If your stomach hurts, what to do?
There are many reasons why the stomach may hurt, ranging from banal overeating to serious pathologies of the digestive system. Surprisingly, even myocardial infarction sometimes causes epigastric pain.
In the abdomen, or rather, in the abdominal cavity, the vital organs of a person are concentrated. It is not for nothing that the ancient Slavs attached the same meaning to the words "belly" and "life". However, if earlier people had difficulty in obtaining food for themselves, spending a lot of time and energy on it, then in the modern world a person does not bear such energy losses. Nevertheless, the desire for a tasty and dense meal remains unchanged. Therefore, it is not surprising that the stomach often hurts precisely because of overeating. Although you can never be 100% sure that the cause of the pain lies precisely in excessive food intake. Sometimes the stomach gives signals about other, more serious problems in the body.
- 7 alarming symptoms of stomach pain
- First aid for abdominal pain
- What to do if your stomach hurts?
- What should not be done for abdominal pain?
- When do you need to immediately call an ambulance?
7 alarming symptoms of stomach pain
The pain is concentrated in the center of the abdomen in its upper part ("pain in the pit of the stomach"). The causes of such pain can be varied.
Sensations: the pain is sharp, radiating to the sternum, and a rumbling is heard in the stomach. On these grounds, gastritis can be suspected. The most common cause of inflammation of the stomach lining is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. They irritate the walls of the stomach, and excess production of hydrochloric acid, which is released in response to irritation, leads to the development of inflammation.
Gastritis is of two types:
- Hyperacid, which develops against the background of increased acidity of gastric juice.
- Hypoacidic, which occurs against the background of low acidity of gastric juice. The cause of inflammation is the disturbed digestion of food and its rotting in the stomach. In addition, this environment is ideal for the reproduction of Helicobacter pylori.
With gastritis, pains slowly but fade away. If they continue to bother a person for a long time and do not lose intensity, then a stomach and / or duodenal ulcer can be suspected.
Pain in the upper abdomen can be triggered by myocardial infarction. At the same time, they radiate to the left hand. The delay in seeking medical help in this case can be fatal.
Inflammation of the appendix can also cause pain in the upper abdomen. Moreover, the pain will be very intense. After a while, they can move to the right side. Therefore, until the moment when the patient has not been examined by a specialist, it is better to refuse to take analgesics. If the pain is muted, it can be difficult to make a correct diagnosis.
Even if the pain in the abdomen in the pit of the stomach went away on its own and did not have to call an ambulance, it is still necessary to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. If the doctor prescribes EGD, then you should not refuse to undergo the procedure. Only with its help it will be possible to make the diagnosis as correct as possible, which means that you can get adequate prescription diseases.
The pain is concentrated in the right hypochondrium. Sensations: the nature of the pain is sharp, it appeared unexpectedly for a person. Pain is accompanied by symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, increased gas production. The pain can radiate to the right arm, to its upper part. After an hour, the pain disappears.
If abdominal pain proceeds according to the described picture, then biliary colic may be suspected in a person.
There can be many reasons for its occurrence:
- Binge eating.
- Eating fatty, fried or spicy foods.
- The presence of stones in the gallbladder.
- Clamping the gallbladder during a long stay in an uncomfortable position.
- Shaking in the car, etc.
However, myocardial infarction cannot be ruled out. This is especially true for people with disorders in the work of the heart and blood vessels.
In such a situation, you need to call an ambulance team. If doctors advise hospitalization, then you should not refuse it.
If the pain has passed on its own, then in order to avoid the occurrence of a second attack, you should stop eating for the next 12 hours. After this time, you need to adhere to the dietary diet plan, excluding spicy, fatty and fried foods from the menu.
Even if you managed to stop the pain on your own, you need to visit a gastroenterologist. You may need to consult a urologist or surgeon. If a woman is taking birth control pills, she should inform her doctor about it. Sometimes drugs from this group can provoke a second attack of pain.
Universal advice: if you have excess weight, you need to get rid of it. Otherwise, health problems cannot be avoided.
Sensations: pain is dull, appetite disappears.
In this case, biliary dyskinesia can be suspected. In this case, bile stagnates, the processes of food digestion are disrupted.
Sometimes this type of pain can indicate hepatitis A or B in the acute stage, or an exacerbation of chronic hepatitis C, as well as cirrhosis of the liver. Liver pathology is additionally indicated by a symptom such as light feces.
