Everybody has a stomach ache from time to time. Oftentimes you can find out the cause yourself and you don’t have to worry about it – it will pass. Maybe you’ve eaten something a little iffy, or you’re on your period. Yet there are a couple of types of stomach pain you shouldn’t ignore. If you’re experiencing one of the following types of pain you should contact your doctor.
Some types of pain don’t just pass on their own…
1. Long term pain that doesn’t go away
For every type of stomach pain that lasts longer than three months, you should definitely go to the doctor. Do you have other symptoms besides the pain, like ongoing diarrhoea or obstipation? Or do you feel full after only a few bites of dinner, often feel bloated or gassy after dinner or experience the pain mostly after dinner? Then the pain might be caused by a number of different conditions: from irritable bowel syndrome to lactose intolerance or something more serious.
2. Stomach pain in combination with nausea
When you get a stomach ache together with nausea or vomiting, you most likely have a bout of food poisoning. These complaints should disappear within a day or two. When the symptoms get worse instead of better and you don’t know what’s causing them, you might be dealing with something more serious. Examples are a bowel obstruction, a gastrointestinal infection, a ruptured cyst on one of your ovaries, a stomach ulcer or even a heart attack. In these cases, you should definitely visit a doctor.
3. Stomach pain in combination with blood
When you notice there’s blood in your stool or vomit, we recommend calling a doctor immediately. Keep in mind that blood in your stool doesn’t always appear red; it can also be black, indicating that the bleeding is occurring higher up in the digestive tract. Bleedings like this can have multiple causes, like haemorrhoids, a bleeding stomach ulcer or cancer. Have you eaten a lot of blueberries, beets or liquorice? Then your stool is often dark or even red as well. Medicines like iron tablets and antidiarrheal medicine can be of influence too.
Go to the next page for the other three stomach pains you shouldn’t ignore!
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