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July 8, 2024

Why Does My Stomach Hurt?

Stomach pain is a common complaint that can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. It can be caused by various factors, including digestive issues, stress, and dietary choices. At Avance Care, our comprehensive offering of primary care, behavioral health, and nutrition services help you understand the root cause of your stomach pain and find effective treatments. While the possibilities are vast, let’s explore the potential reasons behind stomach pain and how our comprehensive approach can provide relief.

Common Causes of Stomach Pain

Digestive Issues:

Gastroenteritis: Often referred to as the stomach flu, this condition is caused by viral or bacterial infections that inflame the stomach and intestines.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A chronic condition characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and discomfort.

Constipation: Difficulty in passing stools can lead to significant abdominal pain and bloating.

Food Intolerances: Reactions to certain foods, such as lactose or gluten, can cause digestive distress and pain.

Stress and Anxiety:

Psychosomatic Symptoms: Stress and anxiety can manifest physically, leading to stomach pain and other digestive issues.

Behavioral Triggers: Stressful situations or mental health conditions can exacerbate existing digestive problems.

Dietary Choices:

Unhealthy Eating Habits: Consuming high-fat, spicy, or processed foods can irritate the stomach lining and lead to pain.

Overeating: Eating large meals can strain the digestive system and cause discomfort.

Dehydration: Insufficient fluid intake can lead to constipation and stomach cramps.

How Primary Care Can Help

Our primary care services play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating stomach pain. Here’s how we can assist:

Comprehensive Evaluation: A thorough medical history and physical examination to identify potential causes of your stomach pain.

Diagnostic Tests: Tests such as blood work, stool samples, and imaging studies (e.g., ultrasound, CT scan) to rule out serious conditions.

Medications: Prescribing medications to manage symptoms, such as antacids for GERD, laxatives for constipation, or antibiotics for infections.

Referrals: Referring you to specialists, such as gastroenterologists, if further evaluation is needed.

Mental Health and Stomach Pain

Behavioral/mental  health is an essential component in understanding and managing stomach pain, especially when stress and anxiety are involved. Our behavioral health services offer:

Counseling and Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic approaches to address stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues contributing to stomach pain.

Stress Management Techniques: Teaching relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and stress reduction strategies to help alleviate psychosomatic symptoms.

If you’re looking for professional help managing stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, learn more about our Behavioral Health services.

The Role of Nutrition in Managing Stomach Pain

Proper nutrition is vital for maintaining digestive health and preventing stomach pain. Our nutrition services include:

Dietary Assessment: Evaluating your diet to identify potential food triggers and intolerances.

Personalized Nutrition Plans: Creating customized meal plans that focus on gut-friendly foods and balanced nutrition.

Education and Guidance: Offering guidance on healthy eating habits, portion control, and hydration to support digestive health.

For help with digestive issues, you can learn more about our Nutrition Services, and sign up for our FREE Virtual GI Support Group or Mini-Series covering the Basics of GI Health.

Tips for Preventing and Managing Stomach Pain

Eat a Balanced Diet: Focus on whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid high-fat, spicy, and processed foods.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support digestion and prevent constipation.

Practice Mindful Eating: Eat slowly and mindfully, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues to avoid overeating.

Manage Stress: Incorporate stress-relief techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises into your daily routine.

Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to promote overall health and support digestive function.

Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the stomach lining and contribute to digestive issues.

Schedule an Appointment with a Medical Professional: As we mentioned, we have primary care, behavioral health, and nutrition services available to help you determine the underlying cause of your stomach pain and get you the appropriate care.

Stomach pain can be caused by a variety of factors, but understanding the root cause is key to finding effective relief. At our practice, we take a comprehensive approach, integrating primary care, behavioral health, and nutrition services to address all aspects of your health. If you’re experiencing stomach pain, schedule an appointment with us today. Together, we can develop a personalized plan to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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