It’s perfectly normal for people to experience pain or discomfort in your abdominal area from time to time. Abdominal pain, known more commonly as a stomach ache, can range in intensity from a mild ache to a level of pain that may be severe or even debilitating. While abdominal pain often resolves itself, some people experience chronic stomach aches that can persist or occur frequently. While it may not always be possible to completely prevent abdominal pain in these cases, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms.
- Try altering your eating habits. Either eating too little or eating too much can both potentially cause stomach aches. When your stomach is empty for too long, there is no protective buffer for the acid in your stomach. Additionally, overeating can cause the stomach to stretch and feel discomfort.
- What you eat and drink can also contribute to abdominal pain. Especially fatty, spicy, or fried foods can upset the stomach and lead to pain. Things like sodas, alcoholic beverages, and caffeinated drinks can all lead to various stomach issues. Drinking water can help regulate healthy function in the gut and potentially prevent stomach pain. When having stomach issues, it is best to narrow down what is causing them so keeping a food log is quite beneficial.
- Manage your stress when possible. Stomach pain is a common reaction to being overly stressed, leading to a feeling like their stomach is churning or tied up in knots. While avoiding stressful situations is often easier said than done, there are things that can help ease stress. We recommend exercising regularly, practicing breathing exercises including meditation or yoga, listening to calming music, or enjoying a hobby. If these are ineffective, it can help to speak with your healthcare provider about how to de-stress during your next appointment.
Although a stomach ache isn’t always cause for concern, prolonged abdominal pain can be a sign of an infection, bleeding, or inflammation that requires medical help as soon as possible.
We strongly recommend seeking medical attention in the following situations:
- Abdominal pain that persists for several days
- Persistent nausea or not being able to keep food down
- Any difficulty breathing
- Blood in your poop or vomit
- Persistent feeling of “tenderness” in the stomach
Our goal as healthcare providers is to do everything we can to make sure our patients do not have to live with chronic pain. If you have been dealing with considerable pain in the abdomen, it can be incredibly beneficial to speak with your doctor about your options. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers at our Atlanta or Alpharetta location, please contact Family Practice Center. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for additional health tips, news, and so much more.