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8 Types of Stomach Pain—and When to Call Your Doctor

With how broad the term “stomach pain” is, it’s quite hard to pinpoint the exact issue causing the unbearable and annoying pain.

The levels of pain can range from mildly annoying twinges to the I-can’t-get-up-and-do-anything kind of cramping that may be due to something “regular” as irritable bowel movements. However, what kind of stomach pain—serious or not—should warrant a visit to the doctor?

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Intense Pain with Bloody Diarrhea

You may have caught a foodborne illness such as E.coli, campylobacter, shigella, or salmonella, which are caused by contaminated food. Try to remember if you ate anything that may have been the culprit, and check other people who ate the same thing if they also have the same symptoms as you. Although food poisoning usually goes away in a matter of days, finding blood in your stool can be a good reason to visit the doctor.

Sudden Pain along with Vomiting

These may be symptoms of two possible issues: food poisoning and acute gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the lining of your intestines caused by a parasite, bacteria, or virus. Food poisoning usually causes bloody diarrhea while gastroenteritis doesn’t. These usually go on its own. But if you’re having difficulties keeping your fluids down, then go schedule that doctor’s appointment.

Pain Lasting More than a Day, Spreading to your Back

If your stomach has been in pain for several days and you’re now experiencing back pains, then it’s probably a sign of inflammation of your pancreas or your gallbladder. Pancreatitis is characterized by mild or severe pain that starts from your upper abdomen and extends to your back.

Meanwhile, cholecystitis or inflammation of the gallbladder involves severe pain spreading from the upper right or center of your abdomen to the right shoulder or back. Both have the same set of symptoms: tender abdomen, nausea and vomiting, fever, and quickened heartbeat.

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Sudden, Worsening Pain in Lower Right Abdomen

One word: Appendicitis. This pain, which worsens with movement, starts from around your belly button to your lower right abdomen, where your appendix is. Most people have described this as the worst pain that they have ever experienced, and it would require a dash to the doctor—or the hospital—before it bursts.

Pain in Your Side or Lower Back, Painful To Urinate

Pain that comes and goes and feels like it’s moving toward the groin, nausea, vomiting, and chills may be signs that you have kidney stones. Your urine coming out colored pink, red, or brown because of blood is also a tell-tale sign.

You may not be aware of the presence of smaller stones, but larger ones can be real pains. The agony you feel as it passes through your urinary tract is enough to make you go to the doctor for a consultation.

Intense Stomach Cramps in Lower Abdomen that lessens After Bowel Movement

Persistent stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation may be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). If your cramps lessen after visits to the toilet, it may be just your common constipation. However, a thing to note is that constipation is also a symptom of IBS. If this issue has been recurring, then better ask your doctor if this is a sign of IBS.

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Intense Pain during Menstrual Period that is Getting Worse over the Years

Most women have experienced period cramps, and it’s deemed as a normal occurrence during menstrual cycles. However, if it has been worsening over the years, it may be time to consult your ob-gyne. This may point to endometriosis.

Women with endometriosis usually feel sharp pain and cramping that gets worse when it’s that time of the month. It is also associated with heavy bleeding and chronic pelvic and lower back pain.

Sharp, Sudden Pain on One Side of Pelvis Followed by Dull Lower Abdomen Pain

This type of pain can signal a ruptured ovarian cyst. Although there are those who experience sharp pains that could last for a time followed by a dull pain, some who have ovarian cysts feel no symptoms.

It may not necessarily be a problem since it is a noncancerous mass form, but going to the doctor is recommended if you experience unbearable pain along with symptoms like fever, cold and clammy skin, rapid breathing, vomiting, and lightheadedness.

For matters of health, it is best to consult experts who could give a proper diagnosis along with the recommended steps to take.

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