Sometimes it's easy to guess what's causing your stomach to hurt: a large meal or the virus known as the stomach flu, for example. But ongoing abdominal pain can be distressing, particularly if you don't know what's causing it. The physicians at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Torresdale, Bucks and Bala Cynwyd, PA have extensive training in gastroenterology, the study of the digestive tract, to determine the cause of your stomach pain and how to resolve it. A few of the most common causes of stomach pain are listed here.
The inability to have a regular bowel movement is a common problem that affects most people at least one time in their lives. While the frequency of passing stool varies from person to person, constipation is typically defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. As the stool hardens after this much time in the body, constipation can lead to stomach pain, swelling and even vomiting in some cases. After an exam, your Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist will often recommend a diet change, including drinking more water and introducing fiber-rich foods into your meals. Laxatives can also help soften the stool and make them easier to pass.
When cholesterol or bodily fluids harden in the gallbladder, this creates gallstones. Most people don't know they have them until they block a bile duct, which causes pain in the upper abdomen and back, nausea, and heartburn. Gallstones are usually a result of a high-fat diet or a complication of diabetes or pregnancy. If you have gallstones, your Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist may prescribe medicine to help break down the stones. You may also need surgery to remove the gallbladder altogether.
If a sore develops in the lining of the stomach or upper small intestine, it's called an ulcer. Many people with ulcers have a gnawing or burning pain in between meals which is temporarily quelled by eating. Diagnosed by your Bala Cynwyd gastroenterologist through imaging tests, ulcers can be treated by diet changes or medication. In some severe cases, surgery is needed.
If you're having stomach pain, we here at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Torresdale, Bucks and Bala Cynwyd, PA are here to help! Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!