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6 Causes Behind Recurring Stomach Pain

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Stomach pain is a common and pesky annoyance and it has happened to all of us. Usually, stomach cramps and discomfort indicate digestive disorders. But then there is the sharp and piercing pain that rises and repeatedly ebbs, which can alarm you. If you have been witnessing this kind of pain over a long period of time, then it is time you visit the doctor, especially if your stomach pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting and disorientation.

causes of stomach pain

Did you know?

  • 40.6% of individuals with abdominal pain reported difficulty working at a job or business. source: NCBI
  • Abdominal pain is common in children and adolescents, particularly females. source: NCBI
  • About one-third of 17-year-old adolescents experience abdominal pain, lasting at least three hours in one quarter. source: NCBI

Cause Behind Stomach Pain

Here are a few likely causes behind stomach pain that comes and goes:

 1. Appendicitis

Sometimes the appendix, an abdominal organ, swells up and this could lead to stabbing pains that intensify and ebb. The pain usually originates in the lower right side of the abdomen. There might be other symptoms like bloating and vomiting. The symptoms begin to show up almost right after the appendix swells up. Seek help from a doctor because a swollen appendix may burst and cause severe health issues.

 2. Ovarian Cysts

It is a common cause of shooting stomach pain in women because an overwhelming majority of women have ovarian cysts. Usually, they are harmless. But sometimes they enlarge and this is when they trigger pain. 

In such cases, the epicentre of the pain is in the lower abdomen where the ovaries are. You may also notice bloating and a sensation of pressure in your tummy. You can use hot compresses as a temporary measure to deal with the pain.

 3. Gallstones

Sometimes bilirubin or cholesterol accumulates to form stone shaped objects inside your gallbladder. They may even obstruct the duct of your gallbladder and this prompts intense shooting pain. Other indicators of gallstones are a yellowish tinge in the eyes, nausea, vomiting, sweating and fever. To ease the discomfort, you can sip peppermint or turmeric tea.

 4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

You will know that you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome if, after every meal, you experience pain in your stomach. Or the pain might appear during specific times of the day. Other symptoms of this disorder are pain accompanying defecation, presence of mucus in faeces, diarrhoea and flatulence.

Also Read: 10 Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection

 5. Urinary Tract Infection

UTIs are a very tortuous disease. Usually, it is the bladder that gets infected, but actually, any section of the tract can bear the brunt of the infection. Not only does it trigger pain in the abdomen, but you might also feel a burning sensation when you urinate.

In my experience the major causes of abdominal pain in children are behavioural, lymph nodes in intestines and worms. All should be evaluated and treated by a pediatrician.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

 6. Peptic Ulcer

This ulcer develops on the lining of your stomach. Prolonged usage of specific medicines can cause it to grow. They do not go away on their own and prompt a constant burning sensation in your abdomen. 

Some other sources of Stomach Pain can be:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Food allergies
  • Pain arising from ovulation

Children, especially in the early ages, frequently suffer from stomach aches.If their stomach ache is accompanied by weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, you should always consult a pediatrician to diagnose the cause and provide the treatment for the same.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D

Signs You Need to Go See a Doctor for Your Abdominal Pain Right Now!

If you face any of these signs while dealing with abdominal pain then don’t wait any longer. Consult a doctor immediately!

  • Constant pain lasting for long periods of time
  • Scrotum pain for males
  • Vaginal bleeding for pregnant women
  • Pain, nausea followed by difficulty in breathing
  • Blood in vomit
  • If you spot blood in your urine or bowel
  • Pain that spreads from your abdomen to other parts of your body like the chest, shoulder, neck etc.
  • If you are developing a fever during your abdominal pain
  • If you are facing issues with passing urine or bowel

Also Read: Why Is My Upper Stomach Bigger Than My Lower? Understanding Body Composition

How to Reduce Abdominal Pain at Home:

Unless you are facing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, your abdominal pain will most likely go away without the need for any special medical treatment. However, here are a few ways you can deal with abdominal pain yourself at home to reduce the pain:

  • Use hot water bags to alleviate the pain. Place it on your abdomen and let it work its magic.
  • Stay hydrated! Make water and other healthy clear fluids your best friend.
  • Try to minimise your consumption of coffee, alcohol and tea as they can contribute to increasing the pain.
  • Don’t stress yourself out. Rest as much as you can.
  • Ask your doctor to prescribe you a mild painkiller.
  • Over-the-counter antacids help in reducing abdominal pain.

Since ignoring abdominal pain that comes and goes can lead to medical complications in the future, you really should consult a doctor to find out if any one of the above-mentioned disorders is at the root of your tummy ache. Some of them need immediate medical treatment. Don’t wait till the symptoms become even more prominent because the longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to heal completely.

Also Read: Stabbing Pain Left Side Under Ribs: Possible Causes and Solutions

Can stress cause stomach pain?

Yes, stress might cause stomach pain. When under stress, the body releases hormones that can disrupt the digestive system, leading to symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, or indigestion.

Can constipation cause stomach pain?

Yes, constipation can cause stomach pain as it leads to the accumulation of stool in the intestines, which can cause cramping and discomfort in the abdominal region. This pain can range from mild to severe depending on the extent of constipation.

Can back pain cause stomach pain?

Yes, back pain can sometimes lead to stomach pain. Conditions such as spinal issues or muscle strains in the back can radiate discomfort to the abdomen, causing secondary stomach pain or discomfort. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can dehydration cause stomach pain?

Yes, dehydration can cause stomach pain as it can lead to reduced blood flow to the stomach lining, causing irritation and discomfort. Additionally, dehydration can slow down digestion, resulting in constipation, which can also contribute to stomach pain.

Can gas cause stomach pain?

Yes, gas can cause stomach pain as it can accumulate in the digestive tract, leading to bloating, cramping, and discomfort. Excessive gas production from factors like certain foods, swallowing air, or underlying digestive conditions can exacerbate stomach pain.

Can pregnancy cause stomach pain?

Yes, pregnancy can cause stomach pain due to various factors such as hormonal changes, stretching of the uterus, and pressure on surrounding organs as the fetus grows. Common causes include round ligament pain, constipation, and gas, but severe or persistent pain should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Can hemorrhoids cause stomach pain?

Hemorrhoids typically don’t directly cause stomach pain, as they are swollen veins in the rectum or anus. However, severe cases or complications like thrombosis can lead to discomfort that may radiate to the lower abdomen. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any abdominal pain.

Is stomach pain normal after sex?

Stomach pain after sex isn’t always normal. While some mild discomfort can happen due to muscle movements, if it’s severe or keeps happening, it’s essential to see a doctor to find out why.

Is stomach pain a symptom of the period?

Yes, stomach pain can be a symptom of menstruation, commonly known as menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea. These cramps result from the uterus contracting to shed its lining, causing discomfort in the lower abdomen. However, if the pain is severe or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider.

Does UTI cause stomach pain?

Yes, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause stomach pain, particularly in the lower abdomen. This pain often accompanies other UTI symptoms such as frequent urination, burning sensation during urination, and strong-smelling urine. Prompt medical attention is essential to treat UTIs and prevent complications.

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.



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