Stomach aches are one the trickiest things to find remedies for, unless you can exactly pinpoint the root cause. Ranging from minimal issues like indigestion to severe gastritis and GERD, abdominal pain can stem from a number of things. Assuming you are not dealing with something that needs clinical intervention, natural remedies can actually help bring relief from the pain and discomfort you have been experiencing.
Causes of Abdominal Pain Chart
Abdominal pain may seem like a trivial affair but each type of abdominal pain has a separate significance, cause and remedy associated. So, it is important to understand the various types of abdominal pains and their probable causes.
To diagnose the pain correctly it is essential that you first understand the different sections in the abdomen. The entire abdomen is divided into nine sections and each pain is associated to separate root cause. The types of abdominal pains are classified into:
Upper Right Abdominal Pain
Costochondritis is the inflammation of the junction point between the upper ribs and the cartilage that attach the ribs to the breastbone or the sternum. Its early symptoms include localized chest wall pain and tenderness in the front of the rib cage.
2. Biliary Colic (Gallstones)
Biologically speaking, gallstones are the components in bile that crystallize and harden up in your gallbladder. Generally, 80 percent of gallstones are made of cholesterol and the other 20 percent of gallstones are constituted of calcium salts and bilirubin. Gallstones pose great threat to ones who are overweight and tend to consume excess cholesterol through their unhealthy eating habits.
3. Gallbladder Infection
Gallbladder infection is related to the infections caused to the formation of gallstones and even though most common symptom of having gallstones is acute pain in the right-upper portion of your stomach, the pain is often reported to radiate to the back or right shoulder and shoulder blades.
4. Pulled Muscles
Pulled muscles are often the result of excessive exercising or rigorous athletic activities. A pulled muscle can last from a few seconds to a few days and result in inflammation of the area. Pulled muscles in the upper right area can result from internal cramps.
One of the most prominent indications of pain in the upper right region of your stomach is Hepatitis. The most cause being viruses, hepatitis causes the liver tissue to inflame. While common symptoms can be an acute pain in the upper right stomach, yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes, poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness and abdominal pain, even diarrhea will follow.
6. Kidney Stone
Our kidneys are constantly in a combat filtering waste from the blood and creating urine. In the process sometimes, salts and other such minerals in urine stick together to form small kidney stones. These may range from the size of a sugar crystal to the size of a ping pong ball but the indicative pain in your abdomen will not really differ much.
One might find it strange, but pain in the abdomen can indicate pneumonia. Pneumonia is primarily bacterial or viral infection of the lungs and can include fever, shortness of breath, coughing with phlegm and chest pain. The disease can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics but in some cases, one may need to be hospitalized as it could result in death.
8. Stomach Ulcer
The irregular eating habits in the present generation has becomes so prominent that a number of new diseases have been known to surface in the last few years. A stomach ulcer that is usually caused by an infection of a germ is one such disease. So, the next time you experience some pain in upper right abdomen do consider Stomach ulcer to be a cause.
Pancreatitis as the name states is a disease related to the inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreas primarily produce digestive enzymes and malfunctioning of this organ is risky. So, a recurring pain in the upper and middle abdomen should not be ignored at all.
Upper Middle Abdominal Pain
1. Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are also known as gastric ulcers as they are directly related to the reaction of gastric juices with germs that have entered your body with the food you take in. A painful upper middle abdomen may indicate the presence of a stomach ulcer.
2. Heartburn / Indigestion
Indians are generally fond of spicy dishes. And this is the main root cause of gastric problems. Heartburns and Indigestion can cause short pains in the upper middle abdomen along with discomfort.
Pancreatitis can be of two main types, acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. The signs and symptoms of pancreatitis may include pain in the upper and middle abdomen, nausea and vomiting. This pain may often go into the back and is usually severe.
Gallstones, though small in form can cause a lot of discomfort to the bearer. Formed from impurities and mineral deposits in the gall bladder, the indicative symptoms of gallstones can be quite a painful abdomen, nausea and back pains.
