It may be safe to say that you may have had a burning sensation and pain in your stomach at least once in life. We’ve all been there, isn’t it? Typically, we all believe that our bad eating habits may be the reason why. However, this is not the only factor. There could be many causes of stomach pain. For instance, indigestion, gas or bloating may make it difficult for you to properly clean your intestines, resulting in stomach pain. In this situation, it is best to find out the root cause to fix the stomach pain.
Causes of stomach pain
Sometimes, stomach pain is mild and goes away on its own. But sometimes it is severe and it becomes difficult for you to deal with it. This is where you should find the answer: why does your stomach hurt?
Besides poor diet and other factors, HealthShots reached out to Dr Amit Mittal, Head of Department and Senior Consultant, Gastroenterology, Sanar International Hospitals, Gurugram, to learn the main reasons for stomach pain.
“One of the most typical ailments experienced by people of all ages and genders is stomach pain. The causes of the discomfort can vary from person to person, thus each person’s treatment may be different as well,” Dr Mittal notes. He adds that several digestive conditions, including gallbladder disease, appendix, and constipation, can cause stomach pain.
Here are 5 common causes of stomach pain, explained by Dr Mittal:
It’s basically a sore in the stomach lining, which generally occur due to the rapid reduction of protective mucus in the internal layer of the stomach. Bacterial infection or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause its occurrence. Ulcers are treatable with medication, but delaying painful symptoms may result in severity. Avoiding such pain may lead to frequent episodes of vomiting, bloating, heartburn, dark stools, etc. To avoid problems, stay away from cold drinks, alcohol, junk food, spicy food, and focus on healthy eating and drinking adequate water.
Constipation means hard stools. It is when incomplete evacuation and bowel movements are less frequent. Generally occurs due to unhealthy eating patterns and dehydration, the problem of constipation is prevalent these days. When bowel movements are tough, the person experiences painful stools or difficulty in passing it.
Although it’s not that serious unless it’s frequent or severe, one really needs to relook at the food pattern. One should not sit idle after eating. Take a normal walk and ensure proper digestion before going to bed. Avoid drinking water immediately after meals. Also, you should not unnecessarily pressure stools which is commonly done by many people, it may cause added discomfort and pain, rather consult a doctor and opt for a medical solution.
Diarrhoea means loose and watery motions, caused by bacterial or viral infections, leading to dehydration. Unlike constipation, frequent bowel movements result in diarrhoea, but this is also very common and is treatable. To prevent its occurrence keep yourself hydrated, increase the intake of fruits, water, and fiber, and take extra care of nutrition.
Gallstones are grain-like or small balls that grow due to the hardening of bile material in the gallbladder. They also cause minor to severe pain. Many people with undiagnosed gallstones may experience severity if they delay such pain or look for immediate pain remedies. They can cause infection and complications like jaundice, and pancreatitis.
5. Acute hepatitis
Acute hepatitis is an infection of the liver. It is caused due to infections like viruses A, B, C, and E. While Hepatitis A and E spread due to contaminated water, food, or surroundings, Hepatitis B, C, and D spread through blood and sexual contact. Chronic infections can damage the liver or cause liver cirrhosis. For preventive measures, vaccinations are available.
When to visit a doctor for stomach pain?
This list of causes of abdominal pain may not be the cause of everyone’s abdominal pain. Therefore, Dr Mittal recommends that for all chronic and acute abdominal pain, the person should seek urgent gastroenterology consultation for further evaluation and management.
The person may be evaluated through:
- Blood tests
- Stool tests
- Ultrasound abdomen
- Upper or lower gastrointestinal endoscopy