Almost everyone at some point has experienced abdominal pain. Known by the names of ‘stomach ache’ and a ‘hurting tummy’, it is interestingly the most common, oldest and easiest excuse of a ‘sickness’ that every student thinks of to avoid attending school on the day of a test! Though the non-existent abdominal pains prove to be very useful, the existent ones are not exactly the best friends one can hope to have.
What exactly is abdominal pain?
Abdominal pain is the pain that is felt by an individual anywhere below the ribs (chest) and above the pelvis (groin). This is quite often referred to as stomach region or belly. Abdominal pain comes from organs within the abdomen or organs adjacent to the abdomen. The term is generally used to describe pains originating from within the abdominal cavity, such as the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas. It can also arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity and due to the conditions of lower lungs, kidneys, prostate gland (men) and the uterus (women).
Time and again, abdominal pain occurs as a symptom of a disorder in the body. On one hand, most of the causes of abdominal pain are not very serious and can be treated easily. On the other hand, it can also be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening illness which needs immediate medical treatment. The pain one goes through is not always a proper reflection of the seriousness of the condition causing the pain.
Top 5 Causes of Abdominal Pain and Treatments:
Here are 5 of the most common causes of abdominal pain and their quick and effective remedies:
1. Indigestion (Dyspepsia)
Indigestion is the most common cause of abdominal pain and can be caused by a weak digestive fire. It is characterized by a recurring, chronic, dull pain in the upper abdomen.
Digestives and carminatives prove useful in these situations. A mixture of ginger juice with honey and cumin seeds can be consumed for a relief. The traditional kitchen remedy of asafetida (Ferula foetida) in milk is also very effective.
2. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning occurs due to the consumption of putrefied or contaminated food and can result in a cramp-like or sharp pain of the abdomen.
Mild varieties of food poisoning can be treated by inducing vomiting. The intake of buttermilk with curry leaves (Murraya koenigii) and a pinch of salt is also an easy remedy. Getting a stomach wash done in a hospital setup would be a quick way out. Other quick home remedies like drinking lemon water can help cleanse and detox the tummy.
Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. Apart from leading to painful defecation, it also results in a generalized pain in the lower abdomen.
Habitual constipation can be avoided by the consumption of fiber-rich food (leafy vegetables and fruits) and drinking lots of water. Mild laxatives like henna (Lawsonia Inermis) are also a useful remedy.
4. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection which affects a part of the Urinary tract. It is more common among the female population and can include both cystitis (a bladder infection) and pyelonephritis (a kidney infection). Occurrence of a UTI results in lower abdominal pain along with burning micturition and fever.
Drinking plenty of water can itself cure almost all mild forms of UTI. Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) seeds made into a decoction can also help for an easy cure as it acts as a strong diuretic.
5. Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term that is used to refer to the painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period in women. The contraction of the uterus causes mild to severe pains in the lower abdomen, back or hips.
The stem bark of Ashoka plant (Saraca indica) can be made into an aqueous decoction and consumed for relief. A milk decoction of Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), a type of asparagus, is also an efficient and quick remedy.
Ways to Diagnose Abdominal Pain:
The mild forms of abdominal pain can be diagnosed by a close examination of the type, location and frequency of the occurring pain. The generalized and cramp-like pains can be treated with the help of the aforementioned simple home and kitchen remedies. But the acute (instant and severe) versions of abdominal pains and colicky (severe waves of pain occurring in regular intervals) pains are mostly having serious underlying pathological causes and need to be examined by a qualified medical doctor.
Most of these situations require serious surgical interventions and anti-spasmodic drugs. Painkillers, sedatives and antibiotics are to be taken orally or parenterally. Diagnosis maybe finalized after investigation like X-Rays, Ultrasonography (USG), Computer Tomography (CT) or other relevant procedures.