5. Epigastric Hernia
Epigastric hernia generally develops on the linea alba, between the xiphoid and the umbilicus and observed much more in males aged between 30-50 years. Though the causes of Epigastric Hernia causes may be either congenital or acquired when present, it causes abdominal pain, tenderness and sometimes even a prominent abdominal bulge.
6. Acid Reflux
A burning sensation in your throat or chest might be the most prominent symptoms of an acid reflux. A sore throat that does not go away and isn’t accompanied by other typical cold symptoms may be caused by acid reflux. Sometimes pain in the abdomen can also indicate Acid reflux.
7. Heart Attack
This is perhaps one of the most important causes of pain in the list. Heart attacks can become deadly even if a few minutes are wasted. This is the reason why the slightest pain in the middle abdomen should not be ignored. Your body might be hinting towards a heart attack so take note seriously.
8. Duodenal Ulcer
Doudenal ulcers which are also popularly referred to as peptic ulcers are caused by the stomach acid. The ulcer occurs on the lining of the gut where it is damaged and somehow the underlying tissue has been exposed. You’d be surprised at the amount of pain the tiny red crater like ulcer on the inside lining of the gut can inflict.
Upper Left Abdominal Pain
A disease like pneumonia is generally related to the lungs and symptoms are mostly similar to that of a high fever. But, one should not overlook the fact that a consistent dull pain in the upper left abdomen can be indicative of pneumonia.
Costochondritis is considered relatively harmless musculoskeletal chest pain, it’s good to get a doctor to check you if the pain becomes unbearable. What’s more? Reports suggest that Costochondritis affects females more often than males at a 70:30 ratio.
3. Spleen Infection
Spleen infection may result in an Enlarged Spleen and acute pain in the abdomen. The causes of splenomegaly or more widely an enlarged spleen can vary from malignancy (cancers) to infections to congestion due to increased blood flow to infiltration of the spleen from other diseases and such blood cell diseases. Since the spleen is an important organ in our body, pain in the upper left abdomen should not be ignored at any cost.
Pain in the upper left abdomen may hint at a case of hepatitis. Hepatitis may be acute or long term depending on how long it lasts. While acute hepatitis can sometimes get cured on its own, progress to chronic hepatitis often results in acute liver failure.
5. Kidney Stone
Though kidney stones might not seem like much of an affair, the scary thing here is they are rarely noticed until and unless they cause a blockage in your tract. These tend to cause intense pain if they either break loose or push into the ureters, that is, the narrow ducts leading to the bladder. Thus, on the slightest tinge of pain in Upper Left Abdomen, you should consider getting yourself checked.
Constipation may be much more than the name suggests, the excruciating pain experienced in your upper abdomen might be indicating that your bowel process might not be working right. A little roughage in your diet can make quite some difference in such cases.
7. Trapped Wind
Though trapped wind may seem relatively harmless, it can cause a lot of discomfort for the person suffering with it. Wind or gas might get trapped in your abdomen and pain in any of the areas of your abdomen may be due to gas that couldn’t make its way out of your body the natural way.
The dull consistent pain in abdomen that radiates to your back may indicate either acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis. If you are suffering with the acute kind, the pain may be accompanied with fever and symptoms typically get resolved in a few days. On the other hand, in chronic pancreatitis, the pain is accompanied by weight loss, fatty stool and diarrhea.
9. Duodenal Ulcer
Duodenal ulcer, also known as peptic ulcer is caused by the digestive juices and an acute pain in the upper left abdomen may indicate a duodenal ulcer. Inappropriate eating habits may lead to duodenal ulcer.
10. Biliary Colic
Biliary colic which is also termed as a gallbladder attack, is indicated by the pain in the upper left abdomen that occurs due to a gallstone temporarily blocking the bile duct. The pain is usually known to radiate from the abdomen towards the shoulder and shoulder blades.
