Tag Archives: stomach problems

10 Serious Potential Causes of Mid-Stomach Pain

There are various underlying conditions that present as pain or discomfort in the stomach around the naval area. Last time we took a look at some of the more minor causes. Some of the more major underlying health conditions may be:

  1. Ulcer – While some ulcers exist without many symptoms, the most common sign of peptic ulcers is an intermittent mid-abdominal pain (just above the belly button).
  2. Umbilical hernia – happen when part of the intestine obtrudes through the stomach wall and into the navel. They are usually not too serious but have the potential to strangulate or cause pain and vomiting. This type of hernia is most common in infants but can occur at any age.
  3. Appendicitis – can be a life threatening condition if left unattended. Appendicitis pain normally begins around the belly button, but soon migrates down to the lower right quadrant and intensifies. If you feel belly button pain that moves to your lower stomach and becomes unbearable, seek medical attention immediately.
  4. Pancreatitis – similarly to appendicitis, pancreatitis pain begins around the belly button (a little above). It will normally then radiate to the left and become quite severe. You should seek medical attention for severe stomach pain.
  5. Kidney or gall stones – both kidney and gall stones can cause pain attacks that can radiate around the middle stomach. If you have recurrent, intermittent bouts of severe pain you should seek medical attention to rule out kidney or gall stones.
  6. Gastritis (stomach infection) – stomach infections could be minor, or they could become quite problematic if left unattended and lead to long term stomach issues or sepsis.
  7. Bowel obstruction – a bowel obstruction can occur in different parts of the intestinal tract, but one spot could be the middle of the stomach which may provoke discomfort around the navel. Other symptoms would be fever, vomiting and the inability to pass gas or defecate.
  8. Chronic intestinal disorder – another common and potentially serious cause of middle-stomach discomfort would be chronic intestinal disorders such as diverticulosis, Crohn’s disease, colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome. If you commonly get pain in your stomach and other acute illnesses have been ruled out, you and your doctor should look into intestinal disorders.
  9. Abdominal aneurysm – can cause a pulsating sensation around the navel as well as abdominal pain to the side of the abdomen as well as back pain.
  10. Bladder cancer – can cause pain around the belly button that may extend down to the groin, blood in the urine or problems urinating. If you experience any of these symptoms persistently, you should ask your doctor about screening for bladder problems to rule out bladder cancer.

Don’t panic, as often more simple conditions can explain symptoms like mid-stomach pain but if you are experiencing any of these types of severe navel or stomach pain, please seek medical treatment right away to rule out these serious conditions. Thanks for visiting DocChat! For any of your medical questions or concerns feel free to sign up today for a video chat with one of our highly esteemed, board certified physicians!


How To Tackle A Swelly Belly (Bloating Part 2)

In our last post “Abdominal Bloating Part 1 – Causes” we looked at some of the lifestyle and medical causes of bloating, now its time to examine what can be done about those troublesome belly swells. So how can you treat it through lifestyle changes, and when is it time to see the doc?

Make Better Food Choices

In our last post, we listed certain foods that can lead to gas and bloating which are often best to avoid or reduce if you are suffering the condition frequently. Here are some foods that have the opposite effect the body, actually helping to reduce swelling and gas. Some of these include:

  • Ginger – has long been used for its medicinal effects on the gastrointestinal tract, so load up on this spice!
  • Bananas – contain a surplus of potassium, which can help reduce bloating that is due to salt intake.
  • Cucumbercontains helpful bloat-fighting antioxidants and has a high H2O make-up.
  • Yogurt – while most milk products are on the no-no list for many of those with easily irritated stomachs, the probiotics in yogurt can be very beneficial in balancing the gut and aiding digestion.
  • Peppermint tea – peppermint has a calmative effect on the digestive tract (except for those prone to heartburn or GERD – it may make your condition worse).
  • Water – there’s a reason you keep getting hammered over the head with “drink many glasses a day!” of the old H2O, it can really help clear you out and help things run more smoothly.

