Pain in the stomach is one of the symptoms of a variety of diseases. And often it is not directly related to this digestive organ and indicates problems with others. What can the pain in the stomach say, how to find out its cause and what makes sense to take to relieve the pain?
Causes of pain in the stomach
The first question the doctor will ask you will be the nature of the pain in the stomach. It is the answer that can tell a lot about the disease that caused the appearance of pain.
- Acute stomach pain, which occurs suddenly, often indicates pancreatitis, cholecystitis and duodenal ulcer.
- A sudden, sudden pain can be caused by a chemical burn of mucous membranes or poisoning.
- A very severe sharp pain, which patients describe as “a knife stuck”, is often the result of perforation of the ulcer.
- A burning sensation is characteristic of an ulcer or gastritis, and dull aching pain in the stomach is a sign of the same diseases in a chronic or initial form. With gastritis, there is a clear connection with food intake: the pain manifests either immediately after eating, or when the person is fairly hungry.
- Spasmodic, cramping pain is often a sign of an ulcer or inflammation of the duodenum. Such pain is often disturbed at night or a few hours after the last meal.
- Acute, but brief (a few seconds) “shooting” pain, which occurs when inhaling or abruptly changing the position of the body, is typical for spasms of the diaphragm, arising from inflammation or circulatory disorders.
- Constant weak aching pain in the stomach often accompanies malignant neoplasms, as well as polyps of the stomach. When cancer spreads to the pancreas, the pain becomes shrouded.
- Strong cramping pain is most characteristic of gastrointestinal infections.
- Intensive pain in the upper abdomen, which in a couple of days weakens, but remains constant – a fairly characteristic symptom of the pathologies of the large intestine, in particular, colitis.
- Severe pain in the navel, which for several hours moves to the right upper abdomen, can talk about appendicitis.
This is not all causes of pain in the stomach.Sometimes such a symptom is accompanied by other diseases – irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal thrombosis, abdominal aortic dissection, intestinal obstruction, stomach trauma, ischemic heart disease, certain nervous diseases, allergic reactions, etc.
Most of the diseases accompanied by this symptom are very serious and require immediate medical intervention. And in some cases, the word “immediate” has a literal meaning – with appendicitis, perforation of ulcers and severe poisoning, the count can go on for hours, and even a small delay can become fatal.
What to do if there is pain in the stomach
Whatever caused the pain in the stomach, it can not be treated independently. Even an experienced doctor with many years of practice can not with full certainty make a diagnosis only on the basis of external signs. And a man without medical education is all the more powerless.
The number of first aid measures that can be provided with pain in the stomach is very small. The most that you can do before the doctor’s arrival is to take an antispasmodic or analgesic. When heartburn is taken antacids – drugs that reduce acidity, or antisecretory drugs that inhibit the production of acid. However, heartburn is not always associated with increased acidity, so taking such drugs can not only be useless, but also worsen the condition.
With medicines in general, you should exercise special care: the effects of medications can distort the symptoms and create difficulties in diagnosing. It is important to understand that modern painkillers are very effective and can completely eliminate the pain in the stomach for a long time. This creates a false impression of recovery. However, the disease does not disappear anywhere. Relieving pain in the stomach with pills, you only lose valuable time: heal the effect, forgetting the reason.
Do not use a heating pad to relieve pain in the stomach. In some states, heat can actually help and alleviate the pain, but in others (in particular, in purulent inflammatory processes and bleeding) it significantly accelerates the development of the disease and worsens the condition. You can help the doctor diagnose. To do this, you will need to provide him with as much information as possible about his condition. Therefore, before going to the clinic try.
You can help the doctor diagnose. To do this, you will need to provide him with as much information as possible about his condition. Therefore, before taking the clinic, try to remember as much as possible and formulate:
- the circumstances of the occurrence of pain (before, after or during meals, day or night) and its character (sudden or gradually increasing, sharp, aching, sharp, burning, cramping). Try to remember if the source of pain was moving, and if so, how.
- diet in the last days before the appearance of pain: what, when and in what quantities did you eat (food and drinks).
- list of medications that you take (including dietary supplements and vitamin complexes).
- all additional symptoms. It is important for the doctor to know if you have had nausea and vomiting, bitter taste in the mouth, diarrhea or constipation, belching and bloating, whether blood or mucus was noticed in the stool, rash, fever, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and dizziness, any other pain head, muscle, articular).
- recent changes in health status. These include both natural (pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause), and pathological. Remember all the diseases, recently transferred, nervous shocks, episodes of severe overwork. Significant may be factors such as a sharp weight gain or causeless weight loss, the development of anxiety and depression, changes in lifestyle.
Systematization of this information is the best help you can provide yourself. But the diagnosis and treatment should be carried out by a qualified specialist.
Diagnosis of diseases that cause stomach pain begins with a patient’s interview (here the information above is very useful) and an external examination, including palpation of the abdomen, listening to the heart rhythm and working the lungs.
