Why Does My Stomach Hurt?

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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Stomach problems are fairly common. Many people will need to be careful about what they eat in order to prevent getting a pain here, while there are various other factors that can cause stomach pain. The good news is that stomach pain is usually fairly short-lived and is often caused by something quite harmless.

Even if the underlying cause of stomach pain is harmless it doesn’t make the pain any less unbearable for the patient. Plus, there are some instances in which the causes of stomach pain can be very dangerous indeed. Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons you might be experiencing pain in this area.

1. Too Much Food

Eating is very enjoyable, especially when it comes to our favorite meals. This means that we will often want to keep on eating regardless of how full we are, and this can cause problems. The food that we eat is sent directly to the stomach where the digestion process starts. You can think of the stomach as a kind of bag that will grow larger as more food is put in it, but it only has a limited capacity. Filling it with too much food will become quite uncomfortable, and a full stomach may also have difficulty digesting its contents.

Stomach Hurt

2. Eating the Wrong Food

One of the great things about food is that there are so many different types to choose from. Our choice is still often limited to a degree, however, because some people have difficulty in processing certain types of food. Eating the wrong thing can cause considerable discomfort. Spicy foods in particular are known for causing an upset stomach, while fatty foods also tend to be problematic for a lot of people.

There is still likely to be a wide range of foods that you can choose from but it is wise to keep away from those that you know will cause you problems.

3. Ulcers

Ulcers are basically open sores. They can occur pretty much anywhere on the body and there is a wide range of potential causes. They can also occur inside the stomach in what is known as a peptic ulcer. They can be very uncomfortable for the patient and are a potential reason that your stomach hurts.

Stomach ulcers are usually caused by a bacterial infection, while some types of drug are also sometimes responsible. They can take a long time to heal but treatment is usually possible. In some instances, it might be necessary for surgery to take place. The patient will likely need to avoid certain foods that can make the pain worse.

Stomach Hurt

4. Gastritis

Our food is digested by juices that are produced in our bodies and secreted into the stomach. These juices help us to break down the food that we eat and, in order for this to happen, they are acidic in nature. The juices are acidic enough to slowly break down organic matter, but our stomach is protected by a special lining.

The juices can sometimes still get through the stomachs lining, however, and this can cause it to become quite irritated. This is a condition known as gastritis, and it is usually bought on by excess alcohol, bacterial infections, stress, and some painkillers.

5. Viruses

Stomach flu is a relatively common problem that is caused by viral infections. The technical medical term for the condition is gastroenteritis. It is a condition that can cause considerable discomfort and people who have it are likely to need to take some time off work or school.

While a tummy bug is not usually dangerous, there are some instances in which it can pose more of a threat. Excess vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and malnutrition and this can be dangerous, especially to particularly vulnerable people. The condition can sometimes be treated with medication and you should see your doctor if the symptoms are too severe.

Stomach Hurt

6. Food Poisoning

Bacteria are everywhere. They are on the food that we eat and healthy people even have certain bacteria living in their intestines. The good news is that the vast majority are completely harmless to us. The bad news is that some can cause us a great deal of harm.

If the wrong type of bacteria is on your food then you may feel very sick indeed and it can cause considerable stomach pain. While it is all but impossible to be completely safe, you can still improve your safety a great deal. Practice good hygiene and make sure that your food is thoroughly cooked and you should hopefully avoid picking up food poisoning.

7. Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a condition that basically means the patient has an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a type of protein that is found in wheat, so it is commonly used in a very wide range of dishes. A person with Celiac disease that does consume gluten can experience pain in their stomach as well as other conditions including diarrhea and fatigue.

Because gluten is so common, people with the condition will find that they are rather limited in what they are able to eat. Many breads, pastas, and pastries are off the menu and those with Celiac disease will sometimes find it difficult to find suitable dishes in restaurants.

Stomach Hurt

8. Lactose Intolerance

Sugars are very common in nature; they are found in a wide range of fresh foods, and this includes dairy. Milk in particular contains a sugar known as lactose and, for most people, it is no problem at all. Unfortunately for some people it can be very problematic indeed.

Lactose intolerance is a condition where the patient is unable to break down lactose. This is down to them lacking an enzyme known as lactase that is responsible for breaking down the sugar. It causes various symptoms, including stomach pains, but avoiding dairy should hopefully prevent the patient from developing symptoms.

9. Constipation

Nutrition and water from our food and drink are not absorbed instantly by our digestive system. It takes some time for this to occur, so our food passes through fairly slowly to allow for this to happen. Some people, however, will find that their food passes through their system too slowly.

When food does not pass through the body fast enough, it will likely develop into what is known as constipation. This can be very uncomfortable, potentially causing stomach pains as a build-up of food and waste develops in the digestive system. The condition can usually be treated and it may be necessary to speak with your doctor if it persists.

10. Pancreatitis

Our pancreas is an organ that helps us to break down some of the foods we eat. In some people, this organ can sometimes become inflamed in a condition known medically as pancreatitis. It can be very painful and can also cause some other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Pancreatitis is usually fairly easy to heal and it will often go away without medical help, but severe cases can be dangerous. Another organ that can cause similar problems is the appendix, and appendicitis has the potential to be very dangerous indeed. If you are experiencing severe stomach pain then you should make an appointment to speak with your doctor.

Stomach Hurt

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