Other Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Bloating

Some lifestyle changes that can really help cut down on bloating include:

  1. Eating smaller meals will help you not overeat, which is one of the most common causes of bloating and excess gas.
  2. Eat and drink slowly to avoid swallowing air with each bite, which also leads to gas.
  3. Avoid foods that commonly cause bloating.
  4. Take a short fiber hiatus – yes, fiber is good for you but it also increases intestinal gas to help things pass through the system, so ease back a little if you’re experiencing too much bloating, then ease back into eating fiber.
  5. Make a habit of a post-supper walk (after your food has some time to settle) to aid digestion.
  6. See an allergist to rule out any food allergies or sensitivities that may be causing your bloating.
  7. Stop smoking to avoid swallowing excess air on the regular.

When To See The Doc?

If you are experiencing any of the following, you should seek medical attention right away:

  • You are avoiding bloat-foods and taking steps to lesson stomach swelling but still routinely experience distention.
  • Bloating often comes along with persistent, and worsening heartburn.
  • Bloating is accompanied by excessive discomfort and pain.
  • Your bowel movements have changed (you are more constipated or diarrheic) or if you have changes in your stool such as blood present.
  • You feel feverish or your stomach is tender to the touch.

If you have any questions about intestinal bloating or are suffering some of the additional symptoms listed, feel free to sign up to DocChat today for a video consultation with one of our excellent board certified DocChat physicians.


IBS Symptoms, Triggers And Management

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a troublesome condition of the large intestine that causes a variety of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS sufferers have disrupted digestive rhythms, tending to move food through the tract either too slowly or too quickly resulting in chronic constipation or diarrhea. IBS sufferers experience a range of symptom severity, some with only the occasions stomach upset while others live a more restricted life, always having to know where the nearest washroom is. Fortunately, there are things IBS sufferers can do to better manage their condition and minimize discomfort.

Common Symptoms Of IBS

  • Bloating
  • Bouts of diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain or cramps (that are relieved by using the washroom)
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Gas
  • Upper GI tract discomfort (such as heartburn)
  • Frequent urgent need to use washroom
  • Worsening of symptoms with stress
  • Worsening of symptoms with certain foods

Risk Factors of IBS

Some people may have all these risk factors and never develop irritable bowels while others may fit none of the criteria but still develop the condition. However, those that fall into the following categories are at a higher risk of developing IBS:

  • Age: young people are most often affected by IBS.
  • Gender: IBS is much more prevalent among women.
  • Family history: research points to increased risk if a close family member has IBS.
  • Mental health: those with such conditions as anxiety or depression are at a higher risk for IBS as the stomach and brain are highly connected.

Common IBS Triggers

  1. Stress and anxiety
  2. Certain beverages: alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks
  3. Fatty, fried or processed foods
  4. Dairy products
  5. Spicy foods
  6. Wheat and gluten may be IBS triggers for certain people
  7. Medications such as antibiotics or antidepressants may effect the bowels
  8. Not getting enough exercise

Lifestyle IBS Management Tips

Get Moving

To help control your IBS through diet and lifestyle, be sure to start exercising more if you are sedentary. Regular exercise can help ease some of the symptoms of IBS. Yoga, routine walking and swimming can be especially good activities to try if you have IBS as they are not too strenuous.

Stress Management

With most IBS sufferers high stress levels can lead to flare-ups, so it would certainly be in your best interest to keep your cortisol levels in-check. Try to set aside some time each morning (or when you feel stress rising) to do something you find relaxing such as journeling or going for a little drive with relaxing music. Some IBS sufferers experience some success practicing relaxation techniques.

Diet Modification

Try to follow a healthy diet which works in high fibre fruits and veggies while limiting intake of junk food, dairy, take out, greasy or spicy food. Drink more water (especially to replenish your fluids if you tend toward loose bowel movements regularly).

Probiotics or Medication

Some people with IBS find success with probiotics; taking certain kinds daily may help replenish beneficial gut flora that can be out of balance from irregular washroom habits. Talk to your healthcare professional before beginning probiotics to make sure they are right for you. You should also consult your doctor (or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians) if your IBS is still uncontrolled after modifying your diet and lifestyle as you may need to look into other treatment options.

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