Never ignore a sudden stomach ache. Here’s how to tell if your stomach pain is much more serious and dangerous than a simple cramp.
Description: Stomach pain that causes a burning sensation just below the breastbone, especially after a large meal.
Possible causes: heartburn (reflux).
What to do: Take an over-the-counter antacid tablet for heartburn and avoid large fatty meals. If this stomach pain persists for several weeks, see your doctor. Constipation or flatulence are among the stomach aches that should not be ignored.
2.Constipation or gas
Possible causes: constipation or gas.
What to do: If you think you have constipation, take an over-the-counter laxative or anti-gas medications. If the pain persists for more than two weeks, see your doctor.
Description: stomach aches especially characterized by sudden pain around the navel. This pain may be accompanied by nausea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, difficulty in passing a bowel movement, or stiffening of the abdominal muscles.
Possible causes: appendicitis.
What to do: Go to the hospital. Appendicitis must be treated quickly, otherwise, the appendix may rupture and leak infectious fluid into other parts of the abdomen. The stiffening of the abdominal muscles is a sign that the infection is starting to spread.
Gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder are among the stomach aches that should not be ignored.
4.Gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder
Description: Stomach ache that is manifested by sudden pain in the right side of the abdomen that may radiate to other parts of the abdomen or back.
Possible causes: gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder.
What to do: If the pain persists or gets worse after eating fatty foods, see your doctor.
Colon disorders, urinary tract infection or pelvic inflammatory disease are some of the stomach aches that should not be ignored.
5.Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Description: Stomach pain or sudden abdominal pain, which may be accompanied by dizziness, especially in an older person who smokes or has high blood pressure.
Possible causes: abdominal aortic aneurysm.
What to do: Enlarged aorta can cause fatal bleeding. Go to the emergency room immediately.
6.Kidney stones or kidney or bladder infections
Description: A stomach ache or a sudden, sharp pain near your lower ribs that radiates down your groin.
Possible causes: kidney stones or, if the pain is accompanied by fever, infection of the kidneys, or bladder.
What to do: Increase your water intake and call your doctor. Most kidney stones eventually pass on their own, although in rare cases surgery is necessary. If you have a fever, see your doctor.
Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis are among the stomach aches that should not be ignored.
7.Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis
Description: Stomach pain which may manifest as sudden pain and tenderness in the lower left abdomen, possibly with fever, nausea, or vomiting. Possible causes: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis.
What to do: See your doctor who may recommend a colonoscopy. Long term treatment may be necessary.
Related Article: 8 things your gas says about your health