Middle Right Abdomen Pain
1. Kidney Stone
Remember when your parents used to constantly nag you about drinking water? Turns out it is for your own good. One of the major natural remedies to kidney stones is flushing the toxins out with the right amount of water intake. A pain in the middle right abdomen might indicate kidney stones so make sure you get a checkup if the pain doesn’t seem to die off soon.
2. Urine Infection
A urinary infection is a bacterial infection that is known to grow within the urinary tract, that is, anywhere from the kidneys to the ureters to the bladder or through to the urethra. Urinary tract infections can cause quite some pain for people with high sugar levels as the sugar in the urine makes for a very fertile breeding ground for bacteria.
Theoretically speaking, constipation means improper bowel movements and this almost happens to everyone sooner or later. Although constipation is not usually serious, the related abdominal pain is not so desirable.
4. Lumbar Hernia
If you’re experiencing acute pain in the middle right abdominal region, we suggest you get yourself checked. Your body might be hinting towards a lumber hernia which is a rare form of posterior abdominal hernia.
5. Trapped Wind
Trapped wind can cause quite some discomfort to its bearer including pain in the abdomen and chest. It might not seem to be much of a nuisance but only the person suffering knows the reality.
6. Kidney Infection
Kidney infection or pyelonephritis is caused by some bacteria that are found in the bladder as a lower urinary tract infection or like a bladder infection. Pain in the abdomen can indicate a kidney infection and might need some antibiotics to wipe off completely.
The appendix might be tiny organ in our body, but can wreck quite a havoc when it comes to causing discomfort. Acute pangs of unbearable pain in the middle right abdomen can point to the obstruction of appendix vermin-formis causing acute appendicitis.
8. Pulled Muscle
A pulled muscle anywhere in the body can be pretty painful and more so when muscles on an internal organ gets pulled.
Middle Abdomen Pain
1. Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers are generally caused due to improper excretion of gastric juices in the stomach. You’d be surprised to know how much pain a small ulcer in the stomach can inflict on your middle abdomen.
3. Intestinal Obstruction
Obstruction on the free flow of anything can be quite disastrous, specifically if your body and its functions are concerned. Intestinal obstruction works quite the same and can cause a lot of indicative pain in your middle abdomen.
Constipation can cause quite some discomfort when it stays over a long period of time. Pain in the middle abdomen can be sometimes indicative of such constipation.
4. Worm Infestation
Though the term itself seems like it is taken out from a page of horror book, worm infestation or Ascariasis is actually is a disease caused by a parasitic roundworm causing obstructions in bowel movements. The acute stomach pain resulting from this should not be ignored.
5. Crohns Disease
Crohn’s disease is part of a group of diseases that are known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Five different types of Crohn’s disease exist, each with its own set of separate symptoms, stomach ache in the middle abdomen being a common factor among all of those.
6. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is actually quite common among youngsters today, thanks to their erratic eating habits. Thus, the stomach ache related to food poisoning is actually like a reminder to cut out on wrong food habits.
7. Umbilical Hernia
An umbilical hernia is a condition where the wall behind the navel is damaged and may cause the navel to bulge outwards. This is not only painful but also very dangerous and should be treated on an urgent basis.
Pancreatitis is essentially the inflammation of the pancreas and this causes a lot of pain in the abdomen along with signs of a fever. Rush to a doctor if you see any such signs.
9. Early Appendicitis
The pain in the middle abdominal region can sometimes be indicative of early appendicitis and should not be ignored.
Middle Left Abdomen Pain
1. Diverticular Disease
Diverticular disease consists primarily of three conditions that usually involve the development of tiny sacs or pockets in the wall of the colon that include diverticulosis, diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding. This comes with a lot of pain in the middle left abdomen.
2. Constipation and Trapped Wind
Pain in the abdomen may be indicative of issues like trapped wind and constipation that can be cured with medication.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic illness in which one’s intestine or bowel becomes inflamed and ulcerated and is marked with sores. Commonly affecting the lower part of the small intestine, that is, ileum and the colon, it can disrupt the normal functioning of the bowel in a number of ways and cause pain in the abdominal regions.
4. Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is related Crohns disease and causes inflamed intestinal tissues. Pain in the middle abdomen might be indicative of this disease.
5. Kidney Stone/ Infection
Kidney stones can get formed in the kidney, inside the tube draining urine from the kidney pipe (or the ureter) or in the bladder. Recurring in nature, a pain in the same area for the second time should not be ignored since it may indicate towards a second time kidney stone.
Lower Right Abdomen Pain
Appendicitis is a disease related with the obstruction of the appendix. Mostly people between 15 to 30 years are known to be affected with this disease. Pain in the abdomen indicates that you might be affected with appendicitis.
2. Urine Infection
Urinary tract infection generally affects people either due to poor sanitary conditions or bacterial infection in the urinary tract itself. Pain in the lower right abdomen may be indicative of urinary tract infection. Rush to a doctor if you see any such signs.
Poor bowel movements may lead to constipation issues and pain in the lower abdominal region along with tough faeces may be pointing towards constipation related issues.
4. Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the egg attaches itself in the wrong place inside the uterus.
5. Mid Cycle Pain
One in every three women experience acute pain in their lower abdomen, this is called mid cycle pain. This type of pain may seem like a normal thing but sometimes medical attention is advisable if the pain gets out of hand.
6. Pelvic Infection (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection caused by bacteria that passes the germs from the vagina through neck of the womb, the cervix to the womb (uterus) and up in to the Fallopian tubes. Tenderness in lower abdomen along with severe pain can indicate Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding during your periods, pelvic pain and inflammation of the cervix, then you might be observing signs of Endometriosis and might need to see a doctor.
8. Ovarian Cyst
An ovarian cyst is like a tiny blip in the ovary but the pain and serious implications related to the cyst might not seem like such a trivial affair after all. It is often related to issues during giving birth.
9. Trapped Wind
Out of all the serious causes, trapped wind may also be the reason of the dull pain in your lower abdominal region.
10. Inguinal Hernia
An inguinal hernia most commonly occurs in the groin when fatty intestinal tissues push out through the inguinal canal. Residing at the base of the abdomen, this type of hernia results in a protruding bulge that is painful during movement.
Lower Middle Abdomen Pain
1. Urine Infection
Urine infection is a disease that is related to pain in a lot of areas in the abdomen but that does not mean it loses its severity by even 1%. Seeing a doctor becomes a mandatory if the pain continues beyond a few days.
Appendicitis is a medical condition that requires prompt surgery to completely remove the appendix. If left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually either burst, or perforate, spilling infectious substances into the abdominal cavity.
3. Diverticular Disease
Diverticulitis is primarily a digestive disease in which sacks within the large bowel wall become inflamed and the symptoms typically include acute lower abdominal pain with a sudden onset.
4. Inflammatory Bowel
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves the chronic inflammation of all or some part of your digestive tract.
5. Pelvic Infection (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease, commonly known as PID, is an infection of the female reproductive organs. Pain in the abdomen may be indicative of PID.
6. Bladder Infection (Cystitis)
Bladder infection or recurrent urinary tract infection is seen mostly in women and pain in the lower abdomen may indicate cystitis.
7. Retention Of Urine
Retention of urine may act like an obtrusive affair and can cause pain in the lower abdomen.
8. Menstrual Cramps
Some women have to endure hell when going through their periods in the form of acute pain in lower abdomen.
Uterine fibroids, also known as fibroids, are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus and cause problems while conceiving. Pain in the lower abdomen may be indicative of Fibroids.
Extra care during the early months of pregnancy is a must. Pain in the lower abdomen during this period may be very dangerous so rush to a doctor if you feel the slightest of / recurrent pain.
11. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (or SPD) is a condition that causes above normal movement of the pubic symphysis, as well as associated pain, possibly due to a misalignment of the pelvis.
Lower Left Abdomen Pain
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS can be the source to a lot of pain and discomfort in the lower abdominal region.
2. Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) primarily include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and both usually involve some severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss.
