How do you manage abdominal pain? Treatment is also known as stomach pain or tummy ache, is a common symptom associated with non-serious and serious causes. Common causes of pain in the abdomen include gastroenteritis and irritable bowel syndrome. In a third of cases, the exact cause is unclear.
Pain in the abdomen is the single most important symptom of an acute abdominal pathologic process. It is the symptom that brings the patient to his physician and the symptom that deserves the utmost care in the evaluation. It has been said that a skilled clinician can identify the source of abdominal pain from the history alone 80 to 90% of the time. To achieve that goal requires a thorough understanding of the pathogenesis of the many abdominal diseases that produce pain and the pathways over which it is transmitted.
Abdominal pain may be of sudden, rapid, or gradual onset. The pain of sudden onset occurs within a second. The patient will relate the time of onset at a precise moment, usually stating exactly what activity was going on at the time the pain began. Sudden onset of pain is commonly associated with perforation of the gastrointestinal tract from a gastric or duodenal ulcer, a colonic diverticulum, or a foreign body. Other common causes include a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, mesenteric infarction, ruptured aortic aneurysm, and embolism of an abdominal vessel.
Treatments of Abdominal Pain
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Prescription medications for inflammation, GERD, ulcers, or general pain
- Anti ulcerant
- Low-dose antidepressants
- low doses of an anti-hormonal drug
- Enzymetic drug for constipation
- Changes in behavior, including the elimination of certain foods or beverages that may be contributing to abdominal pain
- Surgery to remove intestinal blockages, hernia, or infected organs.
There are several medications that can be used to treat GERD. They include:
- Over-the-counter acid buffers — Buffers neutralize acid. They include Mylanta, Maalox, Tums, Rolaids, and Gaviscon. The liquid forms of these medications work faster But the tablets may be more convenient.Antacids that contain magnesium can cause diarrhea. And antacids that contain aluminum can cause constipation. Your doctor may advise you to alternate antacids to avoid these problems. These medicines work for a short time and they do not heal the inflammation of the esophagus.
- Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors — Proton pump inhibitors shut off the stomach’s acid production.Proton pump inhibitors are very effective. They can be especially helpful in patients who do not respond to H2 blockers and antacids. These drugs are more potent acid-blockers than are H2 blockers, but they take longer to begin their effect.
- Proton pump inhibitors – should not be combined with an H2 blocker. The H2 blocker can prevent the proton pump inhibitor from working.These are prescribed at higher doses than those available in over-the-counter forms.
- Motility drugs – These medications may help to decrease esophageal reflux. But they are not usually used as the only treatment for GERD. They help the stomach to empty faster, which decreases the amount of time during which reflux can occur.
- Mucosal protectors – These medications coat, soothe and protect the irritated esophageal lining. One example is sucralfate (Carafate).
Over-the-counter and prescription medicines
You can buy many GERD medicines without a prescription. However, if you have symptoms that will not go away, you should see your doctor.
- Antacids – Doctors often first recommend antacids to relieve heartburn and other mild GER and GERD symptoms. Antacids include over-the-counter medicines such as. Antacids can have side effects, including diarrhea and constipation.
H2 blockers – H2 blockers decrease acid production. They provide short-term or on-demand relief for many people with GER and GERD symptoms. They can also help heal the esophagus, although not as well as other medicines. You can buy H2 blockers over-the-counter or your doctor can prescribe one. Types of H2 blockers include
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – PPIs lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. PPIs are better at treating GERD symptoms than H2 blockers. They can heal the esophageal lining in most people with GERD. Doctors often prescribe PPIs for long-term GERD treatment. Such as
Prokinetics – Prokinetics help your stomach empty faster. Prescription prokinetics include
Taking care of yourself at home
Most abdominal pain goes away without special treatment. Be guided by your doctor, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain, including:
- Place a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag on your abdomen.
- Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids such as water.
- Reduce your intake of coffee, tea and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
- When you are allowed to eat again, start with clear liquids, then progress to bland foods such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
- Take mild painkillers such as paracetamol. Please check the packet for the right dose. Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs unless advised to take them by a doctor. These drugs can make some types of abdominal pain worse.
