Everyone’s experienced a stomach ache at one point or another. In the best of cases, it’s merely because you ate too much ice cream — and it will go away on its own. In other instances,you might have persistent or recurring abdominal pain with causes that just aren’t clear. If abdominal pain lasts more than a day or two, or returns frequently, there may be a cause beyond one bad meal. Below are some of the most common reasons for persistent abdominal pain.
Gluten-free diets are all the rage right now, and it’s true that there are some people whose bodies cannot process gluten. If you have celiac disease, it means your small intestine has an immune response to gluten (a protein found in wheat) which will damage your intestine overtime and cause pain. Most people who’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity will change their diet to avoid wheat products — and will tend to have no further problems after that.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition associated with stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. IBS most likely results from having a hypersensitive colon (though other theories for possible causes exist). While this condition is generally treatable, there isn’t a single prescribed solution that works for everyone. Often times, doctors will recommend to cut back on caffeine and dairy, eat plenty of fiber, increase water consumption, and maybe keep a food diary to pinpoint what foods tend to trigger IBS in your body.
Apart from abdominal pain, indigestion typically includes a burning sensation in the upper stomach, bloating, and nausea. While indigestion is commonly referred to as a condition, it is usually an indication of some other problem such as an ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While over the counter medications are often taken to provide relief from indigestion, most doctors recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to treat the condition.
Constipation occurs when your bowel movements happen less often than normal — which often leads to abdominal pain. Constipation can be caused by a number of factors such as changes to normal diet or routine, over-consumption of dairy, a lack of fiber in the diet, dehydration, and some medications. Constipation can often be treated at home with increased water intake and consumption of fruits and vegetables. If constipation continues, or if it is accompanied by strong cramps, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately as it could be a symptom of something else.
Getting Treatment at an Urgent Care Center
If you suffer from persistent or sudden abdominal pain, visiting an urgent care center for diagnosis and treatment is a good option. Urgent care physicians and nurses can assess your symptoms and determine what is likely causing your pain — or else refer you to a specialist for further studies. Best of all, you don’t need an appointment to visit and urgent care center, meaning you can get to the bottom of what’s causing your stomach pain before it worsens. Check online to find a reliable urgent care center near you with high ratings of patient satisfaction.