Ah, the stomach! It's the mysterious pit that accepts all the stuff with put into our mouth. Food, drinks, body fluids better left unidentified - all of them disappear into the black void of the stomach. Is there anything that you can't handle, you fleshy sack of mysteries?
Apparently, quite many, as stomach aches aren't that uncommon in people between the ages of any. But what are the reason for your stomach going into pain? well, this article can give you some suggestions. Note that this doe not replace an actual diagnosis by an actual doctor - go see one if any of these sound alarmingly true.
Gallstones form in the gallbladder, and they can cause swelling. This blocks the bile needed to digest fats from reaching the intestines, so gallstone pains strike the right side of the abdomen especially after fatty meals.
A burning pain in the middle or upper abdomen can mean the inflammation of the pancreas. too much alcohol and gallstones (pancreas and gallbladder share the same duct) can be the cause and require hospitalization.
GERD is not an East German doom robot, it's just gastroesophageal reflux disease, It shows up as pain in lower chest and upper stomach. It is caused by weakness of the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus, which allows food and acid from the stomach to splash upwards. Lose weight, watch what you eat and take antacids.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk, and many peeps around the world are intolerant. The location and severity of the pain depends on how high your intolerance is. Get tested and skip dairy products.
Medication side effects
Most, if not all drugs have side effects, abdominal pain being one of the possible ones. Ibuprofen and aspirin can have this effect, as well as some antibiotics.
Diverticula are the pockets that form in the lining of the intestine, usually the colon, and they can be obstructed by stool (poop) or other foreign material (strange poop?). Cramps in the lower abdomen are one of the symptoms. Depending on the severity, you can get away with antibiotics - or even end up in surgery.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. While many people will just self-diagnose and become insufferable, actual gluten intolerance can get as bad as to cause celiac disease. This damages the small intestine, causing gas, bloating, pain and fatigue.More!
Endometriosis affects women-only. Cells from the lining of the uterus start to grow in other parts of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding and infertility. It's hard to diagnose and requires intense testing and surgery.
Thyroid gland is located in the neck, but can cause problems lower down. Overactive thyroid - hyperthyroidism - speeds up the digestive tract, causing diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Hypothyroidism might slow down the digestive tract, leading to constipation and gas.
Parasites can find a home in your stomach lining, hang out in the small intestine or inhabit the colon. Giardia and Cryptosporidium are caught by swimming contaminated pools or lakes, or drinking contaminated water. Other parasites can be picked up in undercooked or contaminated food.
Appendicitis pain is sudden and bad enough to send you to the emergency room. Most common in children and young adults, it starts in mid-abdomen and shifts to the lower right part of it. Having appendicitis removed is a routine surgery - avoiding it can lead to many problems.
Ulcers in the stomach and the small intestine can cause abdominal pain. Striking the mid-upper abdominal area, they can occur after meals and wake you up in the middle of the night.
Too much sugarless gum
Sorbitol is found in some sugar-free products and can cause pain and diarrhea. If you're a sugar-free gum addict, chewing upwards of ten sticks per day, that may be the cause.
Stress can cause all sorts of issues (short of spontaneous immolation): headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia and stomach pain are all on the menu. Even depression can be linked with digestive problems.More!
Unsurprisingly, food poisoning, whether virus- or bacteria-borne, can cause pain, diarrhea and vomiting. It can last one or two days or be serious enough to be fatal.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the fancy name for inflammation inside the small or large intestine. It can cause scarring and blockage, leading to abdominal pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. It's hard to diagnose since the symptoms are chronic, yet having cyclic flare ups and down turns.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is both practically and legally different from IBD. For example, it never involves rectal bleeding and it's not an inflammatory condition. While it strikes women more often than men, it never turns into a serious condition like cancer.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
This is a bacterial infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, or ovaries. As such, in can cause pain under your belly button. In can cause fallopian tube scarring and risky pregnancy. Feeling those symptoms together with fever, vomiting or fainting is reason enough to see a doctor at the ER.
Constipation - poop blockage - causes pain because the it stretches the colon in manners it was never meant to be stretched. Drink more water, eat more fiber. However, prolonged or often constipation is best aided by milk of magnesia. You might also want to use a squatting toilet device.
In the worst case scenario, the pain is caused by a alter stage cancer in one of the organs of the abdomen. Loss of appetite, weight loss, persistent vomiting and bloating are also cause for concern.