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Providing NHS services

Stomach Pain

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Stomach Pain

Stomach pain is common and usually not serious. It can be caused by trapped wind, indigestion, constipation, food poisoning, period cramps or other underlying medical conditions.

Stomach pain can be mild or severe, short-lived (acute) or long-term (chronic), but most stomach pain will go away after a few days.

Symptoms

You are likely to be experiencing stomach pain if you have the following symptoms:

  • Feeling full and bloated, potentially experiencing heartburn and nausea (possibly indigestion)
  • Feeling bloated and farting frequently (possibly trapped wind)
  • Have trouble moving your bowels (possibly constipation)
  • Have watery or more frequent than usual stools, potentially experiencing nausea and vomiting (diarrhoea or food poisoning)

Less likely, but possible alternative causes of stomach pain are:

 

  • Cramping and pain when you are menstruating (period pain)
  • Sudden sharp pain in the lower right-hand side (possibly appendicitis)
  • Long-term or chronic cramps, diarrhoea, bloating and constipation (Irritable bowel syndrome – IBS)
  • Severe long-term pain in your groin, nausea and pain when urinating (possibly kidney stones or kidney infection)
  • Severe pain that lasts for hours in the centre of the stomach or just under the ribs on the right-hand side (possibly gallstones)

When to see an expert at Ahmeys?

You are likely to be experiencing stomach pain if you have the following symptoms:

  • Your stomach pain has got worse very quickly
  • The pain and bloating is constant and either won’t go away or keeps coming back
  • You urinate far more frequently or much less often than normal
  • Urinating is painful
  • You or your child has had diarrhoea for more than seven days
  • You are worried about a baby under 12 months
  • You or your child cannot keep fluid down
  • You or your child have bloody diarrhoea or rectal bleeding
  • You are bleeding either rectally or from your vagina, or have abnormal discharge from your vagina
  • You are experiencing weight loss
  • Have a moderate or continuous stomach ache
  • Your stool is dark or black (this could indicate bleeding in the stomach)
  • You are in an ‘at risk’ category: pregnant, over 60, the patient is a baby or young child, you have a long-term condition such as IBS, heart valve disease, kidney disease or diabetes, or you have a weak immune system

When to seek emergency care?

  • If you have a sudden, severe headache or stomach ache (pain so bad that it is hard to think, talk, sleep or move)
  • If it hurts when you touch your stomach
  • If you have been vomiting for more than two days. Especially if you are vomiting blood or vomit that looks like ground coffee or is bright green or yellow
  • If you cannot urinate, poo or fart
  • If you cannot breathe
  • If you have chest pain
  • If you are diabetic and vomiting
  • If the person with the stomach pain has collapsed
  • If you might have swallowed something poisonous
  • If you are also experiencing other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) such as: swelling of the throat and tongue, facial swelling, additional skin reactions, including itching, hives and pale or flushed skin, difficulty breathing, a weak, rapid pulse, dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness
  • If you have a stiff neck and pain when looking at bright lights

Causes

There are many potential causes of stomach ache. Common and less likely causes can be found in brackets beside the list of symptoms above.

Diagnosis

If you are able to recognise from the list of symptoms that you have stomach pain, you can usually treat it at home with painkillers, modifying your diet and lifestyle, or treating yourself according to what you think might be causing the pain.

If you are concerned that your symptoms are severe or have lasted for a long time, call Ahmeys to book an appointment for a physical exam from one of our experts and a discussion about your symptoms and potential treatments.

If your stomach pain has begun suddenly, you are experiencing severe symptoms or you are older than 55, one of our experts at Ahmeys may potentially recommend one of the following tests:

  • A stool sample test (to check for internal bleeding and infection)
  • A H. pylori breath test (involves drinking a glass of clear, tasteless liquid that contains radioactive carbon and blowing into a bag)
  • An endoscopy (a flexible tube is passed down through your throat and into your oesophagus and stomach to look for inflammation
  • Laboratory tests to check for anemia or metabolic disorders
  • Imaging tests such as an X-Ray or CT scan to check for intestinal obstructions and other potential issues
  • A hospital referral if you are showing signs of appendicitis or severe stomach pain that could suggest an underlying medical condition, serious infection or intestinal blockage

Treatment

Once one of our experts has assessed you, they will discuss treatment options with you. Your treatments will be based on what one of our experts determines is the cause of your stomach pain.

Treatment may also depend on the results of any potential diagnostic tests.

How to manage your symptoms?

Depending on your symptoms, one of our experts is likely to diagnose you with a specific cause that has specific treatments.

Once they have reviewed your medical history, listened to your symptoms, and examined you, they will be able to prescribe treatment, give advice or conduct further tests to help treat your stomach pain.

Faheem Ahmed

Have Questions?

Our clinicians would be more than happy to help.

Either give us a call on 01865 689 149 or book online.

It's really that simple!

Providing NHS services

How to Find Us

Visit us at:
158 Oxford Road
Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2LA
Contact us at:
info@ahmeysclinic.com
01865 689 149

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