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Sharp Pain in the Stomach

Sharp Pain in the Stomach

Sharp and constant pain in the stomach can be caused due to a variety of causes, ranging from digestive disorders to infectious diseases. Here is brief information on the possible causes and treatment methods of severe pain in the abdomen.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: May 7, 2018
Sharp or excruciating pain in the stomach is not a common condition. It is usually experienced when a person suffers from a serious underlying cause. Stomach cramps may be observed commonly due to constipation, or menstrual cramps (in females). Noting the exact location and nature of the pain can help in diagnosing the underlying cause.
Stomach Pain After Eating
This type of pain is usually caused due to digestive disorders. Formation of excess gas in the body (gas pain) leads to severe, but, brief stomach pain. Apart from it, the following are the causes of sharp pain in the stomach after having food.

Gas Pains - Pain caused due to formation of excess gas, that is unable to expel, in the digestive tract.

Dyspepsia (Indigestion) - Impaired digestive process that leads to a general discomfort in the stomach. It is usually caused due to improper eating habits or overeating.

Stomach Ulcer - Development of ulcers or sores in the inner lining of the stomach.

Food Poisoning - Pain, discomfort in the stomach caused due to consumption of contaminated food.

Constipation - Inability to pass stools for a long time, or difficulty in passing stools due to their very hard consistency.

Treatment Options
Pain caused due to constipation, gas and indigestion is usually temporary and can be treated with home remedies. Over-the-counter medications can help in getting rid of the pain. Stomach ulcer and food poisoning needs medical attention and treatment. These health conditions can be prevented by leading a healthy diet and lifestyle, and by avoiding alcohol and smoking. If stomach pain is accompanied with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, etc., make sure to consult the doctor immediately.
Stomach Pain During Pregnancy
Slight discomfort in the stomach is quite common during pregnancy. However, what is uncommon is severe and constant abdominal pain. It can be a symptom of a serious underlying cause or abnormality.

Ectopic Pregnancy - Abnormality of pregnancy where implantation of a fertilized egg occurs outside the uterus.

Preeclampsia - A disorder caused due to sudden rise in the blood pressure and excess protein in the urine during pregnancy.

Miscarriage - Ending of pregnancy on its own within 20 weeks of gestation.

Preterm Labor - It is also known as premature labor. The cervix dilates and labor occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Placental Abruption - It is a complication of pregnancy where the placenta detaches from the uterus completely or partially.

What To Do
If a woman experiences severe stomach pain and other symptoms like vaginal discharge, bleeding, etc., at any time during the pregnancy, she must visit the doctor immediately. An immediate medical examination and treatment is necessary to treat these disorders.
Other Causes
Diverticulitis - It is the inflammation of the diverticula or the pouches in the digestive system.

Urinary Tract Infection - It is the infection of the urethra, bladder, ureters, or the kidneys, usually caused due to bacteria.

Kidney Stone - Formation of calcium or uric acid stones in the kidneys leads to sharp pain in lower abdomen and lower back.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - Infection of the female reproductive organs, usually occurs as a complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

Crohn's Disease - It is the inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. It causes lower abdominal pain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - It is a disorder of the large intestine, characterized by gastrointestinal disorders.

Appendicitis - It is the inflammation of the appendix, leading to sharp pain in the stomach on the right side.

Pancreatitis - It is the inflammation of the pancreas. It can be acute or chronic.

Gallstones - Stones formed in the gallbladder when the concentration of the bile changes.

Cancer - Growth of cancerous cells (malignant tumor) in the stomach can be one of the reasons for middle stomach pain.

Treatment Methods
In all these cases, immediate medical help should be sought. Medication like antibiotics are used for treating diverticulitis and pelvic inflammatory disease and Crohn's disease. Kidney stones are also treated using medication or surgery. Appendicitis requires immediate surgery. Pancreatitis is treated using different treatment methods like using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), making changes in the diet, surgery, etc. Cancer is treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be alleviated by making changes in the diet and lifestyle.
Preventive Measures
As mentioned above, stomach pain, in most of the cases, is caused due to digestive disorders. They can be prevented to a great extent by following these measures.

✔ You should have a balanced diet every day, inclusive of right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fibers.

✔ You should try having meals at a particular time every day. Avoid having heavy meals late at night.

✔ You should avoid excess spicy and gassy foods.

✔ It is also recommended to drink adequate amounts of water every day. Drinking water should not be substituted with soda or other drinks.

✔ If you suffer from stomach pain after eating, keep a food diary and note down what you eat. This will help in tracing food allergy or intolerance.

✔ Although home remedies and over-the-counter medications help in treating stomach ache in minor cases, it is recommended to consult the doctor if other symptoms are observed.
Lastly, note that having a proper diet and following healthy eating habits can help in preventing several digestive disorders. Most of the aforementioned causes can be treated by proper medical treatment. It is essential to consult the doctor immediately and explain the nature of your symptoms precisely. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be used as a substitute for proper medical advice.