Why Is My Stomach Bloated
The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
The Difference Between A Bellyache And Abdominal Pain
Most bellyaches are temporary and may be due to overindulgence in a favorite food, a simple flu bug, or another issue that resolves quickly. Some conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome , may become chronic and require changes in your diet. And a few problems that cause pain, such as pancreatitis or appendicitis, require urgent medical attention.
Its also possible that the abdominal pain youre experiencing isnt coming from your gut at all. Kidney stones, for instance, can cause pain that travels from your lower back or side to your abdomen.
Because abdominal pain can arise from so many sources, identifying the location and nature of your pain often helps Dr. Pothuri narrow down the underlying cause of your discomfort.
Regardless of whats causing it, however, when your belly pain doesnt resolve quickly, resolves and then returns, or is severe enough to wake you from sleep, its time to visit GastroDoxs.
Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
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Warning Signs To See A Gynecologist Concerning Your Pelvic Pain
If you cannot rule out any ‘other causes’ for dyspareunia, including emotional trauma, chronic stress, sexual position, and vaginal dryness, you may need help from a gynecologist.
Considering the wide range of problems that revolve around painful intercourse, your gynecologist will be able to seek diagnosis and treatment.
If your gynecologist does not find any issues regarding your reproductive system or pain, seek advice from a vascular doctor.
Warning signs include:
- Pain is too severe to have sex
- You cannot become aroused out of fear of the pain returning
- The pain disrupts your daily activities
- Pain is almost unbearable during your menstrual cycle
- It is accompanied by other symptoms
Kidney Infection Or Kidney Stones
A kidney infection usually happens when a bladder infection progresses to the kidneys. This can lead to pain in the lower back and increased stomach bloating.
Signs of a kidney infection may include a burning sensation with urination, an increased urge to urinate, fever, or back pain. If not treated in time, this can lead to a widespread infection in the bloodstream or kidney failure, so medical attention is necessary.
Kidney stones are another condition that can cause stomach bloating and back pain. It happens when minerals accumulate in the kidneys. When they pass through to the bladder, they can feel extremely painful.
While kidney stones can usually pass on their own, some cases may require additional medical procedures to break down the stones.
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Tummy Pain Or Back Pain
Tummy pain or back pain are common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. The pain may start as general discomfort or tenderness in the tummy area and spread to the back.
Some people have no pain at all, and pain can vary from person to person. For example, it may come and go at first but become more constant over time. It can be worse when lying down, and sitting forward can sometimes make it feel better. It may be worse after eating.
If you are over 60, have lost weight and have tummy or back pain, your GP should refer you for an urgent CT scan or ultrasound scan within two weeks.
Menstrual Cycle & Bloating
Does your stomach feel bloated around the time of your period? Oestrogen has a big role in deciding how women retain water.
Levels of this hormone fluctuate during a womans monthly cycle, with the body typically retaining more water when oestrogen is higher in the week or so leading up to the start of a period.
As a result, a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome is bloating.
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Possible Causes Of Bloating In Upper Abdomen
Abdominal bloating is a health condition in which the upper abdomen is gaseous, may be visibly swollen or distended, and feels uncomfortably full. Its a common complaint among both children and adults, and the symptoms can be difficult to live with. Moreover, it can also be accompanied by burping or belching, pain, excessive gas or flatulence,swallowing of air, and abdominal rumbling.
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Causes Of Back Pain And Bloating
There are a few very common causes that are likely causing your back pain and bloating.
Those causes include:
Your hormones are your bodys chemical messengers.
As hormone levels swing, they can affect the way your body behaves.
Its a pretty common misunderstanding that only women are susceptible to these hormone shifts, but both men and women are vulnerable to them.
Many women experience back pain or cramping with bloating during or right before their period.
In this situation, they are generally nothing to worry about.
If you are undergoing hormone replacement therapy you may also experience bloating and back pain, and if so, you should discuss the symptoms with your doctor.
This is one cause the men reading this wont have to worry about.
But, for the women, pregnancy can cause bloating, constipation, and gas, especially late in the pregnancy when the uterus begins compressing the organs.
The additional weight at their midsection can also put a strain on the back and hips.
If you experience any symptoms while youre pregnant, you should discuss them with your doctor right away, because anything you experience could affect your baby.
Thankfully most causes of bloating and back pain in pregnancy clear up soon after the delivery.
Most of the time gas is no more than a minor annoyance.
Sometimes, though, gas can produce intense pain that makes your entire abdomen feel full and tender.
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Final Thoughts And Key Takeaways
There are many possible explanations for your back and stomach pain, some of which require a doctors attention. Others can be fixed by reducing inflammation, avoiding irritants, and being more informed about your treatment choices.
