Stomach aches and cramps are the worst, but what sometimes make them even more severe is not knowing what’s wrong. We’ve put together a list of possible signs of the most common causes of stomach pain and how to effectively treat them.
Stomach pain refers to cramps or a dull pain in the stomach or abdominal area. Mostly it won’t be serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, severe stomach pain can be a sign of a bigger problem.
Some of the most common causes, symptoms and treatment of stomach pain:
Bloating: Occasionally trapped wind will cause stomach pain and some embarrassment. Medication to help alleviate this build-up, like Buscopan, can be purchased from your local pharmacy.
Abrupt stomach pain and diarrhoea
Gastroenteritis: Symptoms like stomach pain. Diarrhoea and vomiting come on very quickly. This can be due to a viral or bacterial infection or food poisoning. It can easily be treated and symptoms usually disappear within a few days. However, if symptoms continue or worsen, seek out a medical professional.
Sudden severe abdominal pain
Appendicitis: This condition refers to the swelling of the appendix. The appendix is a small pocket attached to the large intestine and has no function. Symptoms include extreme pain that can be felt on the lower right-hand side of your stomach. There’s no treatment for it and the appendix needs to be surgically removed as soon as possible.
Stomach ulcer: A bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer causes great pain or burning sensation to the centre of the abdomen. Stomach ulcers are caused by infection, strong medication, stress, smoking and a poor diet. Seek medical attention when pain worsens or you start vomiting blood or passing dark stools.
Long-term or recurring stomach pain
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is a chronic disorder that affects the lower intestine (colon). It’s fairly common and causes cramping, stomach pain, gas build-up, diarrhoea or constipation. Only a small amount of people experience severe symptoms due to IBS and can control it through following a special diet.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD is the chronic inflammation of all parts of the digestive tract. Symptoms include severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue and extreme weight loss.
Urinary tract infection (UTI): UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary system and more commonly the lower urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra. Symptoms include a persistent need to urinate, burning sensation when urinating, cloudy or red appearing urine and pelvic pain. UTIs are commonly treated with antibiotics.
Menstruation pain: Menstrual cramps may be experienced by women before and during their menstrual periods. Menstrual cramps refer to a throbbing or dull pain and cramping pains in the lower abdomen. Some women may even experience nausea, headaches and dizziness during their menstrual periods. It’s time to visit your GP when your menstrual cramps create so much discomfort that it influences your monthly routines.
See your GP and fight back pain!
To help you pick up on early symptoms of disease, visit your GP today!
Ryno is the content coordinator for GetSavvi health insurance. He regularly writes about health and lifestyle topics and manages GetSavvi Health’s social media pages. A Journalism graduate from the University of Pretoria, he worked as a hard news journalist before making his way to marketing. He loves his two beautiful Labradors, and when he is not walking them on the beach, he’s probably trying to follow his own health and lifestyle advice by trading in the take-aways for a healthy, home-cooked meal.