Information on Stomach Ache
The stomach ache mentioned on this page will refer to ache in the area between the belly button and the ribs. This pain can be accompanied by additional symptoms before and after meals, such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and acid regurgitation. Sometimes people suffering from stomach aches will also feel bloated or have troubled bowel movements.
Most people will at some point in their lives have periods, shorter or longer, of stomach aches. Often the symptoms will go away after a while, but unfortunately people who have had problems with stomach ache are more likely to experience that they return.
Stomach aches are more frequent in young people, as opposed to older people, and in women, as opposed to men.
A long list of diseases in the oesophagus, stomach, or duodenum can cause stomach aches. Pain in the stomach can also be caused by a few diseases in the digestive organs. Often the cause of the symptoms are never found, which is one of the reasons, stomach aches can be a very frustrating condition. Most commonly stomach ache will be caused by what is referred to as irritated colon, which is, quite frankly, a somewhat loosely defined term.
It is common to experience that stress, other psychological strains, and irregular meals, can cause or worsen symptoms. Certain foods, especially fried, fatty and spicy, and beverages, especially alcohol and coffee, are also known to provoke stomach ache.
Certain medications can also cause stomach aches, the most important of which, are medications that contain acetylsalicylic acid, meant to relieve pain (e.g. Aspirins), and medications for arthritis.
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The main problem and symptom is, as stated, pain in the upper part of the stomach between the bellybutton and the ribs. Usually the pains last in shorter or longer periods, of days up to months, at a time. They will often occur when you are hungry or when it has been a long time since your last meal. At the same time, many people get bad aches after large meals and/or alcohol consumption. It is typical, that the pain gets worse throughout that day, so that patients feel ok when they wake up, but feel horrible at the end of the day.
The stomach ache is often, as mentioned, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, feeling bloated, troubled bowel movements, heartburn, and acid regurgitation.
Certain signals indicate a worsening condition, if you experience any of these, it is important to consult your doctor.
The danger signals include:
- Trouble and/or pain when swallowing solid foods.
- Repeated and massive vomiting.
- Fresh blood, which will be red, or stale blood, which will be coffee brown, when you throw up.
- Pains caused by medications containing acetylsalicylic acid or medications for arthritis.
- Stomach aches lasting more than a month.
Likewise you should consult your doctor, if you suspect your condition to be caused by a more serious disease, e.g. cancer.
What to Do to Relieve and Avoid Stomach Ache
Following is some advice to avoid stomach aches.
Try to consume a healthy, nutritious diet, avoiding too many fried, fatty and spicy foods. You should eat regularly, with at least three main meals (be careful not to make them too large though) a day and small snacks in between. If you notice one particular item in your diet that gives you aches, then avoid that item. It is a good idea to keep a diary of what you eat and how your stomach feels, to detect which foods your stomach is sensitive to. Avoid coffee, tobacco and alcohol.
For some, medication to neutralize acid relieves the pain. This medication is taken when you feel the symptoms. Proton pump inhibitors are designed for long-lasting reduction of gastric acid and have become increasingly popular in treating serious stomach aches.
It is very important to avoid using medications containing acetylsalicylic acid.
To find out which medication is appropriate for you, you should consult your doctor.
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