6 Conditions That Can Cause Stomach Pain

Everyone experiences stomach pain at some point in their lives. While most cases of stomach pain are not severe, it is crucial to identify the cause of the pain to get proper treatment. In some cases, the cause of stomach pain may be a sign of a more severe illness. According to a survey of nearly 25,000 individuals, 10,300 respondents reported experiencing abdominal pain. Here are six conditions that can cause stomach pain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. IBS is a chronic condition that can cause stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. IBS is more common in women than men and often begins during adulthood. Although IBS can be painful and uncomfortable, it is not associated with other diseases or conditions.

If you are suffering from IBS, it is best to consult a gastrointestinal specialist. The specialist can help determine the exact cause of the problem and advise methods to prevent the pain. By working with an experienced gastrointestinal specialist, you can manage IBS efficiently. You can also get information about different treatment options to alleviate the symptoms and lead a healthy life.

Gastritis

Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or irritated. Gastritis can be caused by several factors, including infection, stress, and certain medications. In some cases, it may result from an underlying medical condition.

Treatment for gastritis typically involves avoiding triggers, such as spicy foods or alcohol, and taking medication to reduce stomach acidity. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue. With proper treatment, most people with gastritis experience a complete resolution of symptoms.

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is a condition that can cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The most common cause of gastroenteritis is a virus, such as norovirus, which is highly contagious and often spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or food.

Although gastroenteritis can be unpleasant, it is usually not serious and will resolve on its own within a few days. However, some people may experience severe dehydration due to fluid loss from vomiting and diarrhea. In these cases, hospitalization may be necessary to receive intravenous fluids.

Gastroenteritis written on a label tag with pills and stethoscope

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the stomach lining or small intestine. They are usually caused by a bacterial infection or long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Peptic ulcers can cause a burning sensation in the stomach, bloating, burping, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.

They can lead to weight loss, anemia, and intestinal bleeding in severe cases. Treatment for peptic ulcers typically involves a combination of antibiotics to clear the infection and medication to reduce stomach acid production. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary. Although peptic ulcers can be painful, most people experience relief after a few weeks of treatment.

Food Intolerances

Anyone who has ever suffered from a stomachache knows how debilitating it can be. Stomach pain can range from mild discomfort to a sharp, stabbing sensation, making it difficult to move or even breathe. While there are many potential causes of stomach pain, one often-overlooked culprit is food intolerance.

Unlike an allergy, an immune reaction to a specific protein, food intolerance is caused by the body’s inability to digest a particular food properly. Common offenders include lactose, gluten, and soy. Symptoms of food intolerance can include gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.

In severe cases, eating the offending food can trigger an acute attack of stomach pain. If you suspect that you may have a food intolerance, it is essential to see a doctor for testing. Eliminating the offending food from your diet can relieve stomach pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Gallstones

Gallstones are hard deposits in the gallbladder, a small organ located beneath the liver. These stones can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball and are usually made up of cholesterol or pigment. Although most people with gallstones do not experience symptoms, they can occasionally cause sharp stomach pain, known as biliary colic. This pain typically comes on suddenly and may be intense enough to require hospitalization.

In some cases, gallstones can also block the ducts that connect the liver and gallbladder, leading to inflammation of the pancreas or even death.

Closing Thoughts

If you are experiencing persistent or severe stomach pain, you must see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, stomach pain could be a sign of a more serious condition that requires medical attention. It is always best to err on the side of caution and get checked out by a healthcare professional.

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