Abdominal pain is any pain that occurs around your stomach region. This pain may be caused by various conditions, especially when there is a problem with any of the organs in your abdomen. These organs include your stomach, liver, kidneys, appendix, and intestines. Eating a balanced fiber-rich diet, drinking lots of water, and ensuring good bowel movement helps prevent abdominal pain. Reach out to your healthcare provider if this pain prevents you from doing your daily activities.
There are many conditions that cause abdominal pain. It may be due to blockage, infections, swelling or abnormal growth in your organs.
Mild abdominal pain is commonly caused by:
- Food poisoning or allergies.
- Constipation or diarrhoea.
- Menstrual cramps.
- Acid reflux where the content of the stomach moves back to your mouth and causing heartburn.
Severe abdominal pain on the other hand may be caused by any of the following:
- Inflammation of your appendix.
- Presence of stones in your kidney and gallbladder.
- Infection of any of your organs.
- Rupture or near rupture of your organs.
If your pain remains after trying home remedies or if it becomes unbearable, visit your healthcare provider. Also, pay a visit if the pain in your abdomen lasts for more than 24hrs and is accompanied by any of the following:
- Passage of watery and loose stools.
- Passage of hard stools or no stools at all.
- If you notice blood in your vomitus or stools.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Abdominal swelling.
Take the following measures to prevent abdominal pain:
- Drink enough water especially at each meal. Eat foods that contain fibres such as banana, carrot, almond and vegetables. These foods help bowel movement and prevent constipation.
- Eat regularly and in small quantities to prevent pain resulting from overeating or an empty stomach.
- When you finish eating, wait for about 2 hours before lying down to prevent pain from heartburn.
- Avoid carbonated drinks, acidic fruits, caffeine and fatty foods as they can produce gas.
You can try the following when you have abdominal pain:
- Avoid solid foods like yam for the next few hours.
- Do not do any strenuous activity. Ensure you rest well.
- Take water in sips.
- Avoid taking medications as some could increase rather than reduce the pain. You should only take medicines when your healthcare provider prescribes them.
Do not take painkillers without talking to your doctor. Some medications or treatments that may be prescribed to you include:
- Antibiotics for infections.
- Antacids to treat heartburns.
- Surgery if there is a mass, blockage or tear in any of your organs.
Abdominal pain is caused by various things and most times, the self-care tips above can help relieve the pain. Ensure you eat well, drink enough water and avoid drinks or food that produce gas. Contact your healthcare provider once the pain is severe. Treating any medical condition you may have will help to reduce your abdominal pain.