Diverticulitis and diverticular disease are both related digestive conditions that affect the colon and is associated with pain in the lower abdomen.
4. Mid Cycle Pain
Mid cycle pain is often related to pain in the abdomen.
Endometriosis is the health condition in which the tissue that forms the immediate lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. This causes acute pain in the lower abdomen.
6. Pelvic Infection
Pelvic infection is related to pelvic inflammatory disease and can be quite painful if not treated in the early stages.
7. Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts can cause a lot of issues while conceiving so early treatment of such cysts becomes mandatory.
8. Ectopic Pregnancy
Although many ectopic pregnancies can now be treated without an operation, it is highly advisable that you should always see a doctor urgently if you think you see symptoms along with lower abdominal pain as ectopic pregnancy can sometimes become life-threatening, needing emergency surgery.
Hernia can be dangerous in all forms so it is advisable to see a doctor when you feel a constant nagging dull pain in the lower abdomen.
Having had a look at the list one might like to point out that there are a number of common causes of pain in adjacent areas which may make it difficult to point out the exact cause of the abdominal pain but it is also true that there are some area-specific pains that help you exactly pin point the root cause of the pain.
Home Remedies For Upset Stomach
1. Lemon Water
Probably the most ingenious solution to stomach aches is lemon water.
- Squeeze the juice of a small lemon
- Add sugar and a pinch of salt
- Mix well with water
This works like wonders. The high acidity level breaks down our food. Lemon juice helps in hydration too, which keeps the system flushed and running smoothly.
2. Bitters and Soda
Bitters and soda is great when you are having problems relieving trapped gas.
- Take five or six drops of cocktail bitters
- Mix into a cold glass of tonic, club soda, or ginger ale.
- Bitters help ease nausea in some people.
Ginger is a great digestive agent along with being a good source of some roughage.
- Ginger chews and supplements are easy to take
- Ginger can also be had in beverage form- Try an all-natural ginger ale
- Chop up some fresh ginger root and make a tea
This helps your stomach with its natural functions and prevents stomach ache.
Fresh peppermint tea can help relax stomach muscles, improve the flow of bile, which in turn helps you digest properly.
- Brew a cup of peppermint or spearmint tea
- Sniff peppermint extract
- Chew a minty candy
- Chew on mint leaves
This is especially amazing if you’re suffering from indigestion or gas/bloating.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of those modern day miracles that your diet cannot just do without. A little spoon of this can work magic for a myriad of stomach issues.
- Take a tablespoon of ACV
- Add a teaspoon of honey
- Mix with a cup of water
Sip it slowly. This allows the starch to get to the intestines and keep the bacteria in the gut healthy.
6. Heating Pad
One of best remedies to a stomach ache is a heating pad and a warm glass of water.
- The warmth will help distract cramps/ pain
- The heat will help relax your muscles
- Reduces your nausea
Don’t leave it on too long as It may damage your skin.
Yogurt is a boon for all indigestion related issues as it’s extremely light on your digestive system and helps keep the system cool.
- Choose a yogurt that is labeled ‘active cultures’ and consume it.
- It can either be consumed directly or with white rice.
Ideally, choose organic plain yogurt.
Bananas have for ages known to be a great source of roughage and thus help in relieving you of constipation and related stomach ache.
- Bananas are easily digestible
- They do not upset the stomach
The fruit is known for helping with naturally firm bowel movements.
9. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds with a bowl of yogurt is one of the best home remedies to use when down with a stomach ache.
- Swallow one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds powder followed by one tablespoon of yogurt.
- Alternatively, add one to two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds powder to a glass of water.
Drink it twice daily for two to three days.
10. Cumin Seeds
A glass of Cumin seed water works wonders for a stomach ache when soaked overnight.
- Take one fourth teaspoon powdered cumin seeds
- Take black pepper
- Mix well with a glass of buttermilk
Helps cure stomach heaviness.
