Discomfort in the abdomen can be caused by many factors: from the most minor causes to serious pathologies. At the same time, to correct them, it is important to conduct the correct diagnosis and establish: when pain in the stomach is more often disturbed before or after eating, when inhaling, walking or other movements, in the evening or in the morning, what kind of sensations are strong, paroxysmal or constant. Only having decided on these concepts, you can proceed to treatment.
What is stomach pain?
In medicine, this symptom is called gastralgia – unpleasant sensations, cramping or acute, which are caused by stomach diseases, severe stress or the presence of pathologies of other internal organs. Different in intensity and localization of pain is often the main and only symptom of gastrointestinal problems. Such diseases, as a rule, are chronic in nature: they progress slowly, and with development cause an increase in symptoms.
How stomach hurts
Unpleasant sensations often occur under the left rib, sometimes they can give to the lower back, lower abdomen and heart region. In addition, the pain varies in the nature of the course – intense, cutting, pulling, dagger, cramping, stitching. Depending on the cause of the pain cramps, other symptoms may be noted. The most common are:
- nausea with vomiting;
- belching with gastric juice;
- metallic taste in the mouth;
- stool disorder – diarrhea or constipation;
- lowering blood pressure.
Why does it hurt
By the intensity of pain attacks, doctors can judge the presence of a disease. For example, chronic gastritis is always accompanied by aching pain, the severity that occurs after eating. Burning, unbearable pain indicates increased acidity and activity of hydrochloric acid in the mucous membranes. Persistent acute pain syndrome usually occurs with acute pancreatitis, cholecystitis or colitis. Chronic ulcers are characterized by cramping seizures, and with perforation of the ulcer, this syndrome flows into sharp pain.
With almost 100% certainty, doctors can report chronic or acute gastritis if there are sharp pains in the stomach after eating. For example, in the presence of an ulcer, such a symptom does not occur immediately, but half an hour after eating. Gastritis with high acidity is accompanied by heartburn, belching, constipation is possible. Low acidity is characterized by nausea, decreased appetite, rumbling in the abdomen, and diarrhea. The causes of such inflammatory processes can be:
- eating spicy, salty or fatty foods;
- wrong diet;
- nervous shocks and frequent stresses;
- physical exercise;
- alcohol abuse;
- taking certain types of drugs.
It arises suddenly, like a strong spasm, passes just as quickly, and after a while returns with renewed vigor. It is almost impossible to independently determine the root cause, because the list of problems is very wide. It provokes the occurrence of such discomfort:
- poisoning of the body with toxins, poisons or chemicals;
- diseases of other internal organs – inflammatory processes, exacerbation of chronic pathology;
- infectious diseases;
- psycho-emotional disorders;
- exacerbation of a stomach ulcer;
- food poisoning;
- exacerbation of chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- individual intolerance to certain types of products.
Pressive sensation is a direct symptom of pyloric stenosis, and if sensations increase over time, then a gastroenterologist may suspect pancreatic inflammation. In addition, polyps can cause aching and dull pain – a very rare occurrence. You can suspect its presence if the pain occurs during pressure on the stomach, sometimes nausea or vomiting appears with the contents of the stomach.
Nightly stomach pains
There are no fewer reasons that provoke unpleasant sensations in adults during sleep, but almost all of them are associated with digestive tract problems or impaired gastric function. Such symptoms may occur due to:
- The increased acidity of the gastric contents – as a rule, symptoms begin to appear in the morning.
- Diseases that worsen during the movement of internal organs. The lying position and constant turns of the body during sleep change the position of the stomach, as a result of which it can put pressure on other internal organs.
- Slow peristalsis. It occurs due to the fact that toxins and chemicals, pathogenic microorganisms appear in the intestine.
Heaviness and pain
Such symptoms often occur in the presence of gastritis with low acidity. In addition, the stomach hurts after eating, the disease is accompanied by belching, heaviness, nausea, bloating. The same signs may be associated with a partial reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus and a malfunction in the sphincter. This condition is characterized by the exact localization of pain in the epigastric region.
