Most commonly, when we refer to a stomach ache, we are talking about cramping or a dull aching sensation in the abdomen which is generally of a short duration, having been caused by a bug or minor upset. However, there are occasions when a severe stomach ache is a cause for concern. Should you experience a sudden onset of symptoms, it may indicate a medical emergency, and this is especially the case if the pain is concentrated in just one area, for example, the lower right of the stomach which could indicate appendicitis. In these circumstances, it is important to immediately seek out medical help.
In this article, we look at some of the most common causes of the following conditions:
Stomach cramps that come on suddenly
Severe and sudden onset stomach pain occurring in a single area of the abdomen
Long lasting stomach pain which persists or returns frequently
Cramping Which Occurs Suddenly With Diarrhoea
In the case of sudden onset cramping which occurs at the same time as experiencing diarrhoea, it is most likely that you are suffering from gasteroenteritis (a stomach bug). Gasteroenteritis is either a bacterial or viral infection of the bowel and stomach and in most cases, the body’s own immune system can overcome it within a couple of days. The Norovirus is one of the most common causes of gasteroenteritis. If you are suffering from severe cramping and diarrhoea that results in you feeling very ill with a fever or chills, it is possible that you could have a more serious infection, for example, food poisoning, however, this too will usually resolve by itself within a few days without requiring medical treatment.
Recurrent or Long Term Stomach Pain
Any adult that experiences stomach pain frequently or persistently should consult their doctor, however usually the cause is rarely serious and there is no need for undue concern as it is easy to manage these conditions.
Common causes of ongoing stomach pain in adults include:
IBS – Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition which is quite common in which the bowel wall muscles spasm. Pain is generally relieved by going to the toilet.
UTI – a urinary tract infection may reoccur. A sign of this is a burning sensation which urinating.
Peptic Ulcer – this is a condition in which the lining of the duodenum or stomach develops a sore.
Acid Reflux or Heartburn – This occurs which stomach acid escapes and leaks upwards into your oesophagus which connects the stomach to the mouth.
Five Suggestions To Help You Keep Your Stomach Healthy
- Eat regularly and have a healthy diet. It’s all too easy to fall into bad eating patterns, snacking on the go and relying on convenient takeaways, but your digestive system will pay the price of these poor habits.
- Stop smoking as this habit weakens the muscles which control the bottom of the oesophagus resulting in acid reflux and heartburn.
- Take regular exercise and lose weight. Those who carry excess weight will find that the added pressure of fat on the stomach causes heartburn.
- Avoid binge drinking as this increases the amount of acid produced by the stomach causing heartburn and worsening other digestive problems.
- Avoid stress as anxiety upsets your digestive system’s delicate balance worsening conditions like IBS.