can lead to the onset of serious ailments.
To help you keep your stomach at the top of its health, this article brings you the five most common causes of stomach pain, their symptoms, and some preventive measures to manage the condition.
Gastritis is a condition that arises when digestive juices in the stomach pass through the protective lining of the stomach (mucus) and causes inflammation.
Causes of gastritis
Symptoms of gastritis
- Nausea & upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Burning sensation in the stomach, between meals or at night
Peptic ulcers are open sores that grow on the lining (mucus) of the oesophagus or upper part of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers are of two types:
- Gastric ulcers: Occurs inside the stomach
- Duodenal ulcers: Occurs in the upper portion of the small intestine
Causes of peptic ulcers
- Bacterial infection
- Prolonged use of aspirin & other painkillers
- Alcohol consumption
- Preexisting liver, kidney, or lung complications
- A family history of ulcers
Symptoms of peptic ulcers
- Gnawing in the middle of the upper stomach, usually between meals or at night
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight loss
- Dark stool
A stomach virus is a viral infection in the intestines. Also known as stomach flu and gastroenteritis, the infection is contagious and spreads through contact with an infected person, contaminated food, or water.
Causes of stomach flu
- Contact with an infected person
- Contaminated water and food
- Poor hand hygiene
Symptoms of stomach flu
- Watery diarrhoea
- Cramps & pain
- Vomiting, nausea, or both
- Occasional muscle pain & headaches
- Low-grade fever
Note: The symptoms of stomach flu usually go away on their own. However, repeated episodes of throwing up, dehydration, high fever and visible blood in vomit or stool necessitates medical intervention.
Food poisoning is common, and it can happen to anyone. The condition takes place when a person consumes food or water contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins.
Symptoms of food poisoning:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever
Note: The symptoms of food poising usually disappear on their own. But medical intervention is necessary if symptoms persist for more than three days.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that occurs in the large intestine, giving rise to a group of symptoms.
Causes and risk factors of IBS:
- Women are more likely to suffer IBS than men
- Aged 40 or above
- A family history of IBS
- Stress, mental disorder, or any emotional trouble
- Food poisoning or stomach flu
Symptoms of IBS
- Repeated episodes of diarrhoea
- Excessive gas or bloating
- Belly pain, usually in the lower part
- Mucus in poop
- Food intolerance
- Tiredness, anxiety & depression
- Heartburn & indigestion
Preventive measures for stomach ailments
- Eat nutritious & stomach-friendly foods
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid excessive consumption of over the counter medicines
- Minimize the intake of fatty foods & fizzy drinks
- Quit smoking
- Avoid chewing gum
- Eat & drink slowly
- Seek medical intervention in case of persistent symptoms
Stomach ailments are common and can cause extreme discomfort. The above-mentioned are the five most common causes of stomach ailments, and some preventive measures that can help control the symptoms.
Moreover, you should also frequently opt for stomach screening. It provides you with vital insights into your stomach, allowing you to take necessary measures to improve it.