- Stomach aches, also broadly called “abdominal pain,” are tricky things to find remedies for unless you know the cause. Ranging from indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome to gastritis and GERD, an aching tummy can stem from many things. Assuming you are dealing with an uncomplicated stomach ache, these remedies can help bring relief from the pain and discomfort that’s making you miserable.
1. Enjoy a Cup of Chamomile Tea
- Chamomile can help ease the pain of a stomach ache by working as an anti-inflammatory (for example the lining of the stomach can become inflamed as a result common gastritis, caused by bacteria) and by relaxing the smooth muscle of the upper digestive track.
- When it relaxes that muscle, the contractions that are pushing food through your system ease up a bit and lessen the pain of cramping and spasms.
You will need
- 1 teabag of chamomile tea OR 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile
- A mug
- Hot water
- Pour boiling water over a teabag and cover your mug, letting it steep for 10 minutes. If using dried chamomile, place 1-2 teaspoons in a mug and cover with boiling water. Cover the mug and let steep for 15-20 minutes. Sip slowly.
2. Use a “Hot” Pack
- I put hot in quotations because you don’t truly want it hot-just very warm, but comfortably so. You can also use a hot water bottle for this as well. Heat helps to loosen and relax muscles, so if you find yourself cramping up, some warmth can go a long ways for relieving you of the dreadful discomfort.
You will need
- A hot pack, hot water bottle, or something similar
- A cozy place to lie down
- Find a place to lie down, and rest the hot pack on your belly. It should be a comfortable temperature, but definitely warm. Do this for at least 15 minutes, or as long as you need to, reheating as necessary.
3. Rice Water
- Rice water is exactly what it sounds like-the water left-over after you cook rice. It acts a demulcent, meaning a substance that relieves inflammation by forming a sort of soothing barrier over a membrane, in this case, the lining of your stomach.
You will need
- 1/2 cup of white rice
- 2 cups of water
- A pot
- Cook your rice with twice the amount of water you normally would for your chosen amount. In this case I am using plain old long-grain white rice. Put your rice in a pot on the stove and add the water, cooking over medium-low heat.
- As the rice starts to become tender, remove it from the heat and let it soak for 3 minutes with the lid on the pan. Drain and drink the water warm, adding a smidge of honey if needed. Save the rice for a bland meal later
4. Enjoy Some Mint
- Fresh peppermint tea (or just peppermint tea in general) can help relax stomach muscles. It also helps improve the flow of bile, which helps you digest properly. This is especially useful if suffering from indigestion or gas/bloating.
You will need
- A handful of fresh peppermint leaves OR 1-2 teaspoons dried
- 1 cup water
- Cover the peppermint with 1 cup of boiling water, cover, and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Sip slowly while it’s still toasty warm.
- If using the fresh peppermint leaves, you can chew on them as well to ease stomach pains. You can also just use a pre-made teabag if you find that more desirable.
5. Warm Lemon Water
- Lemon water, if your issue is indigestion, helps a stomachache. The high acidity level stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, which breaks down our food.
- By upping the amount of HCL being produced, you help move digestion along at a healthy pace. You get the added bonus of the hydration too, which keeps the system flushed and running smoothly.
You will need
- 1 fresh lemon
- warm water
6. Ginger Root Tea
- Ginger contains naturally occurring chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. These chemicals can help relax smooth muscle, such as the muscle that lines the intestinal tract, and therefore relieve stomach cramps or a colicky stomach ache.
- Ginger root is also great for relieving nausea, which may accompany a stomachache. Sipping on some warm tea can prove very useful as a home remedy for stomach aches and is, in my opinion, more effective than ginger ale.
You will need
- 1 ginger root, 1-2 inches
- A sharp knife or peeler
- 1-2 cups of water
- Honey (optional)
- Wash, peel, and then grate or finely chop 1-2 inches of fresh ginger root. Bring 1-2 cups of fresh water to a boil (use less water and more ginger if you want a more concentrated drink) and add your ginger.
