Stomach Pain: Potential Causes and Treatments.
Everything has suffered from stomach pain in their lifetime. Whether it is from eating something wrong, indigestion, overeating, etc. But did you know, 1/3 of adult's patients say their underlying cause of abdominal pain can’t be specified. This you?
If you are unsure about the cuase of stomach pain, you should definitely read our guide which covers potential causes and treatments of stomach pain.
What is stomach pain?
Stomach pain is discomfort in the belly region of your body. Even though it is called “stomach pain”, the pain could originate from other organs of the gastrointestinal system. Organs like your small intestine, large intestine, liver, etc. Depending on the nature of the cause, your pain can be described as:
- Burning/ On Fire
- Aching / Crampy
- Sharp / Dull
- Aching / Crampy
- Sharp / Dull
Stomach Pain Causes:
1. Stomach Acid
Your stomach produces acid to break down your food for digestion. Your stomach is lined with a special coating to specifically contain this acid. However, there will be times when your stomach acid travels up your esophagus (the tube that connects mouth to stomach), leading to burns and inflammation. This is called acid reflux. If left untreated, it could develop into a chronic illness called GERD ( gastroesophageal reflux disease). The common symptoms are heart burn, sour taste in your mouth, and bloating; usually after eating.
GERD(Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
If left untreated, it could develop into a chronic illness called GERD ( gastroesophageal reflux disease). The common symptoms are heart burn, sour taste in your mouth, and bloating; usually after eating.
Treatment of GERD
Depending on severity, your doctor will advise you on a few lifestyle changes:
- Cut down/quit smoking
- Take frequent but small meals. Up to 5 times a day.
- Maintain a healthy weight according to BMI index
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes.
- Avoid overeating.
- If your symptoms persist, your doctor may prescribe stomach acid medications, such as antiacids.
2. Food poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by eating spoiled or contaminated food. Food poisoning can be caused by many kinds of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Hence, symptom onset (time for symptoms to appear) and symptoms severity vary greatly.
Watch what you eat! Meat, eggs, water, and dairy products are frequently contaminated. Heat works from cooking usually kills the bulk of pathogens, but some foodborne bacteria produce poisons or toxins that are not destroyed by high cooking temperatures.
Symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Stomach cramps with diarhhea.
Children under 5, fever higher than 39 celcius, diarrhea for more than 3 days and blood urine are all red-flags and rerquire immediate medical attention. When in dobut, always visit a doctor or BIG Pharmacist.
Treatment of food poisoning
It is important to stay hydrated during an episode of food poisoning. Your hydration level drops when faced with vomit/diarrhea. This results in general weakness and tiredness.
We recommend taking an electrolyte drink or hydration salts. But in cases of severe diarrhoea and vomiting, visit your hospital for more specialized care for hydration levels.
Avoid overly sugary drinks and coffee because these will dehydrate you.
- OTC medications
Taking an anti-diarrheal stops diarrheal by slowing down your digestive movement. Anti-diarrheal only treats the symptoms but not the cause. In some cases, an anti-diarrheal is not recommended because vomiting and diarrhoea are our body’s natural reactions to expelling armful pathogens in our digestive tract.
Depending on the severity and nature of the infection. Your doctor may give an antibiotic or anti-parasite medication to control the infection.
Due to modern cooking practices, it is rare for food poisoning to be life-threatening. Most individuals recover completely within a few days, even without treatment.
Stomach pains are a part of life. Causes, such as food poisoning and stomach acid reflux may be instantly recognizable. Other causes may be more mysterious and more sinister in nature. Always check with your healthcare providers and when in doubt, contact your doctor or nearest BIG Pharmacist.