You have probably experienced a stomachache at lease once in your life. However, your stomach is not always to blame for abdominal pain. There are a lot of organs that may cause pain that seems like a stomachache. Although, this doesn’t make abdominal pain less annoying or uncomfortable. Here are 10 common causes of stomach pain that are not actually caused by the stomach.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It begins when digestive enzymes start digesting the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be both chronic and acute. This disease causes a burning painful sensation in the upper abdomen. Sometimes the pain may radiate and cause lower back pain. Certain types of pancreatitis require emergency hospitalization and can be life-threatening.
More than half of the world’s population have lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance may cause mild or severe abdominal pain. The severity of pain depends on the tolerance scale. In addition to abdominal pain, a person with lactose intolerance may experience bloating, diarrhea, burping, gas, and indigestion. If you think you have a lactose intolerance ask your health care provider to take a lactose tolerance test.
Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of endometrial cells outside the uterus. Endometriosis causes pelvic pain, irregular bleeding, and painful periods. Over time endometriosis may lead to infertility. This disease if hard to diagnose and often requires a pelvic ultrasound. The doctor may prescribe hormonal therapy and pain relievers to treat endometriosis.
The most widespread parasites in the US are Giardia and Cryptosporidium. You can get them by drinking infected water or swimming in infected lakes or pools. Parasites can attach to the stomach tissues and in the small intestine or colon. The symptoms of parasites often include cramps, pelvic pain, diarrhea, and nausea. You may also get parasites from undercooked or contaminated food like sushi.
Medications are one of the common causes of abdominal pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications often cause swelling in the stomach tissues and may cause pain. Medicines that help prevent bone density may have the same effect as NSAIDs. Antibiotics may cause dysbacteriosis. This is a microbial imbalance characterized by bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Sugar-free chewing gums often contain sorbitol. This is a sugar alcohol found in fruits and plants with a diuretic, laxative, and cathartic properties. The sorbitol moves into the large intestine and their bacteria break down the molecule. This results in gases that cause severe flatulence and abdominal cramps. Sorbitol has moisture-binding properties that may cause diarrhea.
Food poisoning from bacteria and viruses may easily cause stomach aches., diarrhea, and vomiting. Sometimes food poisoning may be severe or lethal. Symptoms of food poisoning usually last up to 3 days. If symptoms last longer than 3 days then it is most likely that you get the stomach flu. This disease may last longer than common food poisoning.
Stress may cause many health issues including high blood pressure, insomnia, and stomach pain. Depression and stress are linked to digestive problems as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Depressive disorder may cause abdominal pain, constant stomach aches may easily lead to depression and anxiety.
Abdominal migraine is a type of recurrent pain that affects your stomach. This pain can be severe in nature and usually occurs in the center of the abdomen. The abdominal migraine is common in children but adults may also experience it. Patients with abdominal migraines often report stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting.
Abdominal migraine often happens due to hormonal or neurologic changes. Certain foods, stress, or anxiety may also trigger an abdominal migraine.