Abdominal aches and pains comes in so many shapes and sizes – what is the cause of your tummy ache?
Abdominal pain can originate from many areas – stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, colon, etc – this article explains more about the main causes and symptoms of stomach pain.
But assuming the causes of your tummy troubles are food-related, these tips will help you fix your gut.
Burning in the stomach
Hmm, maybe you’ve been snacking on something you shouldn’t? Maybe a Mexican meal of chips with tomato, onion and chili pepper salsa? If you feel pain after eating spicy or acidic foods, a change of diet might be required.
Whether you experience this burning pain at the top or the bottom of your stomach, most folk claim to have an “acid” stomach. In fact, the reverse is probably true – burning pains in the stomach are usually caused by insufficient acid. This means that food does not move quickly enough out of your stomach and onto the next stage of digestion – the small intestine.
So, why does this cause burning stomach pain? Because the food is sitting in your stomach for too long – along with the acid which causes burning and irritation.
It was my grandfather’s daily ritual to produce (with some pride) an earth-tremor of a belch at the end of each meal, declaring this to be a sign of his wife’s good cooking and his own fearsome digestive system. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as fearsome as he may have thought – he passed away in his 70s – his gallbladder calling it quits (and medical science not having quite the same knowledge it does today).
Burping is caused by gas trapped in the stomach. This creates pressure – and burping or belching is your body’s way of attempting to relieve this. What causes this type of stomach ache? Mostly – poor food combinations, insufficient stomach acid, eating too much and eating too quickly.
If you feel like your stomach is a hard ball, you’re probably bloated. Bloating can have many causes. It can be caused by overeating, eating the wrong types of foods, eating the wrong combinations of foods. Constipation can also be a culprit. There can be many other causes, which I discuss in this article about bloating.
Bloating and other digestive disturbances can also be caused by consuming excessive sugars (FODMAPs), especially from fruit juices.
Dull Ache in Stomach
Like any other muscles in your body, when your stomach muscles work too hard, they ache. When you overeat, or consume foods that are difficult to digest (such as milk, certain dairy products, excessive fats), your stomach muscles go into overdrive, trying to get this food moving down into the small intestine. That’s why you have a stomach ache!
Sharp Pain in Stomach
The causes of sharp pain in the stomach can include food allergies or overeating.
If you have sharp pains in your stomach, before you have eaten – you should see your doctor. This could indicate the presence of ulcers.
A sharp pain after eating, is more likely caused by an allergy to a particular food, or eating too much.
Food Won’t Move From Your Stomach
I guess this isn’t what you want to hear, but when you feel that food is sitting in your stomach for too long, not moving its way down – the main cause is overeating.
Over a prolonged period of time, overeating weakens your stomach’s ability to digest – just like every muscle and organ of the body, overuse it and it will let you know about it.
A rumbling or growling stomach is usually an indication of too much or too little stomach acid. This can be prevented and relieved by restoring the correct acid level.
If your tummy is going “bump in the night” this could indicate sluggish digestion, or eating too late at night. Try to allow at least 2 hours after finishing a meal, before you lie down or sleep. Digestive enzymes can also be beneficial.