Abdominal and Stomach Pain

Abdominal pain, more commonly known as stomach aches is undoubtedly one of the worst types of pain.  This pain can be quite uncomfortable for the sufferer.  And often, the individual who is dealing with abdominal pain can do little but rest and hope for a quick recovery.  Sadly, though, the worse the pain, the longer the recovery time will be.

Where The Pain Begins

Pain in the stomach or abdomen can start anywhere from right under the breast area all the way down into the lower abdominal regions near the pelvis. It can also spread around to the sides of the body.  Also, abdominal pain might be only in one small area or it spread out over a much larger space. Interestingly, how it feels will generally depend on what causes it.

The pain can be a dull, throbbing, stabbing, immediate, or a mix of something in between. It can also come on very suddenly or build up over time, and may go away quickly or last for hours. There are so many different organs in that area and a lot of bodily functions going on, so it can be difficult to know exactly what's causing a particular pain.

Common Causes And Conditions of stomach pain

Quite often, stomach pain or abdominal pain is nothing serious and will go away on its own. Other times there can be serious problems that have to be treated right away, and they can even be life-threatening in a few cases. Here are some of the more common causes of stomach and abdominal pain, but this list is far from exhaustive.

•    Eating too much – when the stomach is stuffed full, pain often results. In a few hours, as digestion takes place, the stomach will be less full and the pain will subside. This is very common and generally not dangerous, but it does let a person know he or she has eaten a bit too heavily.
•    Eating something that is spoiled – stomach or abdominal pain often comes about when a person eats something that is rotten or spoiled. Bad milk, old mayonnaise, and other things can cause food poisoning, which can cause severe stomach pain in some cases. This is often accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea.
•    Ulcers – if an individual has suffered from extreme stress, it is possible that their stomach has a hole in the gut lining.  This hole is referred to as an ulcer.  According to statistics, many people suffer with ulcers.  In addition to stress, an excess of acid can cause people to develop ulcers.  And if a person develops an ulcer in their stomach, they will definitely struggle with abdominal pain.
•    Constipation And Diarrhea – Common problems of constipation and diarrhea not only mess up a person’s bowel movements, but they also can cause stomach problems and irritability for many individuals.
•    Appendicitis – if a person has a problem with his or her appendix, abdominal pain (generally on the right side of the body) can result. It can be very immediate and severe, and it's important it gets treated. If not treated an appendix can rupture and cause death.
•    Cancer – in rare cases, stomach or abdominal pain comes from cancer in the stomach or in an organ contained in the abdomen. If stomach pain persists, weight is lost, there is vomiting of blood, or the person looks yellow, seeing a doctor is important.

Common Treatment Options for stomach pain

Treating abdominal pain or stomach pain depends on what is causing it. Until the cause is found, treatment is only a guess. Here are common treatments for stomach or abdominal pain.

•    Rest and relaxation is common, because most cases of stomach pain are from overeating or food poisoning. While food poisoning can be serious in people who are already sick, most cases aren't severe. People in this predicament will feel better with time, and there are medications that can help a person stop vomiting and keep fluids down.
•    Many times over-the counter medications can help with stomach problems, especially if the individual suffers with problems association with indigestion, heartburn, or diarrhea.  
•    Seeing the doctor is important if the stomach pain or abdominal pain is severe, immediate, long-lasting or there are extenuating circumstances like vomiting blood, turning yellow, or rapid weight loss. It's much better to be safe rather than sorry.

Holistic Approach

Sometimes a holistic approach might be the best solution for stomach pain and abdominal issues.  Many individuals actually prefer this approach and it can be effective against common complaints that individuals have regarding stomachaches.  Therefore for those looking to treat their abdominal pain the natural way, here are some ideas.

•    Many people take natural, herbal supplements to treat their stomach pain.  Usually these solutions consist of fennel and peppermint teas.  Individuals can mix these herbs together in water and heat them for 20 to 30 minutes.  Then, the solution can be drained, cooled and consumed as a tea.  A daily dose of this tea will make a huge difference on stomach pain and cramps.
•    Herbal teas that are pre-made will also benefit many individuals.  The most popular herbal teas for abdominal pain are lemon balm, peppermint, St. John’s wort, vaireian herb, chamomile, or rue.  These teas are especially beneficial if stomach pain is a result of anxiety or nerves.  
•    Also, taking a bath is a great option for abdominal sufferers.  Mix the bath water with 5 drops of rosemary.  The aroma will help calm the pain you are experiencing.
•    Massaging the area of pain will also help relieve pain.  This can be done using essential oils.  And it is particularly helpful for individuals that are suffering from ulcers in their stomach.
•    Acupuncture may be a great option as well if you stomach pain is more serious or persistent.  It is a great form of treatment that many people rely on and it can effectively treatment stomach pain.

When To See A Doctor for abdominal pain

Typically abdominal pain is a minor problem that will go away with time.  However, if the problem does not resolve itself in time, it could get more serious.  This could be an indication that a doctor should be involved in the problem.  However, it is not always easy to know when to consult a doctor for their opinion.  Here are some suggestions.

•    If stomach pain is something that is a result of an accident, a doctor should be contacted immediately.  In fact, in most situations, individuals should probably call 911.
•    Also, individuals should seek emergency medical assistance quickly if they start to feel pressure or pain in their chest.  This could be an indication of a serious medical problem.
•    Medical attention should be sought out quickly if the pain an individual is experiencing becomes so severe that they have to curl up in a ball to find relief.  At this point, an urgent care of the emergency room is recommended.
•    Individuals should also visit their local urgent care or emergency room if they begin to experience pain that is accompanied by bloody stools, non-stop nausea, and vomiting.  Also, in these cases the skin usually appears yellow, individuals experience severe tenderness if their stomach is touched, and their abdomen may begin to swell.
•    If stomach pain lasts more than a few days, it may be smart to schedule a doctor’s appointment.  Even if nothing is wrong, the doctor’s appointment provides individuals with peace of mind.  
•    A doctor’s appointment is also a good idea for individuals that find that their stomach pain is worrisome or an ongoing problem.

Managing Abdominal Pain

If the stomach pain is not life threatening, it becomes an issue that needs to be managed by the patient.  Managing pain is easier said then done.  Individuals that suffer from stomach pain will have to change their diets to cope with the pain they are dealing with.  Sometimes, they might not be able to eat at all.  In addition, rest will most likely be required to recover.  Many times individuals that suffer from abdominal pain become very weak.  This is a combination of the pain and lack of proper diet.

Also, it is imperative that individuals that do visit a doctor follow his or her instructions.  The doctor is an expert and is qualified to guide those that are suffering from the stomach flu.  If they recommend a diet, follow it.  If patients need to supplement their life with medications, do it.  There is nothing worse than suffering from pain.  And if this pain can be managed properly, then individuals should do their part to ensure that the pain is prevented and minimized.

Lastly, patients need to do their best to keep a positive perspective.  While no one wants to suffer from pain, in most cases stomach pain is manageable and treatable.  Regardless of the approach an individual chooses, recovery from abdominal pain is relatively possible with a little patience, some effort, and a willingness to relax.  And, the good news is, most people need a break anyway – whether it be young children that have played too hard or adults that have worked long hours during the day.

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