This symptom is a frequent companion for overeating, especially if you eat at night. In addition, severe pain in the stomach can signal a violation of the digestion of food and a lack of liver enzymes, appear after excessive physical exertion, which is associated with severe overstrain of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall. If the localization of the symptom is the upper part of the stomach, then the causes are tobacco or alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of a spasmodic nature can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This disease is called intestinal flu or viral gastroenteritis. Such a pathology is characterized by the presence of temperature, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sometimes cramping attacks can be a side effect of a sore throat, bronchitis, or pneumonia. In this case, the discomfort disappears as soon as the patient gets rid of the underlying disease.
Stomach cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases. The main signs are weak, but constantly occurring pains in the stomach, which are in no way associated with the time of day or food intake. The early appearance of the pathological process does not have any other pronounced symptoms, except dyspepsia and loss of appetite. In the later stages, when the tumor penetrates through the lining of the stomach, pain intensifies, other dangerous symptoms of mucosal damage join them: bleeding, vomiting with blood.
For preliminary self-diagnosis, it is useful to know that if the stomach hurts before eating, then probably the reason lies in the duodenal ulcer. In this case, a symptom can occur both in the epigastric part and in the hypochondrium. About a third of patients have unpleasant sensations of insignificant intensity, the rest of the patients may complain of excruciating pain intolerable. In addition, such attacks often occur at night – the so-called hunger pains.
Pain in the stomach and intestines
May occur simultaneously for several reasons:
Due to an infectious disease of the colon – colitis. Symptoms of the disease are:
- Rumbling or bloating, constant urination, diarrhea, with mucus or blood.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. It is accompanied by a rare stool, the presence of mucus in the feces, chronic fatigue, migraines.
- Duodenitis is an inflammation of the mucosa of the small intestine. This pathology is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, weakness, fever.
Nausea and pain
The simultaneous presence of such symptoms is sometimes the result of poisoning of the body with heavy metals, mercury, alkalis or acids entering the epigastric zone. By the nature of the manifestation of symptoms, this picture almost completely coincides with acute gastritis, but also has its own differences, for example: general weakness, excessive sweating, dizziness.
What can a woman’s stomach hurt?
Sharp changes in the hormonal background, a general decrease in immunity – all this in women during pregnancy carries the risk of exacerbation of previously existing chronic diseases. Among the most common reasons it is worth highlighting: gastritis, ulcer, colitis. In addition, during this period, a woman increases sensitivity to allergens and food products. Even relatively fresh food can cause poisoning, nausea, and vomiting.
If your stomach hurts, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. At the reception, the diagnostician should talk about the nature of the appearance of spasms, their intensity and indicate the presence of unpleasant symptoms, if any. To examine the patient, use:
- ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs;
- esogastroduodenography to see the condition of the walls of the stomach;
- computed tomography;
- blood tests and feces.
What to treat
Therapy is carried out in accordance with the diagnosis. With gastritis, it is recommended to establish a diet, exclude products harmful to the stomach from the menu. Depending on the localization of the ulcerative process, either medications or surgical treatment are used. If the official methods of treatment do not conflict with folk remedies, then, in addition to taking pills, you can drink various decoctions and infusions from herbs.
First aid for stomach pain
In the first minutes of the appearance of pain in the abdomen, it is important to stop an unpleasant sensation. For this, painkillers are used. In addition, it is better to give up eating food for the first time, instead consuming a large amount of hot drink or low-fat broths. In different cases, other techniques may help, for example:
- With exacerbation of gastritis, doctors recommend being in a supine position on the side with your knees tightened. For greater effectiveness, you can put a cold compress on your stomach or do a light massage of the abdomen. In case of complications, it is necessary to drink water and induce vomiting.
- With symptoms of poisoning, activated charcoal and other sorbents will help get rid of discomfort. Then you need to restore the water balance in the body with a plentiful drink.