Stomach pain can be used to identify cramps or dull ache in the tummy region or more precisely the abdomen part. This kind of pain can occur due to several reasons and can range from being mild to severe. Stomach aches can persist for longer periods when it is due to a serious reason or can be intermittent when it occurs due to a mild reason.
Patients having severe abdomen pain that starts unexpectedly must be regarded as a serious medical emergency in particular when the pain is being concentrated in a specific area. Stomach ache is cramps or aches restricted to the tummy region. If a patient experiences pain in their ribs, then they must consult about chest pain.
The underlying causes of stomach pain can be very hard to pinpoint. The severity, location, and associated symptoms of stomach pain helps to identify the cause of pain.
Types of Stomach pain
- Generalized pain- patient experiences pain in more than half the abdomen. Generalized stomach pain can happen with a number of different illnesses, and usually going away without any medical treatment. Most common problems that can cause intermittent stomach pain are an upset stomach and indigestion that will usually go away with home remedies. However, if such kind of pain remains for prolonged hours then chances is it might be a symptom of blockage of intestines and needs to be immediately checked with a doctor.
- Localized pain- this kind of pain will be located in one particular area of abdomen. Sudden occurrence of localized pain that becomes worse can be a symptom of a serious illness. This sudden pain can be due to appendicitis or peptic ulcer disease or even inflammation of some abdominal organ.
- Cramping is a kind of intermittent stomach pain that is rarely serious and might change in terms of severity and position. Intermittent stomach pain usually goes away with the passage of gas or stool. Additionally for women, cramping pain comes during menstrual periods. Cramping pain need not be considered a case of concern unless an individual experiences it for more than 24 hours or localized cramps.
If an individual faces severe abdominal pain that lasts for longer time, it is best to consult a doctor. A doctor will usually carry out some tests and find out the underlying cause for such an intermittent pain.
Symptoms to check for in case of intermittent stomach pain
If someone has one of the following symptoms below mentioned along with intermittent stomach ache, then they must seek medical help at once. For instance;
- Continuous diarrhea or loose motions for days
- If the person becomes unconscious
- A person passes bloody or maroon colored stool
- Bloody vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain
- High fever
Intermittent stomach ache that needs medical attention can also arise due to urinary tract infection. Symptoms for urinary tract infection includes:
- Pain while urinating
- Sudden vaginal bleeding in case of women
- Passing blood with urine
Intermittent stomach pain that is not severe can be easily treated with home remedies and one does not need to visit the doctor. However, specific home treatments will depend upon the type of symptoms one has together with abdominal pain like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
In case of mild stomach aches, there are number of remedies that can be taken to reduce pain. It is advised to take ample rest till a person feels better. It is recommended to take plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration. Instead of drinking an entire glass of fluid and feel uncomfortable, one can take intermittent sips of the fluid, that will go easy on their stomach. However, fluids like coffee, tea or carbonated drinks must be avoided. A person having mild stomach ache can have several small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals. Additionally, mild foods like rice, bananas, apples; etc can be consumed. Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks must be avoided up to 48 hours after all the symptoms and pain has gone away. Medicines like aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen and ibuprofen should not be taken as these medicines tend to irritate the stomach and increase the pain.
However, all the above mentioned home treatment might not suit individuals and if any side effect occurs due to following home treatments then it is necessary to seek medical help. If the abdominal pain increases instead of reducing, or becomes localized to one particular area of stomach, it is important to go see a doctor. Also if home treatments lead to development of symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, or fever; or the already present symptoms become worse, individuals should take it as a cue to seek medical help.
Even though it is impossible to find out what food or cause is exactly responsible for intermittent stomach ache, it can be prevented by developing regular bowel habits. This will prevent stomach ache due to constipation. Also, developing a proper and healthy food diet and avoiding overeating will keep stomach ache in check.