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For some people, abdominal pain can be caused by their eating habits. It is important to know that certain foods can increase the risk of developing certain digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. You need to know if any of these symptoms are present: chronic diarrhea, bloating, gas, weight change (loss or gain), blood in the stool, or frequent constipation.
In this article, you will learn what causes abdominal pain and how to avoid it so that you can live a healthier life.
What causes abdominal pain?
On the outside, your abdomen is covered with a thin layer of skin. Inside, different organs are protected by a thicker layer of tissue called the fascia. When you have abdominal pain, it is usually caused by inflammation or infection of these organs.
Here are some common reasons for this:
- Too much fatty foods
- Not enough exercise
- Stressful life situation
- Bad bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea, use of laxatives)
- Diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level)
What are the different types of abdominal pain?
Not many people know this, but there are several types of abdominal pain. These include the following:
- Visceral pain: It is related to the organs and you experience it as a deep and constant pain. It is usually located on the right side of your abdomen if you are right handed and on the left side if you are left handed. This is usually caused by inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, or Crohn’s disease.
- Superficial pain: This is a sharp pain localized transversely, or across the abdomen. It is usually caused by a gallbladder problem, appendicitis, or ovarian cysts.
Eating habits that cause abdominal pain
People with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or trying to recover from an infection should avoid fatty foods. They cause gas to form and spasms in the intestines, resulting in abdominal pain.
Lighter meals are ideal. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and yogurt. Spicy foods can cause abdominal pain, so eating them regularly could make your condition worse.
In addition, eating too much in the same meal can lead to abdominal pain, mainly in the upper abdomen. This is caused by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. What you can do to prevent this is eat smaller meals every two to three hours. This way, you will feel fuller and fuller, and you will avoid eating more.
Foods that can cause abdominal pain
Certain foods can cause abdominal pain. Some of these include:
- Foods that are too fatty and fried
- Spicy food
- Foods rich in protein
- Vinegar dressing
- Fruits high in acids, such as oranges and lemons
If you have no idea what is causing your abdominal pain, it would be best to seek help from a doctor or any health facility. Plus, emergency care can help alleviate this pain as it has 24-hour staff and fewer patients, meaning they can attend to you as soon as they can, if not immediately.
What if you have abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain can range from a mild discomfort to a serious problem. If you have frequent sharp pains on both sides of the abdomen or if it is accompanied by vomiting and fever, you should see a doctor immediately.
For everyone, here are some basic pain relief steps you can take:
- Try taking a hot bath or shower to relax your muscles.
- Eat foods high in fiber, such as grains and cereals. They help relieve constipation by softening the stool and making it easier to pass it.
- If you feel bloated, don’t eat spicy foods and avoid carbonated drinks. These can cause air bubbles which lead to bloating.
- If you have abdominal pain along with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea that doesn’t go away after a day, plan to see a doctor as soon as possible.
What are the possible treatments for abdominal pain?
Your doctor will usually advise you to rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You may also be advised to take medicine to relieve the pain or lower your fever, if necessary. Likewise, if you have one of the more serious causes of abdominal pain such as appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, or inflammatory bowel disease, you may need to have surgery.
How to treat symptoms of abdominal pain if they get worse
If your abdominal pain gets worse, you may have an illness. It would be best to see a doctor immediately. However, if you want to see a doctor on your own, you can do the following:
- If you have a fever and / or vomiting, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- If your abdominal pain is accompanied by diarrhea, you should eat foods that are bland and easy to digest. These include foods such as rice, chicken broth, and bananas.
- If you have a sharp, constant pain in your abdomen that prevents you from sleeping or resting, you may want to ask your doctor for pain relievers.
- If you occasionally have mild abdominal cramps, try taking one to two teaspoons of olive oil.
- If you have severe stomach pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that does not go away for more than 24 hours, you should see a doctor immediately. If you are unsure of the cause, it might also be best to contact your doctor.
The next time you experience abdominal pain, it’s important to know that there are some simple things you can do at home. If your stomach upset symptoms get worse, talk to a doctor about treatment and prevention.