Stomach ache and abdominal pain
A stomach ache is a term often used to refer to cramps or a dull ache in the tummy (abdomen). It's usually short-lived and is often not serious.
Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.
If this is the case phone your GP as soon as possible, or the 111 service if your GP is closed.
If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, read about chest pain for information and advice.
Stomach cramps with bloating
Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing but is easily dealt with.
Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a product such as buscopan or mebeverine, which can be bought over the counter to treat the problem.
Sudden stomach cramps with diarrhea
If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhea, the cause may be a tummy bug (gastroenteritis). This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel, which should get better without treatment after a few days.
Gastroenteritis may be caused by coming into close contact with someone who's infected, or by eating contaminated food (food poisoning).
If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Sudden severe abdominal pain
If you have sudden agonizing pain in a particular area of your abdomen, phone your GP immediately or the 111 service if your GP is closed. It may be a sign of a serious problem that could rapidly get worse without treatment.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
appendicitis – the swelling of the appendix (a finger-like pouch connected to the large intestine), which causes agonizing pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, and means your appendix will need to be removed
a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer – a bleeding, open sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine)
acute cholecystitis – inflammation of the gallbladder, which is often caused by gallstones, in many cases, your gallbladder will need to be removed
kidney stones – small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you'll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
diverticulitis – inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel (gastroenteritis). It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
Long-term or recurring abdominal pain
See your GP if you or your child have persistent or repeated abdominal pain. The cause is often not serious and can be managed.
Possible causes in adults include:
IBS – a common condition that causes bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, the pain is often relieved when you go to the toilet
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – long-term conditions that involve inflammation of the gut, including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and endometriosis
a urinary tract infection (UTI) that keeps returning – in these cases, you'll usually also experience a burning sensation when you urinate
period pain – painful muscle cramps in women that are linked to the menstrual cycle
other stomach-related problems – such as a stomach ulcer, heartburn and acid reflux or gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
Possible causes in children include:
UTI that keeps returning
Heartburn and acid reflux
Abdominal migraines – recurrent episodes of abdominal pain with no Identifiable cause
Stomach aches or abdominal pains are one of the most frequently reported health complaints faced by children. Children below the age of twelve are known to suffer from recurrent stomach pain. While pains such as these lead to momentary discomfiture, they also lay the path for graver worries if neglected for too long. Your child may feel sick and bunk school for two days; rest and home care can restore his or her health, but that in no way, is the best-suited way of dealing with the situation. If tummy aches resurface over a certain period of time, parents should be cautious enough to look for the root cause and should try to eliminate it accordingly.
Widely noticed causes of stomach aches in children:
#Unhygienic food can affect a child’s digestive system.
#Intolerance to a certain food item should not be overlooked.
#Perpetual anxiety can make the tummy twist and turn.
#Urinary Tract Infections can also lead to acute abdominal pain.
#Serious factors such as gallstones or appendicitis could also be present. Immediate expert consultation is advised in such a case.
#Caffeine and packaged soft drinks can be harmful.
#Butter, ghee and other greasy products can trigger tummy aches.
Ways to treat tummy aches in children:
-Keep children away from gas producing food items: Food that is hard to digest should be avoided. Lentil soup or dal should only be consumed in limited amounts to prevent the formation of gas. Don’t let your child have too many nuts regularly.
-Keep them hydrated: Fluid intake should be monitored. A child should drink at least six to seven glasses of water per day. Fruit juices or soups can also be given to them alongside main meals. This helps digestion.
-Do not stack up food in one go: Eating a lot in one meal is a bad way of satisfying hunger. Have smaller meals in more numbers. Six to eight meals will keep your child full and will also eliminate the chances of acid reflux which happens either due to an empty stomach or too much piling up of greasy food.
-Timely check - up with the doctor: If tummy aches refuse to go away, take your child to a doctor for a thorough check-up. Administer medicines as prescribed by the physician.
Puberty is the phase in life when the body of the child matures to become an adult. This change is mainly influenced by the developing reproductive system and it makes them capable of sexual reproduction. It a progressive change and happens over a span of few years. Girls start to develop breasts and might start menstruating whereas boys notice changes in body hair growth pattern with their voices beginning to crack.
