Discomfort, cramping and pain in the abdomen can cause stress and worry – find out how to manage it.
Linda explains abdominal pain
The causes of abdominal pain can be many and varied, ranging from a gynaecological disorder, to digestive and liver disorders – and even referred pain from other structures in the body. Stomach ache usually refers to cramps or a dull tummy ache – it is normally short-lived and can be caused by a bug or minor gastric upset.
Severe abdominal pain that starts suddenly and unexpectedly can be a medical emergency, particularly if the pain is localised in one area of the abdomen – if this happens to you, go straight to Accident & Emergency and insist upon an abdominal scan. Causes of severe abdominal pain include appendicitis, diverticulosis, gallstones, kidney stones, or a perforated peptic ulcer.
Most cases of abdominal pain are a result of trapped wind, causing bloating and expansion of the intestines. This bloating and expansion can put pressure on other organs within the abdominal cavity, including the bladder, liver, stomach and, for women, the uterus and ovaries. Sometimes the pain can be quite agonising, but if the pain subsides, it is not usually a cause for concern.
You may have sudden abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhoea, which may be due to a bacterial or viral infection in the stomach and bowel. If the diarrhoea persists for more than 3 days, seek the advice of a pharmacist.
Periodic and recurring abdominal pain can be caused by acid reflux, a stomach or duodenal ulcer, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (for example Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis), Urinary Tract Infections, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are extremely common in women and a frequent cause of abdominal pain. They are often caused by e-coli bacteria migrating from the bowel to the bladder, therefore supplementation with high-strength, multi-strain live bacteria may help prevent the e-coli from sticking to your bladder wall.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is responsible for many cases of ‘non-specific abdominal pain’. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, I recommend that you seek treatment from a registered colon hydrotherapist – if the abdominal pain is due to trapped wind causing stretching and expansion of your intestines, a colonic will most certainly be beneficial.
I also recommend you take live bacteria to help re-colonise your digestive system with “good” bacteria.
My high-strength, multi-strain Live Bacteria replenishes gut flora and brings your digestive system back into balance.
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Linda’s tummy tips
- Don’t eat when you feel stressed or emotional, as certain gastric juices are slowed down by stress hormones, leaving you with nothing to help digest your food. This can create gas, bloating, indigestion and general abdominal discomfort.
- Try to avoid taking antibiotics and antacids which can interfere with your natural gut flora.
- Try to reduce caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol. Caffeine can cause acid reflux and pain, fizzy drinks just add more gas into your digestive system causing discomfort, and excessive alcohol can damage the lining of the stomach and intestines causing inflammation and pain.
- Consider colon hydrotherapy to help remove solid waste matter and reduce excessive intestinal gas. This treatment will help relieve spasms in the bowel and reduce the bloating and the abdominal pain.
If you have sudden onset abdominal pain, make an appointment to see your doctor – your symptoms could be masking something more serious.
For more in-depth advice, our Diet Plans section includes nutrition plans and lifestyle tips, including my Abdominal Pain Plan.