In this situation, it is impossible to hesitate to see a doctor. An urgent need to visit a hepatologist and gastroenterologist. In the future, you will need to adhere to the treatment prescribed by the doctor, follow a diet, eat in small portions, and refuse meals that load the digestive tract. Any alcoholic beverages are absolutely prohibited.
The pain is concentrated in the right side at the waist level. Sensations: intense cutting pain, radiating to the lower abdomen, to the genitals. Periodically, the pain subsides, and then reappears.
This pain most often characterizes renal colic. It occurs against the background of urolithiasis, with bending of the ureter, with pyelonephritis. In nulliparous women, kidney prolapse can occur, especially if they are prone to being overly thin.
According to a similar clinical picture, ovarian inflammation, appendicitis and osteochondrosis develop. But if the spinal column is damaged, the pain will be given to the lumbar region.
If this is not the first time such pain occurs, then you should take an antispasmodic and plan a trip to the urologist.
If such sensations arise for the first time, then you need to call the ambulance team and follow the recommendations of the doctors. You may need to consult such narrow specialists as a gynecologist, surgeon or neurologist.
The pain is concentrated in the left hypochondrium. Sensations: over time, the pain intensifies, has an aching character. Pain as if in a ring around the waist. In parallel, nausea, increased gas formation, diarrhea or constipation may occur. The condition worsens after eating fatty foods or alcohol.
A similar clinical picture is characteristic of pancreatitis. The disease can be acute or chronic. The outflow of juice secreted by the pancreas is disturbed. This juice contains digestive enzymes that begin to dissolve not food, but the gland itself.
Also, the symptoms described may indicate open gastric bleeding.
To stop an attack of pancreatitis, you must adhere to a diet. You can not eat fatty and spicy foods. Any alcoholic drinks are prohibited. If the condition continues to deteriorate, then an ambulance must be called.
The pain is localized in the center of the abdomen. Sensations: the abdomen is enlarged due to accumulated gases, rumbling and overflow is heard in it, aching pain, short-lived.
Similar symptoms are characteristic of digestive disorders. This most often occurs after overeating. The digestive tract is not able to cope with large amounts of food, which provokes characteristic discomfort.
Also, the following violations cannot be excluded: the development of dysbiosis (relevant in the case when a person has been treated with antibacterial drugs), lactase deficiency (it is necessary to pay attention to whether the appearance of discomfort is connected with the intake of milk or products based on it).
To cope with pain, you need to take medications to neutralize gases in the intestines, as well as enzymes that will help digest the abundance of food.
The pain is concentrated under the navel. Sensations: the pain does not have a clear localization, it occurs in one place or another. In addition to pain, a person suffers from bloating, and constipation is replaced by diarrhea.
This symptomatology is typical for irritable bowel syndrome. The cause of this disorder is hidden in psychosomatic disorders.
In some cases, such symptoms characterize an enterovirus infection or gastroduodenitis.
With an increase in body temperature and the addition of vomiting, it is necessary to take enterosorbents and drink as much pure water as possible. It is imperative that you see a doctor for a diagnosis.
The pain is concentrated in the lower abdomen: in the center, right or left. Sensations: pulling pain. Such symptoms most often indicate adnexitis, or irritable bowel syndrome. Other possible causes of pain: ectopic pregnancy, inflammation of the bladder, endometriosis. This condition requires examination by a gynecologist.
Often, when stomach pain occurs, people take enzyme preparations, often without even understanding how they work. Enzymes are essential for normal food digestion. They are produced by the body on its own. Some of them are activated only when interacting with coenzymes (they come with food in the form of vitamins and trace elements).
Digestive enzymes are highly unstable substances and break down at high temperatures. Therefore, when the body temperature rises, most people lose their appetite. When a person eats a lot of acidic foods, this leads to an increase in gastric acidity and enzymes die. When overeating, there are simply not enough enzymes to cope with large amounts of food.
Enzymes for abdominal pain can help cope with food digestion. They can be taken periodically to relieve the condition and prevent food from rotting in the stomach and intestines. For example, this is true when overeating or during an intestinal infection. However, when a person takes enzymes on an ongoing basis and cannot do without them, this indicates serious errors in nutrition and a malfunction in the digestive system. For a solution to the problem, you must consult a doctor.
- Refuse any food. Eating liquid porridge or drinking milk would be a mistake, because it is not known what exactly triggered the pain in the abdomen. It is possible that a person has an attack of acute pancreatitis or appendicitis, and in these conditions, eating is strictly prohibited.
- It is necessary to take a horizontal position, get as comfortable as possible. As a rule, embryo posture helps to relieve pain. Movements should be limited as much as possible.
