An upset stomach or Dyspepsia is an unpleasant feeling in the stomach that can manifest itself in many ways and can be a symptom of one of the many anomalies of the digestive system.
There are no specific studies on the stomach ache in the official books of medicine, since it is not a disease or abnormality, but rather a series of symptoms which level of pain or appearance depends in many cases on the sensitivity of each individual.
The stomach pain is a very common symptom among people because it affects a 15 or 30% of the population. There are fairly frequent visits to the doctor for stomach pain, but most of them do not respond to any particular case.
Symptoms of stomach ache
The symptoms depend on the cause that produces pain. In general, the following symptoms may occur:
Pain, flatulence, bloating, feeling of fullness, heartburn, vomiting, pain in the upper part of the stomach with with hunger, pain after eating, vomiting blood, loss of appetite, etc.
Types and causes of stomach ache
A) Without organic causes (functional dyspepsia): In most cases, the stomach pain does not respond to any particular reason. The patient feels discomfort while no organic cause exits that justifies it. It occurs when there is discomfort or pain in the upper stomach, just behind the sternum, with heartburn, flatulence , poor digestion, vomiting, inappetence, etc.
This is known as functional dyspepsia. It is a widespread disorder in the western world and affects 20% of the population over 40 years.
In many occasions this type of disorder is caused by disorders of gastric motility or movements experienced by the muscle of the stomach to produce a proper mixture of the ingested food with stomach acids. When these movements are too fast or too slow they are known as dysmotility . Other factors given as possible causes of this disorder are stress or nervousness.
To be considered a functional dyspepsia all possible causes that may produce a functional dyspepsia should be ruled out , that's to say all the organic reasons that may produce it.
B) With organic causes (organic dyspepsia): If there is any cause that explains the reasons for the pain or discomfort. Among the possible causes we have:
- Ulcer (ulcer dyspepsia): Ulcers are sores or lesions produced in the mucous of the stomach. Among the main symptoms that causes ulcers we have pain that becomes a regular fact when you're hungry. The pain decreases after eating or ingesting antiacids. Heavy digestions, heartburn, vomiting, sometimes with blood. These symptoms can appear and disappear during certain periods and are usually worse in spring or autumn
- Gastric reflux (reflux dyspepsia) Gastric reflux occurs when stomach acids get past the esophageal sphincter and go up into the esophagus. This produces a characteristic pain in the pit of your stomach (just below the sternum) and a considerably acidity in the stomach and throat. It is also the cause for the presence of belches (pyrosis), and expulsion of food from the esophagus (regurgitation). Other symptoms that may occur include sore throat, hoarseness, or cough without apparent viral causes.
- Inadequate food: too much food or too rich in animal fats, spicy food, or poor condition one can cause poisoning, lactose intolerance, etc.
- Obesity: The presence of an excessive amount of fat near the stoamch can exert a strong pressure on the stomach causing discomfort or pain. The obesity is a quite common cause of stomach ache.
- Use of products that irritate the stomach such as spices, alcohol, coffee, etc. It has been proved that these products are factors that determine the bacterium Helicobacter pylori can easily damage the stomach and duodenal mucous. Tobacco will increase stomach acidity, produces a relaxation of the valve that closes the stomach to the esophagus and favors the passage of gastric acids upwards.
Certain medications or supplements are very irritating and they are the usual cause of severe stomach ache. Among them, we have, for example, antibiotics, painkillers or supplements such as potassium or iron.
The diagnosis of stomach ache should be done by the doctor or specialist. The diagnosis, in addition to a history of the patient, may require a series of physical examinations performed to rule out possible injuries or illnesses. It may be necessary to perform endoscopy, ultrasound, blood test, tolerance food test, stomach motility tests, etc.
The conventional treatment of stomach ache involves the use of medicines that may solve the causes that produce it . In case of finding Helicobacter pylori antibiotics are provided. Ingestion of antacids and a proper diet with appropriate abstinence from alcohol, coffee or tobacco can fix the problem after treatment.
It is necessary to visit the doctor when stomach ache is accompanied by vomit or blood in the feces. We also need to visit the doctor when we feel a constant pain in the stomach without apparent explanation.
The natural treatment of stomach pain is focused on the use of a series of natural resources that may prevent or solve the problem.