Stomach aches or abdominal pain can be one of the symptoms associated with transient disorders or grievous disease. Making a definitive diagnosis of the cause of abdominal pain can be difficult, because many diseases can have this symptom. Due to the many organ systems in the abdomen, abdominal pain is a concern of general practitioners/family physicians, surgeons, internists, emergency medicine doctors, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, urologists and gynecologists. Occasionally, patients with rare causes can see a number of specialists before being diagnosed adequately (e.g., chronic functional abdominal pain).
Abdominal pain is a common problem. Most frequently the cause is benign and/or self-limited, but more serious causes may require urgent intervention. Abdominal pain is traditionally described by its chronicity (acute or chronic), its progression over time, its nature (sharp, dull, colicky), its distribution (by various methods, such as abdominal quadrant—left upper quadrant, left lower quadrant, right upper quadrant, right lower quadrant—or other methods that divide the abdomen into nine sections), and by characterization of the factors that make it worse or alleviate it.
Treatment of Stomach aches
Although it can be extremely hard to get rid of stomach aches, there are some methods out there that can help get rid of them:
- One way to help get rid of your aches is to add a warm compress to your stomach. This can help relieve the pain and may even make the stomach aches subside.
- Another way to treat abdominal pain is to try to go to sleep, even if it’s really hard to. By going to sleep, in most cases you stomach aches will be gone by the time you wake up, so if you want to avoid the torture of withstanding this pain, try to get some sleep. Try placing a hot compress onto your stomach when trying to sleep to help eliminate pain.
- Try your best not to think about your stomach ache; sometimes, just forgetting about it will make it go away.
- If you experience pain after eating a meal, try drinking only before you start eating; drinking liquids makes it harder to digest food.
- One old trick is to drink salt-sugar water. All you have to do is get a glass of water, and put about a teaspoon of salt and sugar in the water. It tastes nasty, but a lot of times it works wonders. If it doesn’t work, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill stomach ache.
- A white soda pop may help you burp away some of the discomfort, especially if it’s composed of trapped stomach gases.
- Try holding a piece of ice—it will take all of the concentration off your stomach.
- Try pushing on your stomach and if it makes a gurgling noise, it means you probably have gas.
- Try drinking peppermint tea. It coats your stomach.
- If you have a mint plant, take a leaf and chew on it like gum. Don’t swallow it if you have heartburn.
- Sip a glass of iced water slowly.
- Avoid spicy or fast foods, heavy foods and rich desserts until your stomach balances out.
- Drinking black coffee tends to aid the digestive process.
- Try a ‘Tums‘; especially the fruit kind.
- Juices are another way to help you settle your stomach from pains. Go out and buy yourself some lemons and make yourself a glass of lemon juice and see it that helps you out any. Also, try carbonated beverages such as ginger ale, carbonated mineral water (mix with juice to add flavor) or tonic water with quinine—it tastes as horrible as salt-sugar water, but works!
- Try lying on your stomach to ease the pain—just lie down for a few minutes and relax. Close your eyes. Place a cool moist washcloth over your forehead. Breath slowly and evenly, trying to keep your mind off of the pain.
- Sometimes when you get stomach aches, it’s the bodies way of trying to tell you something. If you haven’t already, try to go to the bathroom and see if you can flush away whatever is in your system that’s trying to cause you pain.
Most of the time, if you answer nature’s call, your pains will go away, so try to go even if you don’t think you have to. If it gets worse, consult a doctor and see if you can get some kind of medicine to settle this pain.
- One way to relieve the pain for a while is to take a warm bath or shower. Warm water on your body may help in giving your stomach and yourself a much needed break from the pain that it’s inflicting upon you.
- Eat an herb that aids digestion, such as ginger (ginger ale or ginger snaps), peppermint (gum and candy cane as long as it’s real peppermint) or Aloe Vera Juice (an anti-parasitic that tastes terrible but aids digestion).
- Take over-the-counter medications like Gas-ex to relieve the pressure from gas buildup.
- Allow yourself to pass gas, even if you are in polite company. It may be somewhat embarrassing, but you don’t want to allow yourself to become bloated or let the cramps become more serious and painful. Also, go into another room such as the bathroom to pass gas if you don’t want to be embarrassed.
- Take a mild laxative to encourage a bowel movement for relief.
- Try Emitrol or Imodium to relieve cramps associated with diarrhea. Pepto-Bismol may help some stomach-related pains, along with other OTC products. Check labels in the drug store or ask the pharmacist for their advice.
- Don’t stop taking medication prescribed by your doctor. All medications should be taken unless the doctor indicates otherwise.
Prevention of Stomach aches
- Notice any food that may disagree with your digestion. Some people aren’t tolerant of different foods, so if you often suffer from cramps, keep a food diary and try to determine if there’s an association with a certain food or group of foods and your stomach cramps.
Milk and milk products (such as cheese, milks, yogurts, milk shakes, milk chocolate) may cause cramps and stomach pain in persons who are lactose intolerant. Some people have issues with cheese but may be tolerant of milk or vise versa.
In addition, failing to drink sufficient liquids may cause stomach aches. Also, eating an excessive amount of non-soluble fiber may cause cramps associated with constipation. Some people are sensitive to uncooked vegetables and fruits, particularly if the peels aren’t removed. Finally, avoid consuming harsh substances such as acidic pops and juices, alcohol and spicy foods. If something is really wrong in there, these agents could irritate it and make it worse.
- Look into the possibility you suffer from Crohn’s Syndrome or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and seek immediate medical treatment if this is the case.
- Consider stress as a possible cause of stomach pain or cramps. If the condition coincides with stressful situations, try to avoid stress as much as possible and look at learning stress management techniques.
- Realize anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve, Naprosin and so on), antibiotics, vitamins, birth control pills and many other medications can cause upset stomach, nausea or stomach pains. Unless your doctor specifies you should take medication on an empty stomach, you should always take your pills with food. Medicine that causes stomach aches should be taken on a full stomach and not just crackers or a piece of toast.
Stomach aches are a hassle to deal with because only time can tell when these pains will go away. Still, now that you know most everything there is to know about stomach aches, your digestive and physical health should be safe once again. Just remember to make use of these tips and information properly before it’s too late.