Cramping, gurgling sounds and pain – our stomach can really put us through the ringer when it’s not feeling its best. Stomach troubles can ruin your day, keep you locked up indoors and make you want to curl up into a ball. But what caused your stomach woes in the first place? Was it spices? Or was that chicken you ordered slightly undercooked? When it comes to stomach issues the causes are endless.
Although we often place the blame on something we ate, there are far more serious causes for stomach problems. The key is to recognize these alternative issues and get them treated right away.
Here are four causes – other than your last meal – that might be putting your stomach through torture.
If you’ve been taking dips in pools to keep cool this summer, you may have contracted a parasite. There are many different parasites, some quite common to America, that reside in contaminated pools, lakes and even drinking water. Additionally, parasites can be picked up from undercooked or contaminated food.
Parasites can lead to a slew of symptoms including diarrhea, cramping and nausea. The type of parasite you’ve contracted determines how long the symptoms will last.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding bodies of water which have a history of contamination – especially if you are traveling to another country. Also, stick with bottled water and avoid contact between your lips and any faucets or fountains where contaminated water may run through.
Stress can affect nearly every part of our body, so it should be of no surprise that it can lead to your stomach troubles as well. Ongoing research continues to link a strong gut-mind connection; therefore, if you want to curb your stomach pains, reduce your stress.
In a study published in the journal Gut, depression was found to be connected with digestive problems. Conversely, it was also uncovered that digestive issues are linked with poor mental health.
To reduce stress it’s important to uncover the cause. Whether it is work or family problems, you need to find a solution. Furthermore, it’s important to partake in stress-reducing activities, like going for a stroll, meditating or practicing yoga. However you unwind, your stomach will surely thank you.
The older we get the more prescriptions it seems we have to fill out. Medications work to treat symptoms which we outline for our doctors, but it’s important to remember just because they can fix one thing, they may lead to another problem.
Medication side-effects are often related to stomach troubles, and that is why many directions recommend you take the prescription with a meal or on a full stomach. Examples of everyday medications which can cause stomach problems are anti-inflammatories and ibuprofen.
To reduce stomach pain caused by medication, always read the label carefully and ensure you are taking the pills as prescribed. If the pain and discomfort are too much, speak with your doctor to inquire about an alternative form of treatment.
When the appendix – located at the lower right-side of the abdomen – becomes inflamed, it can lead to severe pain and appendicitis. The appendix doesn’t have an exact purpose, so when it becomes inflamed it is simply best to remove it.
Symptoms of appendicitis include sudden pain in the lower-right portion of the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea and bloating.
If treatment is not sought out quickly the appendix can burst, leading to a life-threatening situation.
These are just four reasons, not linked with food or eating habits, why your stomach may hurt. Many of these reasons are linked with specific habits, so recalling recent events can help to better determine what is causing your stomach troubles.