If you are one of those unfortunate folks who’s stomach hurts way too often I feel for you. You aren’t alone. Somewhere in the vicinity of 25 – 45 million Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Overall I’ve been lucky. I wouldn’t say I have a cast iron stomach but in general I don’t get many upset stomachs. However, when I do I am always scrambling for something to make it better. In this article we will look at some of the reasons why you may ask yourself why does my stomach hurt all the time. We will look at some of the more common reasons. Also we will explore some options to help your tummy feel better.
Common Reasons Why Your Stomach Hurts
Food intolerance – Many people have food intolerances. This simply means that they have a hypersensitivity to certain foods. When they eat these foods it makes their bodies unhappy, often times in the stomach region. This produces nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and upset stomach in general. This translates to stomach pain many times.
Constipation – When too much water accumulates in the bowel, this puts pressure on the colon which then translates to pain. Many reasons can make this occur including low levels of exercise, too little fluid or fiber in your diet, and certain medications.
Stomach Flu – Stomach flu is usually caused by a virus and typically lasts just a few days. Doesn’t really help your stomach feel better though. It is also accompanied many times by nausea, vomiting, cramping, and liquidity stools. Eww.
Gas – Gas happens when bacteria in the small intestine break down foods that the body thinks is intolerant. The increased amount of gas in the small intestine can cause sharp pain. Gas can also cause tightness or restrictiveness in the abdomen.
More Common Reasons Why Your Stomach Hurts
IBS – Also known as irritable bowel syndrome. For some reason people with IBS are less likely to be able to digest certain foods. Stomach, or abdominal pain is the primary symptom of people with IBS. Other symptoms include nausea, cramping, gas, and bloating.
Vomiting – Many times vomiting causes people’s stomach to hurt. This is because the vomiting causes the stomach acid to move backwards through your digestive tract, irritating all the tissues along the way. And anyone that has thrown up, or vomited, a lot knows that after a while it can make the actual abdominal muscles sore. Great ab workout!
Gastritis – When your stomach lining becomes inflamed or swollen, it may become painful. Other common symptoms of gastritis is nausea, excessive gas, vomiting, and bloating. Are you seeing a trend here? Most of the symptoms are very similar even with different causes.
So now we’ve covered some of the more common reasons why you might ask why does my stomach hurt all of the time. With that said let’s look at some less common reasons for a hurting tummy.
Not As Common Reasons Why Your Stomach Hurts
Gastroesophageal reflux disease – Also known as GERD. This is a long term condition that involves persistent acid reflux. It can cause nausea, heartburn, and abdominal pain. It is actually a somewhat common issue. The good news is it can be treated.
Peptic Ulcers – Ulcers, or wounds that do not heal, on your stomach lining will cause ongoing stomach pain. It can also cause, bloating, indigestion, and weight loss. The most common cause of peptic ulcers are the bacteria H. pylori and the overuse of non-steroid, anti-inflammatory medications.
Celiac disease – Celiac disease is when someone has an allergy to gluten. I have several friends who have this. Took a few trips to the doctor to get it figured out. It causes inflammation in the small intestine which leads to stomach pain. Besides stomach pain diarrhea and bloating are common side effects. Celiac disease will definitely have you asking why does my stomach hurt all the time!
Crohn’s disease – Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract lining. This results in pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. All the usual side effects we’ve seen on a regular basis. It can be serious and tends to come with periods of remission. There is treatment available to help manage the symptoms but there is no known cure.
What To Do About Your Stomach Hurting
If your stomach hurts from time to time welcome to the club. That’s life. On the other hand if you are asking why does my stomach hurt all the time, you might want to get it checked out.
Normally when our stomach hurts it’ something temporary. When your stomach hurts from time to time there are three primary over the counter medications that can help you.
For heartburn the best choice is antacids. Common brands include Zantac, Pepcid AC, Prolosec OTC, Imodium.
For nausea and vomiting you should take something with bismuth subsalicylate. Common over the counter include Pepto-Bismal and Kaopectate.
For constipation typically a laxative is the medicine of choice. Some options include Dulcolax, MiraLAX, and Phillips Milk of Magnesium. I took the Dulcolax as part of the prep for my colonoscopy. Let’s just say it works…..really well.
When to See a Doctor
It goes without saying that if you ask yourself why does my stomach hurt all the time like, ALL THE TIME, it’s probably time for you to see your doctor. My youngest daughter was missing school more that she should due to her stomach hurting all the time. I took her to the doctor and after a few visits we figured out what was causing her stomach pain and got some stuff to take care of it.
Other than asking yourself why does my stomach hurt all the time here are some other signs you should see a doctor soon:
- You have bloody or tarry stools
- You are vomiting blood
- The pain is severe, sharp, sudden, and ongoing
- Significant abdominal distention
- Your stomach is very very tender in the region of the pain
- The pain extends above your abdomen to the chest or shoulder area
- You are unable to pass stools without vomiting
- The stomach pain is accompanied by shortness of breath
We all get upset stomachs from time to time. However, if you find yourself wondering why does my stomach hurt all the time it may be time to get it checked out by a doctor.
Many times an ongoing upset stomach can be attributed to a fairly common ailment and treatment is available. Sometimes it’s a bit more serious and will take some ongoing care and evaluation. Either way, don’t live with a tummy that hurts all the time if you don’t have to.
In good physical health,