Stomach pain or discomfort is common. You may know the cause, but often it’s a guess. In many cases, nothing is required and you feel better within a couple of hours. Relief can be accompanied with belching, passing gas, or a bowel movement.
Abdominal pain varies from dull to stabbing. It can be constant, or come in waves. You may feel better to walk around, or perhaps to lie curled up. You can try using a warm compress on your stomach, rest, and drink clear fluids – warm water might make you feel better. To avoid future bouts of stomach discomfort, lifestyle changes may be all you need. Your pharmacist can discuss suitable changes for you. They may include timing of meals, medication, exercise, how to reduce stress, and what to have on hand.
When there is discomfort, you may wish to take antacids, acid reducers, or acetaminophen. Avoid caffeine, and painkillers such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetylsalicylic acid which may worsen the pain. Your pharmacist is only a phone call away to discuss medication, suggest non-medical treatment and prevention strategies. If you are on any medication, it is important to discuss safe choices available to you.
So, when should you treat with medication, or seek medical help? If any of the following symptoms apply, seek medical attention immediately:
- Severe pain
- Blood in stools, vomit or urine
- Pain is outside of the stomach area
- Sweating, clammy, and fever
- Pain lasting several hours
- Unable to have a bowel movement or pass gas
You should also see your doctor if you have stomach discomfort or pain regularly, even if you know that it is with certain foods or shortly after meals. Regular discomfort may progress or be a symptom of something more serious. There are other organs in the stomach area, including your liver and kidneys. Abdominal discomfort can also be associated with hormones. It may take several tests to determine the cause of your discomfort or pain. Often, conditions are easily treated with a full recovery, but an accurate diagnosis is required – so don’t keep guessing!
Your Pharmachoice pharmacist wants to assist. Talk to your pharmacist about the remedies available and what can be done about stomach discomfort.