Why Do I Have Chronic Stomach Pain? 5 Potential Causes
Dealing with chronic stomach pain can have a severe negative impact on your quality of life. Read on to learn what may be causing your pain.
How much food can your stomach hold? The answer is: it depends. After all, it’s an elastic organ!
When relaxed, it’s the size of a clenched fist. Depending on the size of your meal, however, it can be distended up to four liters. Of course, it’ll return back to normal once the food passes into the small intestine.
Keep in mind, though that it is susceptible to a variety of diseases. Take stomach cancer, for instance—it’s estimated that there will be over 27,000 cases in the U.S. in 2019.
Are you experiencing chronic stomach pain? Want to know what might be causing your symptoms? If so, you’re on the right page.
We’ll be going over a few potential causes below. Keep reading to learn more.
5 Conditions That Can Lead to Chronic Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can result from a number of conditions. If symptoms persist, you should be tested. You never know what might be causing the pain.
Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. In some cases, it can also cause stomach pain, which can persist if left untreated.
Certain individuals may be more prone to the condition such as those who use tobacco or alcohol. Regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also contribute to gastritis.
2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to inflammation of the digestive tract. An umbrella term, it’s often used to describe two conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Generally speaking, symptoms will vary depending on the location of the inflammation. With that said, stomach pain and cramping are common. IBD can also lead to diarrhea, bloody stools, anemia, and weight loss.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that affects the GI tract. In addition to stomach pain, it can cause constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the individual. While there’s no cure, it’s possible to manage the condition with a few lifestyle changes. For instance, regular exercise may help to keep the condition at bay.
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. As a result, there’s often a burning sensation in the throat and chest. Not only that, but it can cause pain in the upper part of your stomach.
Fortunately, there are various medications that you can take to relieve symptoms. For instance, your doctor might recommend antacids, which are available over-the-counter.
5. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a disorder in which the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten. As a result, toxins are released, which damage the small intestines.
Symptoms include stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. At the end of the day, however, severity varies from person to person. In fact, some people may not have any symptoms at all.
Taking Care of Your Stomach
As you can see, a number of things can cause chronic stomach pain. When in doubt, visit the doctor. They’ll be able to determine the underlying cause.
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