Key takeaway #1: If you have been using NSAIDs to treat a strained or aching lower back, they may be the cause of your problem.
Key takeaway #2: NSAIDs can cause additional problems, like increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Key takeaway #3: There are natural treatments available that can help ease the pain and get to the root of your problem.
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Gastrointestinal Problems And Flatulence
A common gastrointestinal problem is gas or flatulence. In the majority of cases, gas is simply a minor annoyance that quickly goes away. However, excess gas may lead to intense pain that is accompanied by bloating, belching, flatulence, tenderness, and a feeling of fullness. The pain can also extend to the back, causing lower back pain.
Excess gas in the upper stomach region may be the result of swallowing more air than usual, overeating, or chewing gum. Gas that develops in the lower abdomen is often linked to eating gassy foods, the improper digestion of certain foods, or an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the gut or colon. The following foods may lead to excess gas for some people:
- Carbonated drinks
- Dairy foods that contain lactose
- Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy
Another common issue that may cause these symptoms is gastritis, which is characterized by inflammation of stomach lining. More specifically, this condition occurs when foreign invaders or certain substances weaken the protective mucosal lining of the stomach, thereby allowing digestive juices to damage the lining. It is most often caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, but is also linked to other factors such as alcohol use or taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs frequently.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Treatment for Lower Back and Abdominal Pain
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Kidney And Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections develop due to the overgrowth of bacteria in the bladder or urethra. They typically cause symptoms such as painful urination, cloudy urine with a strong scent, and pain in the groin, but the symptoms can expand to other parts of the body if the infection spreads to the kidneys.
More specifically, as the kidneys are located in the lower region of the back, lower back pain may develop if the kidneys become inflamed. As the infection continues to spread, it may lead to painful contractions of the abdominal or pelvic muscles. Additional symptoms that indicate the infection is becoming severe include:
If symptoms of a UTI or kidney infection are experienced, it is important to seek medical treatment.
When Should You See A Doctor
Stomach bloating and lower back pain often go away on their own or are alleviated through OTC medication and home remedies. However, you should consult with your healthcare provider if your symptoms come on suddenly, are unexplained, or are persistent and severe enough that they interfere with your daily activities.
Stomach bloating and/or lower back pain may indicate a serious condition if accompanied by:
Urine that contains blood and/or pus, is cloudy, or foul-smelling
Painful urination or difficulty in urination
If you are pregnant, contact your doctor immediately about any worrisome or unusual symptoms.
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When To See A Doctor
There is not always an obvious cause of lower back pain, and it often gets better on its own. Resting, trying hot or cold therapy, taking OTC pain relievers, and gently stretching may help speed up recovery.
However, a person should see a doctor for lower back pain that is severe, does not seem to be getting better, or occurs alongside other concerning symptoms, such as tingling or numbness down the legs.
People with lower back pain should seek immediate medical attention if they also have any of the following symptoms:
- difficulty walking or moving the legs
- loss of bowel or bladder function
- loss of sensation in the legs
- very severe pain
A doctor can help a person identify potential causes of lower back pain and recommend appropriate treatment.
Core Exercises Can Help
Weight loss through exercise and diet is an obvious solution to weight-related back pain. However, strengthening your core is just as important. Dr. Peterson encourages core strengthening exercises to build muscle and better support the spine.
Peterson noted that some patients struggle to do exercises because of their back pain. In those instances, Peterson recommends being active in any way possible.
In those cases, we may resort to aquatic exercises, which patients may be able to tolerate better, Peterson said. I always encourage people to approach weight loss slowly. Going for a slow walk or riding on a stationary bike with low resistance can help.
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What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but too much intestinal gas means your digestion is gone awry. While you can ingest gasses by swallowing air or drinking carbonated beverages, these gasses mostly escape through belching before they reach your intestines. Gasses in your intestines are mostly produced by gut bacteria digesting carbohydrates, in a process called fermentation.
If theres too much fermentation going on, its because too many carbohydrates werent naturally absorbed earlier in the digestive process, before reaching those gut bacteria. That could be for several reasons. Maybe you just ate too much too fast for proper digestion. Or you might have a specific food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. Some possible causes include:
These can include solids, liquids, and gas. Digestive contents can build up in your digestive system when there is a backup or restriction in your digestive tract or when the muscles that move digestive contents along are somehow impaired. Any build-up of digestive contents along the digestive tract will leave less room for normal amounts of gas to process through. It also leaves less room for other things in your abdomen, including circulatory fluids and fat, making everything feel tighter. Causes of build-up can include:
What Causes Fibroid Flare Ups
Fibroid pain may be mild or extreme, constant or just occasional. It can flare up during sexual intercourse, bowel movements, exercise, or your period. Pain often radiates down the leg. Discomfort may also result when an enlarged uterus puts pressure on adjacent organs, such as the bladder or bowel.
