Abdominal pain can be referred to as the pain or discomfort that is felt in the part of the trunk below the ribs and above the pelvis.
It occurs due to the discomfort in organs within the abdomen or organs adjacent to the belly. It is commonly called as Stomach ache.
The organs that are located in the abdominal area includes
- Small intestine
- Adrenal glands
- Female reproductive organs and
- Urinary bladder
The probable causes of Stomach ache are diagnosed on the basis of its onset, characteristics of pain, physical examination, and lab investigations if required.
Common Causes are-
- Over eating
- Due to any inflammation, distention of any underlying organ, or due to loss of the blood supply to an organ.
- Any Viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections that affect the stomach and intestines may also cause significant abdominal pain. However, in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) the discomfort is caused by contraction of the intestinal muscles or hypersensitivity to normal intestinal activities.
- Infections in the throat, intestines, and blood can cause bacteria to enter the digestive tract which results in stomach upset and abdominal pain. These infections may also cause indigestion, such as diarrhoea or constipation.
- Cramps associated with menstruation are also a potential source of lower abdominal ache, but more commonly these are referred to as pelvic pain.
- Other common causes of abdominal pain include diseases like constipation, diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, acid reflux (when stomach contents leak backward into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms), vomiting and stress
- Major diseases that affect the digestive system can also cause chronic abdominal discomfort and pain. The most common are:
1. gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
2. Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease)
3. Lactose intolerance (the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products)
- Some other causes also include organ rupture or near-rupture (such as a burst appendix, or appendicitis), gallbladder stones (known as gallstones), kidney stones etc.
Examination and Tests help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain
- Palpation in the different quadrants helps to locate if any tenderness.
- The presence of a mass within the abdomen may be suggestive of Tumour, Enlarged organ or an abscess
- Sounds will be prominent from the intestines, which occur when there is an obstruction.
- The presence of thick blood stain in the stool may signify an intestinal problem such as an ulcer, colon cancer, colitis, or ischemia.
Laboratory tests such as the complete blood count (CBC), liver enzymes, pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase), pregnancy test and urine analysis also helps to rule out the reason for abdominal pain.
Plain X-rays and other radiographic studies like USG, CT, MRI also helps in diagnosing the fundamental causes of stomach ache.
- Severe abdominal tenderness which lasts for more than 24hrs.
- Persistent Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Burning sensation in the Stomach
- Loss of Appetite
- Sometimes stomach pain may be associated with fever and chills.
Drink 5ml of Ginger or Chew raw Ginger mixed with salt which will immediately help to reduce the stomach upset
Drink 5ml of Nutmeg juice which checks on discomfort in the stomach. It also helps to stop loose stools caused due to food poisoning.
Consume 1 teaspoon cow’s ghee every day in empty stomach.
1 or 2tsp of clove powder with honey taken at bed time cures stomach upset. It also helps to reduce nausea and vomiting.
Boil the water adding few cumin seeds and drink it. It helps to eliminate the excess gas formed in the abdomen.
6. ALOE VERA
Consumption of aloe vera juice helps to reduce the burning sensation in the stomach. Also the anti-inflammatory property of Aloe vera helps to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation, which helps to reduce the IBS symptoms.
Consume a cup of buttermilk in case of indigestion. Buttermilk can also help to alleviate antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and relieves constipation.
Drink water soaked with fenugreek, the mucilage of fenugreek helps to reduce the heartburn and acid refluxes.