If your stomach hurts you might think that the culprit is a malfunctioning organ in your stomach. That's definitely possible, but the culprit could actually be your brain . As with Chest Pain abdominal pain can be physical or mental.
Here's a fascinating fact that might help you win on the Quiz Night: Your mind is about [19459004Vagusnerve the longest cranial nerve in your body. (That means that this nerve comes from your brain not from your spinal cord). You may think of this nerve as a bidirectional channel that constantly communicates between your brain and your gastrointestinal tract. Emeran A. Mayer Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and author of The Mind-Good Connection tells SELF.
In fact, the majority of of your body's production of serotonin represents a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, plays in the digestive tract, Jacqueline Sperling Ph.D., clinical psychologist and Director of Education and Research of the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program tells SELF. "When you experience something that happens in your brain, it can communicate with your stomach and vice versa," she says.
So, how do you know if your abdominal pain is actually coming from this area or if your sanity could be behind your discomfort? Here doctors explain the signs of each.
Here are six signs that your abdominal pain might be physical.
. 1 You have recently eaten foods that may have been contaminated.
Many triggers for abdominal pain are situational, James Marion MD, gastroenterologist and medical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York says SELF. Unfortunately, the situation in question is sometimes an unpleasant onset of food-borne illness .
Somewhat harmless, as if you were trying a new dish in a restaurant, your stomach might become shaky. So you can make these mistakes in food safety when cooking at home.
The food-borne illness may take hours after days after eating something contaminated, though sometimes it may even take weeks to complete the Mayo Clinic . In any case, food poisoning can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea and fever.
. 2 They belch and / or farts.
Even if it appears that gas is only about belching and for farts pain also often occurs.
Gas Occurs Frequently When Your Body struggles with the breakdown of certain carbohydrates this leads to excess air in your system. For example, about 65 percent of people in the world have some lactose intolerance, meaning that it is difficult to process a type of sugar that is present in the dairy, as in US. National Library of Medicine . If you are one of them, if you go to town with cheese, milk, ice cream and other products that contain lactose, this can cause abdominal pain, bloating, gas nausea and diarrhea to lead ]. For many people lactose intolerance develops in adulthood so it may take a while for dairy products to be the cause of your stomach discomfort.
You may also have burps, fart, stomach ache and other gases feel symptoms due to things like swallowing too much air while chewing or drinking lots of fizzy drinks. And sometimes gas is a symptom of a condition like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. In this case, there will be other signs that something is physically wrong, such as bloody diarrhea and constant fatigue. ( How to Recognize the Difference between IBS and IBD.)
If you have regular abdominal pain that's due to something you've eaten, but you're not sure what to talk to Your doctor. You may want to run a food journal to spot patterns you did not notice. This could give them a good idea of which tests should be performed to land a diagnosis.
. 3 Your stomach is swollen and you can not poop or find it difficult to keep food low.
These may be signs of bowel obstruction  what happens when some kind of blockage blocks the food or the fluid you're going through your digestive system, Dr. Marion. In addition to crampy, irregular abdominal pain, it can lead to symptoms such as loss of appetite, constipation, and vomiting according to the Mayo Clinic . If you notice these problems, Dr. Marion, go to a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
. 4 They can indicate exactly where the stomach hurts.
While it is not always true that certain abdominal problems are associated with certain types of pain, certain disorders tend to have characteristic discomforts that may be easier to identify. For example, appendicitis often causes pain that begins around the navel and then moves down and to the right, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) , Gallstones usually cause stinging pains in the upper right part of your abdomen.
The point is, if your pain is localized to part of your abdomen, it may indicate something going on in that particular organ in there.
. 5 You've just taken non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without overeating.
Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (19459072) (NSAIDs) – painkillers such as naproxen and ibuprofen – too often and especially without food. This could lead to inflammation in the stomach and intestines, which lead to abdominal pain, says dr. Marion. The pain is usually heartburn or limited to the upper abdomen, he adds.
Follow the dosing instructions for all medications you are taking, including enough food or drink plenty of fluids. This is a great way to prevent GI symptoms that can occur with NSAIDs, according to the Cleveland Clinic
6. Her pain is severe and associated with fever, rectal bleeding, nausea and / or vomiting.
These are signs of a potentially serious GI infection. Marion, such as Appendicitis or an extreme case viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Do not eliminate severe abdominal pain, especially if there are other physical signs that something is wrong. If you are experiencing extreme abdominal pain and concomitant GI symptoms, you should seek emergency treatment .
Here are two signs that your abdominal pain might be mental.
. 1 If you are scared, it flares up.
Whether your stomach cramps occur every time you take a flight or before large work presentations, this may be a sign that you are so stressed your stomach.
"There is a clear connection between the brain and our emotions and how our body feels," says Sperling. When you realize that your abdominal pain always occurs in moments of anxiety, stress or anxiety, you may find that your emotions are behind the discomfort.
If you already know, you have anxiety If you have difficulty coping with this symptom, talk to your doctor or therapist to see if any changes in your treatment can help. If you are not sure if your abdominal pain is related to changes in your emotions, you should keep a journal for a few weeks to show how you feel and how your pain responds.
If your GI occurs you appear to be associated with mental health issues such as anxiety. A psychiatrist may be able to help you by using methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy is designed to help people identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors to lead a healthier and happier life. If you are interested in here is a guide to finding an affordable therapist.
. 2 Her pain is associated with overwhelming panic.
Panic Attacks are shattering episodes of uncontrollable anxiety. As with anxiety, panic attacks can cause physical symptoms such as abdominal pain and GI problems such as diarrhea. You may also have symptoms like chest pains, palpitations sweating, tremors and feeling that you are dying .
While undeniably terrible moments, panic attacks are treatable with medications, therapies such as CBT and coping mechanisms like deep breathing according to the Mayo Clinic . Contact your doctor or therapist if you think you have panic attacks.
Sometimes abdominal pain is physical and mental.
If you have a gastrointestinal disorder, such as IBS Crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis Stress or anxiety can worsen your symptoms. This can make your physical and mental health even more inseparable.
This relationship may be cyclical, says Sperling: Stress or anxiety can cause bowel inflammation and intestinal spasms which leads to further GI symptoms, which can lead to simply translating into more stress or anxiety. It's pretty unfair. If you have GI and feel stuck in that rhythm, talk to your doctor to see if there's a way to better understand your gut and brain so you do not have to suffer ,