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Diseases Causing Increased Gas
Most people with gas-related symptoms have increased sensitivity to gas or have one of the causes of increased gas production mentioned above. However, occasionally these symptoms can be caused by diseases of the bowel. Sometimes, the illness can be short-lived. For example, acute gastroenteritis , often caused by infection with a virus, can result in a short-term condition associated with increased gas.
Occasionally, gas-related symptoms can be features of long-term diseases. All of them can cause at least one gas-related symptom .
Coeliac diseaseCoeliac disease is caused by intolerance to a protein called gluten which is found in certain foods containing wheat, barley and rye. It principally affects the part of the gut called the small intestine. It can occur at any age. Symptoms are relieved by avoiding gluten-containing foods. See the separate leaflet called Coeliac Disease.
DiverticulitisDiverticulitis occurs when small pouches in the wall of the large bowel become infected. See the separate leaflet called Diverticula .
Short bowel syndromeShort bowel syndrome can be a complication of bowel surgery. If more than half the small bowel is removed during surgery this can cause difficulties in food absorption.
GiardiasisThis is caused by infection with a germ called giardia. One of the symptoms is belching up foul-smelling gas.
Changes To Bowel Habits
Pancreatic cancer can cause diarrhoea and constipation . If you are over 60, have lost weight and have diarrhoea or constipation, your GP should refer you for a CT scan or ultrasound scan within two weeks.
Pancreatic cancer can also cause pale, oily poo which is called steatorrhoea. Poo may be large, smell horrible, float and can be difficult to flush down the toilet. This is caused by fat in the poo. It happens if pancreatic cancer has affected your digestion, so that fat in your food isnt digested properly.
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What To Do About Hepatitis
If you have hepatitis A or B, in most cases youll get better with a doctors care and supportive treatment without specific anti-viral treatments.
Hepatitis C and other chronic forms will probably affect your life more profoundly, but you can do a lot to manage the condition and keep it under control.
If someone in your home has hepatitis, it is also important to take appropriate precautions to avoid spreading the disease.
For hepatitis A, handwashing is extremely important. For hepatitis B and C, care should be taken to avoid contact with the blood of the infected individual, even the microscopic amounts that hide in toothbrushes and on razors, so never share these items.
Treatment can suppress or even eradicate hepatitis C. Older treatments for hepatitis C are combination antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
The treatment came with difficult side effects, and was effective for only about 40 to 80 percent of patients, depending on the type of hepatitis C they carried.
Newer drugs approved by the FDA in 2013 and 2014 are more effective, curing the viral infection for 90 percent of patients or more. New antiviral medications to treat hepatitis C include simeprevir and sofosbuvir , and combination therapies include Harvoni and Viekira Pak.
Pain In Your Lower Stomach And Back Heres What It Could Mean
If your stomach is churning or cramping and your lower back is aching, it’s important to know that the causes for lower back and lower stomach pain can range widely. Depending on your pain level, you may benefit from ringing your doctor’s office to figure out what’s causing it and get relief.
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What You Need To Know About Abdominal Bloating And Back Pain
Experiencing abdominal bloating and back pain at the same time can feel uncomfortable. But these two symptoms arenât usually caused by a serious medical condition, and they may go away on their own.
Some rare conditions may cause someone to experience these two symptoms at the same time. It may help to know what causes abdominal bloating and back pain in order to know when to seek urgent care and avoid complications.
This guide from HealthTap looks at what causes stomach bloating and back pain, along with their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Getting Stomach And Back Pain Relief
If your lower abdominal pain and lower back pain are mild, you may benefit from taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and monitoring how you feel for a couple of days, Dr. Chang says. “However, if it’s a severe pain or if there’s fever, vomiting, dizziness or any other moderate-to-severe symptom, either call the doctor or go to urgent care or the emergency room,” he says.
In cases when you’re experiencing both lower abdominal and lower back pain, determining any abdominal causes would take priority, Dr. Chang says. “From the perspective of a spine specialist, if there’s lower abdominal pain involved, they’re better served trying to get the abdomen checked out first. And if there’s still an issue, they could see a back specialist,” he says.
If menstrual cramps are contributing to your pain, the Mayo Clinic notes that cramps can often be eased with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, or a heating pad, among other remedies. However, if you find that menstrual cramps interfere with your life or worsen over time, or if you begin having severe menstrual cramps after turning 25, the Mayo Clinic recommends seeing your doctor.
If the cause of the pain is pelvic or gynecologic, imaging may be needed to explore potential causes further, Dr. Chang says. “Those things are usually ruled out by ultrasound or CT scan by either a gynecologic or general surgery specialist,” he says.
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