Contributed by- Dr. Snehal Singh
Stomach pain is a common health problem, all of us at some point or other have fallen victim to this health disorder. Pain in the abdomen accompanied with discomfort is often identified with most stomach problems. Such bouts of pain can be short lived or prolonged, dull aches or severe cramps, due to gas problems or menstrual pain, the list goes on.
A common health issue which is almost never taken seriously. Stomach pains are almost always dismissed as nothing and most of us fail to acknowledge it on time until the problem becomes really serious. The causes of abdominal pain may range from minor problems like hunger to serious ones like stomach cancer.
Although, commonly denoted as stomach pain, the pain is actually in the abdomen and sometimes in the other organs situated in the same area. Usually, the location, nature and severity of stomach pain is enough for the diagnosis. But sometimes, blood tests and certain investigations are needed to confirm the problem. Let us look at some of the common causes of stomach pain.
Causes Of Upper Stomach Pain
The upper part of the abdomen includes the lower end of the food pipe, stomach and small intestine. Cramping pain in abdomen, gas, belching or farting is a day to day problem for many. Other organs like gallbladder, pancreas, liver and the kidneys too can be the cause of pain in the upper part of the abdomen.
Stomach Pain On The Left Side
Mostly caused when yo have not eaten for long or when you have eaten something that does not suit you. It is due to the distension of the stomach or inflammation in the area. The common causes for stomach pain on the left side includes:
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn
- Excess acid in the stomach
Effects of certain medications, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other drugs can also cause severe stomach pain and ulcers. People suffering from arthritis or chronic conditions usually take pain killers, which are really harmful for the stomach health in the long run.
Stomach Pain On The Right Side
Such stomach aches are mainly caused due to problems with gallbladder or liver like:
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of gallbladder)
Sometimes the pain may also extend to the right shoulder and accompanied with:
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowish skin or jaundice tenderness in the abdomen area
Blood tests help to identify infections and liver function tests determine various parameters of liver and gall bladder problems
Causes Of Lower Abdominal Pain
Pain in lower abdomen can be due to various causes ranging from allergies to infections. Most common of these causes are:
- Eating something that is not tolerated well
- Dietary changes cause pain in lower tummy region
Common causes of lower abdominal pain include:
- Peptic ulcers
- Disorders of the abdominal organs
Certain other health disorders which are accompanied with abdomen aches include:
- Food poisoning
- Infections like typhoid, malaria
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
- Lactose or gluten intolerance
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome is accompanied with lower abdominal cramps, bloating and changes in bowel movements, mostly loose or painful stool
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Women often suffer lower abdomen pain during their menstruation
- Disorders like prostate gland like prostatitis
- Parasitic infections or worms
- Anxiety or stress
Stomach problems can be managed with healthy diet, regular exercises and proper rest. If the symptoms worsen or if you note very high fever, excessive or dark coloured vomiting, presence of blood in stool, severe bloating or constipation, it is advisable to seek immediate medical help.
Along with symptoms and clinical examination, blood tests, urine and stool tests help to identify the cause of stomach pain. Sometimes, additional tests and scans may be needed, based on which diagnosis can be confirmed and treatment can be planned.
Stomach pain is a symptom seen on the surface, but can have many possible causes and underlying conditions. So, if you have stomach pain, keep a watch on your complaints and seek medical help, as needed. Regular health check-ups and routine blood tests also help to identify health risks and detect abnormalities that may be causing stomach pain. Your diet and lifestyle too plays an important role, so make sure to eat well and exercise daily.
Stop dismissing stomach pains as nothing and pay attention to them. You only live once make sure to live healthy.
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