- It is better to refuse taking antispasmodics and analgesics, as this will complicate the correct diagnosis. In addition, some drugs can make you feel worse, causing bleeding or other complications.
- Do not put a hot heating pad or other warming compresses on your stomach. This will lead to increased inflammation if the abdominal pain is caused by an infectious process. Cold helps reduce discomfort.
- Eat small meals often. You can't overeat.
- You should avoid drinking any drinks that contain gas to avoid increasing bloating.
- Drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs, irritate the stomach. It is necessary to completely exclude alcohol.
- 3 hours before the night's rest, you should refuse to eat.
- Cigarette smoke promotes increased production of hydrochloric acid, which will lead to increased pain intensity.
- You need to give up wearing tight clothes.
- Antacids can be taken to reduce negative symptoms. If the tablets are crushed before taking, the effect will come faster.
- Antacids may contain calcium. Some of them are nutritional supplements to compensate for the deficiency of this trace element.
- Antacids envelop the gastric wall and neutralize the irritating effect of hydrochloric acid on it. This can lead to the fact that other drugs are not fully absorbed.
- Antacids can cause loose stools or constipation.
- Warm up the sore spot. Better to apply cold to the stomach.
- Take painkillers until the person is examined by a doctor, as this complicates the diagnosis.
- To endure pain, especially if it is accompanied by an increase in body temperature, vomiting, impaired consciousness. Vomiting or bloody diarrhea is a serious hazard. An ambulance must be called immediately.
- The pain is intense, does not let you fall asleep, does not go away after 1-2 hours.
- Severe vomiting occurs.
- Body temperature is above 38.4 degrees.
- The person loses consciousness.
- Abdominal pain occurs in a pregnant woman.
- The abdomen is tense, very hard to the touch.
- There is scarlet blood in the stool or it looks black.
- The vomit contains pathological impurities (blood, foam, mucus, pus).
- In addition to pain, a person suffers from prolonged vomiting and diarrhea, there are signs of dehydration.
First aid for abdominal pain
If the abdominal pain is very severe, then an ambulance should be called immediately.
Until the doctors arrive at the site, you need to adhere to the following recommendations:
What to do if your stomach hurts?
If your stomach hurts, you need to take the following actions:
Antacids. When overeating or eating spicy or fatty foods, you can take antacids, enzymes, drugs to normalize intestinal motility. Antacids are available over the counter without a prescription.
Useful information about these drugs:
If the person is at home, it is best to take a liquid antacid. It is more convenient to use tablets at work.
Antacids are designed to neutralize the destructive effect of hydrochloric acid on the stomach walls. These products may contain calcium, magnesium, aluminum. Sometimes a combination of the listed components is present in the preparations.
Sodium bicarbonate is released in the form of effervescent tablets to be dissolved in water. Blood pressure may rise in a person after taking this drug.
Bismuth subsalicylate has an enveloping effect. This substance protects the walls of the stomach, but weakly neutralizes hydrochloric acid.
Drugs to reduce the production of hydrochloric acid. Medicines from this group cannot neutralize hydrochloric acid; they are designed to prevent its excess production by blocking receptor cells. These are drugs such as Ranitidine, Famotidine, Cimetidine, Nizatidine.
Drugs that block the last stage of hydrochloric acid production. The drugs in this group include Omeprazole.
Drugs aimed at reducing gas formation in the intestine. One of the most effective drugs that reduce gas production is Simethicone.
Preparations for the normalization of gastrointestinal motility. To relieve spasms, you can use Drotaverin or Mebeverin. The drug Domperidone allows you to regulate the work of the intestinal muscles and facilitate the passage of food masses through the body.
In order not to harm your own health, you should get medical advice before taking this or that drug. You cannot, at your own discretion, take medications aimed at suppressing the production of hydrochloric acid. In some cases, abdominal pain can be caused by completely different reasons, and it is quite problematic to diagnose only by symptoms. Therefore, when abdominal pain persists for two weeks or more, you need to visit a specialist.
What should not be done for abdominal pain?
If a person has abdominal pain, the following steps should not be taken:
When do you need to immediately call an ambulance?
In case of abdominal pain, you should immediately call a doctor in the following situations:
The author of the article: Gorshenina Elena Ivanovna | Gastroenterologist
Education: Diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" received at the Russian State Medical University named after N. I. Pirogova (2005). Postgraduate studies in the specialty "Gastroenterology" - educational and scientific medical center.