Abdominal pain is one of the most common health complaints Americans experience each year. In fact, it accounts for almost one-third (31.8 percent) of all emergency room visits.
Are you experiencing frequent pain in your abdominal regions? Does it seem as though it’s happening for no specific reason?
The truth is that there is a reason for your pain. Read on for some information that will help you get to the bottom of what’s causing it and figure out an appropriate solution.
Types of Stomach Pain
To figure out what’s causing your stomach pain, it first helps to figure out what kind of pain, specifically, you are experiencing. Believe it or not, there are lots of different ways that one can feel abdominal pain. The following are some of the most common types:
As the name suggests, localized pain affects one part of your abdomen. You might feel it in the lower part of the stomach, for example, or on one side. This type of pain is often associated with things like stomach ulcers or an issue with a specific organ, such as the appendix.
When your pain feels crampy, you may also experience symptoms like diarrhea or gas. This type of pain could be caused by severe menstrual cramps, food poisoning, a food intolerance, or a condition like irritable bowel syndrome.
Abdominal pain is described as colicky when it comes on suddenly and feels more like a muscle spasm. This type of abdominal pain is often severe and may be associated with conditions like kidney stones or gallstones.
In many cases, people don’t experience abdominal pain by itself. It’s common to experience other symptoms alongside it, including the following:
- A bitter taste in the mouth
The symptoms you experience along with your abdominal pain can tell you a lot about it. For example, pain accompanied by a fever and vomiting could be a sign of the stomach flu, while pain and heartburn could be a sign of acid reflux.
Common Causes of Pain in the Abdominal Regions
There are lots of conditions that can cause stomach pain. Listed below are some of the most well-known, along with tips on how to treat the pain:
A stomach virus, which is often referred to as the stomach flu, is a common cause of abdominal pain. When you’re dealing with this type of virus, your pain will often be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. You will likely have a fever as well and may experience headaches.
There’s not a lot you can do when it comes to treating a stomach virus. You can manage symptoms, though, by making sure you stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Your doctor may prescribe antidiarrheal medications as well.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS for short) is a condition of unknown origin that impairs the functionality of the digestive tract. People who have IBS often experience abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and/or constipation.
IBS doesn’t have one clear treatment option. In many cases, though, dietary changes, stress management, and certain medications can help to ease symptoms.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a catch-all term. It refers to several illnesses that cause inflammation in the digestive tract, such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
The symptoms of IBD are similar to those associated with IBS, and the treatment options are similar as well. Diet and lifestyle changes can have a significant impact, and certain medications like anti-inflammatories or immune system suppressants can also be helpful.
If you notice that your abdominal pain occurs after you’ve eaten a certain type of food, chances are you may be dealing with an intolerance to it.
Food intolerances often trigger digestive symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. They can cause other symptoms like headaches, brain fog, and acne as well.
Common food intolerances include dairy, gluten, soy, and legumes. Consider eliminating these foods and see if your symptoms get better. Then, add them back in one at a time to figure out which one (or ones) is the culprit.
For those whose pain is acute and located on the right side of the abdomen, appendicitis could be to blame. When one is dealing with appendicitis, they may experience pain when walking or shifting positions, and they may vomit or feel nauseated as well.
If you suspect you have appendicitis, get to a hospital as soon as you can to have an evaluation and possibly have your appendix removed.
Your pain could be caused by endometriosis as well.
This condition causes the endometrial tissue to grow outside of the uterus. This can lead to severe pain in the abdomen, ovaries, and other areas of the body where the tissue may be growing. You may also experience severe fatigue, heavy periods, constipation, and nausea.
Hormone-related medications, including birth control pills and hormone replacement drugs, can help provide symptom relief, as can lifestyle changes.
If you’ve recently come in contact with contaminated food, unclean water, or fecal matter, you could be dealing with abdominal pain because you’ve contracted a parasite infection.
Parasites can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms that are similar to the flu. If your symptoms haven’t gone away within a few days of treatment, consider talking to your doctor about getting tested for parasites.
Once you’ve determined that you do have a parasite, you can treat the issue with herbal remedies, anti-parasitic medications, and dietary changes. You may also want to learn about a parasite cleanse from Microbe Formulas to clear things up faster.
Conquer Your Stomach Pain Today
As you can see, there are a lot of issues that can contribute to pain in the abdominal region.
Now that you know more about what may be causing your stomach cramps or lower abdominal pain, it’s time to talk to your doctor about your concerns. Use this information to help guide your appointment and ensure you get the testing and care you need.
Do you want to learn more about getting to the root of other common health problems? If so, look into some of the other health-related articles on our site today.