Then the doctor will necessarily send you for the delivery of biomaterial for laboratory tests. Usually this list includes urine and feces analysis, general and biochemical blood analysis, as well as analysis of gastric juice.
For an accurate diagnosis, instrumental studies are also needed – ultrasound of the abdominal cavity organs, less often – a radiograph with contrast, CT or MRI.
In the vast majority of cases, the diagnosis becomes clear after these basic studies. Significantly less serious diagnostic measures, such as laparoscopy, are required, in which a microchamber on a flexible probe is inserted through a small incision into the hollow organs, which allows the physician to assess their condition visually.
Treatment of diseases and conditions that provoke pain syndrome
The scheme of treatment of pain in the stomach depends entirely on the causes that caused these unpleasant sensations. Consider the principles of therapy for the most common causes of stomach pain.
Elimination of heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation behind the sternum, in the upper part of the abdomen. The reason is the ingestion of stomach contents into the esophagus. Most often it manifests itself in half an hour after a meal. Heartburn is not an independent disease, but a symptom of such diseases as gastritis, duodenitis, ulcers of the stomach or intestines, cholecystitis and others. Heartburn is often confused with manifestations of certain heart diseases – angina and hypertension, in which there is a similar sensation, in any way, not related to the gastrointestinal tract. However, most often heartburn is the result of gastritis or peptic ulcer of the stomach.
Measures to eliminate heartburn are the treatment of the underlying disease that caused it. In addition, recommended a special diet: for all types of heartburn, you need often (5-6 times a day), but gradually, completely eliminating fatty foods, spices, smoked foods and pickles, carbonated drinks and alcohol, beans and vegetables with high content cellulose (they can cause flatulence and worsen the condition). If heartburn is associated with high acidity, antacids and antisecretory drugs are prescribed.
Treatment of gastritis
Gastritis is called inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Its development can provoke frequent long-term stresses, the presence of pathological microflora, metabolic disorders, chronic infectious diseases, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, autoimmune diseases, long-term use of certain types of medications (most often non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and some other reasons.
When treating stomach pain caused by gastritis, do not use drugs based on acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen – these are effective pain killers, but they irritate the gastric mucosa. Usually appoint absorbents and funds that envelop the stomach from the inside. If gastritis is caused by a bacterial lesion, a course of antibiotics is needed. Diet for gastritis involves the rejection of acute, fatty and salty, as well as from foods rich in fiber, and dishes that can cause fermentation processes (primarily milk and bakery products, as well as some fruits such as grapes).
Treatment of gastric ulcer
Without proper treatment, gastritis can lead to the development of peptic ulcer. Gastric ulcer most often develops due to the activity of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or regular intake of large doses of preparations of acetylsalicylic acid. Stress, as was thought for a long time, does not cause a ulcer by itself, but it significantly accelerates the development of the disease. With peptic ulcer, a burning and rather severe pain in the stomach manifests itself approximately 4 hours after eating, is localized in the middle of the abdomen and is often accompanied by a belching, a feeling of heaviness, vomiting or nausea.
Gastric ulcer is a dangerous disease that can lead to complications such as bleeding and peritonitis. Therefore, treatment must begin immediately. Usually prescribe antibiotics for the destruction of hostile bacteria, anti-inflammatory drugs, antacids to reduce acidity. There are also preparations of complex influence: they simultaneously kill the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, and protect the gastric mucosa from aggressive action.
Diet with peptic ulcer should consist of light lean food: take the products in a grinded form (mousse, puree), as the chewing process itself stimulates the production of gastric juice.
Pain in the stomach can not be tolerated!
It must be remembered that pain in the stomach can not be tolerated, suppressed with pills and treated with folk remedies. Many diseases and pathologies that cause stomach pain are characterized by rapid development, so the sooner you seek qualified help, the higher the chances of recovery.
For example, appendicitis is one of the most common diseases that physicians of emergency surgery departments have to deal with – it is easily amenable to drug treatment at the earliest stages. Yes, and a timely operation to remove the appendix is considered relatively simple, and the forecast after its implementation is favorable. However, up to now, about 0.75% of patients who have consulted a doctor only a day after the onset of the first pain die from this disease. The reason – in the very rapid development of the disease (from the first signs to the origin of foci of gangrene is only three days) and the implicit severity of symptoms. About a fifth of patients with necrotic changes in the appendix feel only minor pain and ignore it until it’s too late.
Delay with pain in the stomach is also extremely dangerous in cases of poisoning, ulcers and infections – the consequences can be not only sad, but also tragic.
So, unpleasant sensations in the area of the stomach can testify both to minor malfunctions in the work of the organism, and about extremely serious pathologies. In any case, ignoring the pain is unacceptable. Correctly selected medications and procedures in most cases can eliminate not only pain, but also its causes.