Stomach pain, also known as stomach ache, is one of the most common kind of body pain that the human body experiences.
When the organs inside and around the abdomen get affected, stomach pain can occur. These organs are the stomach, colon, gallbladder, pancreas, liver and the intestines. Sometimes, the pain can be felt on the abdomen even if the organs that are affected are not part of the digestive tract, such as the heart, lungs, uterus or ovaries, which sends a painful tingling or shooting sensation inside the abdomen.
Stomach pain is generally caused by inflammation, stretching or distension of the organs inside or around the abdomen. For instance, the obstruction of the intestinal path, swelling of the liver or blocking of the production of digestive juice can be one of the causes of stomach pain. The loss of blood supply of an organ can also be one of the causes of stomach pain.
Stomach pain symptoms can range from dull to sharp pain felt in the abdomen. Fever associated with stomach pain can also be the cause of inflammation of the organs. Other stomach pain symptoms include irregular bowel movement and rectal bleeding.
In terms of duration, stomach pain can be chronic and long-standing. The location of the pain is also important to determine the stomach pain diagnosis. For instance, appendicitis can be the cause of a sharp pain in the right lower part of the abdomen, and not in the left, as is commonly believed. Pain the lower middle part of the abdomen can be attributed to menstrual cramps in the case of women. Meanwhile, severe pain in the upper abdomen and upper back may suggest acute pancreatitis—a more severe and stabbing version of this can lead to chronic pancreatitis wherein it is need of dire medical attention.
The pattern of the pain is also substantial for stomach pain diagnosis. Normal functional pain, such as pain from the obstruction of the intestinal tract, may last for no more than several hours, while acid-related diseases can last for several weeks to months, followed by worsening of the pain. Stomach pain from irritable bowel movement can be short or long, but returns regularly within longer time intervals.
Stomach pain relief is different according to the cause of the stomach pain. For those caused by functional pain, the pain is expected to wane by resting, vomiting (if needed) or inducing bowel movement. Pain caused by acidity can be relieved by food or antacids to neutralize acid content. Lastly, a sharp and recurring stomach pain associated with other symptoms may be relieved by serious medical attention.
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