When in pain, a warm cup of Chamomile tea can always come to your rescue, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Pour boiling water over a teabag of Chamomile tea
- Let it steep for 10 minutes
Sip slowly. Relaxes the smooth muscle of the upper digestive track and helps lessen the pain of cramping and spasms.
Cinnamon is known for its wide variety of benefits relating to the human body and the stomach ache relief it provides is no stranger to human kind.
- Take a teaspoon of cinnamon spice
- Add it with a cup of hot water
Within five to ten minutes, you should begin to find some relief.
13. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds contain anethole, a volatile oil that can help stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, help tame inflammation and reduce pain.
- After a meal, take up to one teaspoon of fennel seeds
- Chew them thoroughly
14. Rice Tea
Rice water acts a demulcent, that is, a substance that relieves inflammation by forming a kind of soothing barrier over the lining of your stomach.
- Boil 1/2 cup of rice in six cups of water for about 15 minutes
- Strain out the rice
- Flavor the water with a dash of honey or sugar and drink warm.
15. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has been known as a good stomach cleanser for ages.
- Simply consume the recommended dosage as soon as you can
- Follow this with lots of water
It helps a lot in cases of food poisoning.
16. Burnt Toast
Especially helpful in cases of food or alcohol poisoning, a burned toast effectively neutralizes the effect of toxins in the body.
- Take a slice of bread and toast
- Better if the toast is burnt
- Add a smear of jelly to make it more palatable
Probiotics help in strengthening the body’s natural immunity and therefore also reducing the chances of bacterial infections in the stomach.
- Manufacturers often suggest taking probiotic supplements once a day for health maintenance
- Twice a day for treating active symptoms
Bacterial strains and effective dosages vary from person to person.
18. Baking Soda
Baking soda is great for bad stomach ache. Just add a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water and gulp it down to relieve yourself of the discomfort.
- Take 1/2 glass of water
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in it
- Stir it well till the baking soda gets dissolved in it properly
This solution gives relief from bloating, stomach acid and nausea.
If you’re for some over the counter medicines for stomach ache, Pepto-bismol might be your best choice as it helps relive you of a myriad of conditions like travelers’ diarrhea, diarrhea, upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion, gas, nausea, belching and fullness.
- Pepto-Bismol is available in liquid, caplet, and chewable tablet form.
- You should take no more than eight regular-strength or four extra-strength tablets a day.
- If taking the liquid, you should take no more than 120 ML a day (8 tablespoons).
20. Thyme Drink
If you are suffering from gastritis a glass of Thyme drink may provide some relief from the discomfort and can help relax stomach muscles.
- Boil a cup of water and add a teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
- Let it steep for 10 minutes
- Strain and drink the tea on empty stomach.
Drink three times daily for best results.
21. BRAT diet
BRAT diet is a bland, easily digestible diet that is great for people suffering with gastroenteritis.
Include the following in your diet:
22. CRAP Diet
Doctors today are increasing suggesting that we cut the CRAP from our diet, that is, we cut the junk food out of our diet in order to stay fit and healthy.
Include the following in your diet:
Here is a list of some precautions you might want to pay heed to if you want to avoid the typical causes of stomach ache:
- Do not drink water directly from any tap. Drink only bottled water or water filtered through a purifier whenever you are unsure of the water being served.
- Make sure you wash your hands with soap / handwash regularly before meals or touching food.
- Avoid consuming food sold by street vendors where the food stays uncovered and has a high chance of getting infected.
- Eat fruits that can be peeled off, such as bananas and oranges, unless you can wash the fruit yourself.
- Give extra care towards adhering to the right sanitary practices.
When To Consult A Doctor
It’s never too early to consult a doctor since the amount of discomfort or pain you are experiencing can be judged accurately by you. Also, the decision to consult a doctor in the early stages of discomfort when the pain is at least bearable might be a good idea since if you keep ignoring it for too long and the pain becomes unbearable, the treatment procedure might take longer to affect. You might want to resort to pain killers and injections for immediate relief, but these are not such a great idea when you consider the damage you are doing to your natural body functions in the long run.