We all get stomach aches from time to time. Whether it’s because of that last piece of pizza that you shouldn’t have eaten or because you skipped a meal, a stomach ache is most often pretty easy to diagnose. However, sometimes a stomachache is much more than just that. How do you know when this is the case? And when should you call your doctor when you fear it may be more than just what you ate that is causing your abdominal pain? Continue reading below to learn more.
Common Reasons People Experience Stomach Pain
Everyone’s stomachs are a bit different. However, when it comes to which foods cause indigestion, this list often contains the same things for most people. Certain foods that are spicy or minty, or drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol are commonly the culprit for stomach pain in many people. Additionally, many people suffer from acid reflux. Overeating or eating right before bedtime can also cause these sorts of symptoms as well.
A change in your bowel pattern that leads to less frequent bowel movements can cause pain in the stomach quite easily.
Many times, women will mistake their menstrual cramps for stomach pain when they are on the verge of menstruating. However, this can be figured out quite easily by examining when your monthly cycle should begin.
Every person carries stress in a different way in their bodies. While some people experience stress headaches, others feel pain in their shoulders, neck or back. Others carry stress in their stomachs. At times of high anxiety, people who carry this stress this way can often have aches and pains in their stomach. This is especially true of those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Viral gastrointestinal infection
You’re probably more familiar with the other name of this infection. Also known as the stomach flu, viral gastrointestinal infection can cause severe stomach aches, as well as vomiting, diarrhea and even fever.
When Is It Time To Call Your Doctor?
- A history of heart problems
Many people are not aware but if you have a history of heart problems and you are experiencing abdominal pain, especially in your upper stomach, this is a sign that you may be having a heart attack. This is even more true if you are a woman. If you are concerned you’re having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.
A history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
If you have any of these chronic conditions, never hesitate in calling your doctor if you are experiencing significant abdominal pain. This could be a sign that something much more severe is occurring.
If you are experiencing pain that occurs quickly, and could be classified as ‘shooting pain,’ you could have a serious condition like a gallbladder attack or appendicitis. Both of the organs are located on your right side so pay attention to where the point of origin of the pain is.
When Is It Time To Go To The Emergency Room?
One of the most common symptoms patients report when they come into the emergency room is stomach pain. While the outcome is often that nothing at all is wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is why you should go immediately to the emergency room if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain, shortness of breath
- Severe stomach pain that does not subside
- Stomach pain that radiates to your back or that makes your abdomen painful to touch
- Extremely high fever
- Vomiting or coughing up blood
- Blood bowel movements
Don’t have a gastroenterologist in Los Angeles?
If you experience stomach issues from time to time or quite frequently, it’s time to see a gastroenterologist in Los Angeles. At West Gastroenterology, we can help you to identify what the cause is and how you can remedy your symptoms. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you!