- Boil for 3 minutes and then simmer for 2 more. Remove from heat, strain, and add honey to taste. Sip slowly and relax.
7. Chew Fennel Seeds
- Let’s say your stomach ache is being caused by indigestion. In this case, chewing fennel seeds will help as they contain anethole, a volatile oil that can stimulate the secretion of digestive juices to help move things along. It can also help tame inflammation, and reduce the pain caused by it.
- If you are suffering from gastritis, inflammation of the stomach, this may provide some relief from the discomfort.
You will need
- 1/2-1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- After a meal, chew ½-1 teaspoon of fennel seeds thoroughly. If you are pregnant, avoid fennel.
8. Drink Club Soda and Lime
- Like lemon, lime can help ease an aching tummy. Combine the lime with club soda and you have an easy drink to sip on to wash away the pain.
- If you overate and have a stomach ache as a result, the carbonation in club soda will encourage you to burp, therefore relieving pressure in your belly.
- It has been shown to help greatly with dyspepsia (basically indigestion) and constipation.
You will need
- 8 ounces of cool club soda
- Fresh lime juice
- Mix 8 ounces of club soda with the juice of half a lime. Stir and sip slowly.
- I myself have had more than a few unfortunate run-ins with stomach aches, particularly this past year.
- Thanks to some generous family genes, I seem quite prone to them. Second, to headaches, I find chronic stomach pain to be one of the most distracting to deal with day-to-day.
Consider the following remedies when treating indigestion, nausea, or vomiting:
- Antimonium crudum – vomit right after eating or drinking; constant belching; white-coated tongue; from overeating or eating indigestible substance.
- Arsenicum – cannot bear sight or smell of food; burning pains in abdomen relieved by heat.
- Bryonia: stomach feels heavy after eating and is sensitive to touch; burps taste bitter; thirsty for long drinks of cold water and may vomit from warm drinks. Stitching, tearing pains, worse from the slightest movement; vomiting of bile or water. Irritable.
- Carbo vegetabilis – gas and belching about 30 minutes after eating; even the simplest food disagrees with the person. Averse to meat, milk, and fatty foods; wants clothing loose around abdomen; chilly, but better from cold; craves fresh moving air, like from being fanned.
- Chamomilla – bitter taste in mouth; one cheek may be red and hot and the other pale and cold; indigestion after a fit of anger or irritability; abdomen distended with gas, cramping; extreme restlessness, anxious tossing; very sensitive to pain.
- Colocynthis – severe cutting abdominal pain causing the person to double up; it is worse from anger or indignation; better with strong pressure and warmth.
- Ignatia –rumbling in the bowels; sour belching; craves food that doesn’t agree with them; might occur after receiving bad news or shock; frequent sighing; sensitive, nervous, excitable.
- Ipecac – constant and continual nausea; much saliva; gripping intestinal pains; tongue clean; worse smell of food; usually a great deal of vomiting, sometimes continuous; also diarrhea with nausea; better with the slightest motion.
- Nux vomica –heartburn; sour bitter belching; abdominal bloating a few hours after eating; empty retching; headache; drowsy; mentally dull; very sensitive to stimuli (noise, odors, light, etc); irritable; worse with eating, stimulants, and the open air; better from uninterrupted nap or warmth; hard-driving personality; illness after over-work, overeating, use of alcohol, coffee or other drugs; often used for hangovers.
- Phosphorus – similar to Arsenicum (much vomiting and diarrhea, burning pains, weakness, anxiety, and restlessness); sour taste and belching; nausea worse with warm drinks; great thirst for cold water which is vomited as soon as it becomes warm in the stomach; vomiting blood; sense of emptiness and weakness in abdomen; empty hungry feeling may keep person awake at night.
- Pulsatilla – heartburn; queasiness; dry mouth with bad taste; a sense of heaviness after eating; tongue coated thickly with white or yellow material; averse to fatty foods; wants clothing loose around abdomen; peevish, weepy; wants sympathy and comfort. Indigestion due to improper diet, especially rich, fatty foods, ice cream.
- Veratrum album – the person feels cold too