Pretty much everyone in the world either has had or will have a stomachache at some point. Stomach pain is common and can usually be treated quickly and easily. However, sometimes stomach pain can also be a sign of more serious issues. Understanding the causes and symptoms of stomach pain can help you to seek the right treatment.

Indigestion

Indigestion can cause pain, bloating, burning or gnawing sensations in the stomach, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Indigestion may be caused by eating too much food, eating too fast, or eating foods that are too spicy or fatty. In most cases, indigestion can be cured with changes in diet and lifestyle.

However, in some cases indigestion is a symptom of a larger problem. If indigestion regularly occurs after eating meals that are not too heavy or otherwise known to cause irritation, it could be a sign of issues like acid reflux, duct abnormalities, or even cancers. If you are prone to indigestion, medical professionals may be able to help you identify the cause.

Menstruation

Menstruation can cause bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and other stomach problems. Menstruation symptoms can begin up to two weeks before menstruation begins and last up to seven days after it starts. For women whom these symptoms are severe and recurring, it can be tough to tell whether menstruation is the cause of pain or whether there are other factors at play like IBS.

IBS and Other Chronic Disorders

Irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic disorders like Crohn’s disease generally cause intestinal irritation and inflammation. Certain foods and supplements may help to curb the symptoms of the disorders, while other foods may cause flare-ups. If you have a chronic condition that causes stomach pain, it’s important to set up a schedule with a doctor for regular screen tests and check-ups, as these disorders can lead to cancers and other health issues.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is very common, but can become severe in some cases. Food poisoning is usually characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. Most cases of food poisoning resolve quickly without intervention, but if dehydration occurs or blood in the stool or vomit is noticed, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Food allergies and sensitivities can usually be identified by the other symptoms that they cause in addition to bloating and cramps. Sufferers may also experience hives, problems breathing, and even drops in blood pressure. Symptoms may occur with ingestion of just a small amount of the offending food for some, but others may only have reactions to large amounts of the food allergen.

If stomach pain is a recurring problem, seeing a doctor may help you to find relief from your symptoms and potentially identify a more serious health complication before it worsens. Health insurance may help to cover the costs of several different types of screen tests that can be instrumental in identifying and treating stomach pain.