Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
People of all ages experience abdominal pain. In fact, having a belly ache is one of the most common reasons people seek medical treatment.
And while most causes of belly pain are benign nature, others do warrant medical attention. Here are four of the most common causes of abdominal pain.
GERD a common cause of abdominal pain
GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a medical condition that is caused by excessive stomach acid. Acid reflux is when acid and bile moves up into your esophagus from your stomach.
Frequent regurgitation is a sign of GERD, and happens when the lower esophageal sphincter doesn't function properly. In the first stages of GERD, you may only have intermittent reflux or heartburn. However, without proper treatment, GERD can worsen over time.
Some symptoms of GERD to look out for:
- A lump in your throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- A bitter taste in your mouth
If any of these symptoms persist, seek help from your primary care physician.
Ulcer a common cause of abdominal pain
Ulcers are another common cause of stomach discomfort. Ulcers can form in the lining of your stomach, small intestines, or esophagus.
Esophageal ulcers form within your esophagus, gastric ulcers form in your stomach, and duodenal ulcers are what forms in the duodenum. The duodenum is located within the upper portion of your small intestines.
Regardless of the type, peptic ulcers can be caused by excessive alcohol use, smoking, bacteria known as H. pylori, overuse of anti-inflammatories, and in rare cases, stomach cancer. Pain from ulcers is usually burning in nature. However, it may feel like a gnawing pain as well.
IBS a common cause of abdominal pain
IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, affects between 25 to 45 million people each year in the U.S. This type of belly pain can range from mild to severe, with associated loose stool and constipation.
The belly pain caused by IBS is not clear. However, there are numerous theories surrounding it such as a sensitive immune system or colon. Despite the mystery surrounding IBS, it is relatively easy to treat.
Functional Pain a common cause of abdominal pain
Sometimes, an exact diagnosis cannot be made. When all the testing comes back normal but you still continue to experience stomach pain, it may be diagnosed as functional pain.
Functional belly pain can happen when someone has high levels of stress. It may also happen for unknown reasons.
The best way to manage functional pain is to slowly eliminate and then reintroduce certain foods into your diet. If your pain is stress-induced, learn ways to manage stress more effectively to lessen intestinal upset.
If you’re experiencing regular belly pain, talk to a doctor as soon as possible. While it may be easy to write it off as a simple belly ache, stomach pain can be indicative of a more serious issue.
When nailing down a diagnosis, consider seeking out online second opinion options for belly pain. A second opinion can help you reach a more accurate diagnosis and a more effective treatment plan.
Stomach pain is never comfortable, and it is a common symptom that can point to any of a wide range of health problems. It’s important to narrow down what problems your stomach pain could be indicating so that the issue can be taken care of.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.