The average age for a girl to attain puberty is found to be 11, whereas in boys, it is longer and the average age is somewhere around 12. Puberty also marks the onset of emotional maturity in kids as well.
Sometimes puberty can be seen at a very young age such as 7 or 8; this is called precocious puberty. This can make it physically and mentally taxing for a child and can be a sign of health issues.
What causes puberty?
The stimulation of the hypothalamus in the brain leads to the production of a hormone called Human Gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) which signal the Pituitary Gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This is responsible for sexual development.
Signs that may indicate the onset of puberty in girls:
The telltale signs of puberty in girls are:
Development of breasts
Growth of hair in areas such as armpits and genitals
A growth spurt, i.e., rapid growth in height
Start of menstruation or her periods
Increase in body fat in certain areas of the body
Development of acne
“Mature” body odour
Signs that may indicate the onset of puberty in boys: The usual signs of puberty in boys are:
Enlargement of the testicles or penis
Pubic, underarm, or facial hair development
Rapid height growth — a growth "spurt"
Deepening of voice
"Mature" body odor
Increase in hair growth in other parts of the body such as the arms and legs
Along with these signs and symptoms, other signs can be changes in mood. Boys and girls may develop sexual urges wherein you will notice an unexplained attraction to the opposite sex.
Abdominal cramps accompanied by painful thighs and calves are commonly faced by many women just before the onset of their periods. Instead of popping a painkiller, here are a few homeopathic medications that can effectively cure this problem.
Belladonna: Belladonna acts on the nervous system to treat sudden intense abdominal cramps and congested dysmenorrhea. If the blood in your periods is bright red and flows at a high rate, belladonna may be the solution to your problems. Other associated symptoms belladonna can help treat are red, flushed skin and temperature spikes.
Magnesium phosphoricum: Every woman has a different type of menstrual pain. If the pain you feel is soothed by heat packs and application of pressure but aggravated by any type of movement, you could try to treat it with magnesium phosphoricum. This is also effective for period pains that increase in the night and early menses.
Nux vomica: Nux vomica is made from the seed of a plant. This is particularly effective in cases of menstruation accompanied by diarrhea. Nux vomica also helps treat irregular and prolonged menses. It also helps deal with abdominal cramps and heartburn. Nux vomica should ideally be taken in low potency doses as it can have a number of side effects when taken regularly in high potency doses.
Mostly, menstrual pain during menses is due to hormonal irregularities and cysts of ovaries or uterus. So, in case of complaints, we need to access these also while selecting remedies. Constitutionally and symptomatically selected medicine in homeopathy will help the patients get relief.
The disruption of the normal female cycles of menstruation and ovulation after the age of 45 and the loss of her ability to conceive naturally is known as menopause. The associated symptoms of menopause are heat flushes, insomnia, weight gain, depression, nausea and fatigue.
The following homeopathic medicines and remedies can be used to treat menopause:
1.Phosphorus can help with migraines, extreme sweating, numb hands, fast pulse, memory problems and dry and itchy skin. Foods high in phosphorus content are meat, fish, cheese, nuts and seeds of pumpkins, sunflowers etc.
2.Excessive deposition of fat can interfere with the hormonal cycles and cause imbalances in the level of estrogen and progesterone. So, regular yoga and exercise can be helpful.
3.A balanced diet which provides you with optimal nutrition can be helpful in treating menopausal symptoms. When you get enough vitamins and minerals, the physical discomfort caused by the symptoms can be reduced greatly.
4.Amylenum nitrosum can provide relief from profuse sweating, shortness of breath and palpitations.
5.Phytoestrogen or dietary estrogen is a compound found in foods such as soybeans, oats, barley, carrots, fenugreek, rice etc. Phytoestrogen can provide natural relief from menopausal symptoms.
6.Aurum metallicum is used to get the tissues and organs to function normally again and control feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia.
Vaginismus is a condition where vaginal contractions and squeezes may be caused due to pain during intercourse or due to the insertion of objects like tampons. This mildly uncomfortable condition is also characterised by spams and other symptoms like the feeling of coming up against a thick wall which can cause pain. This may be due to a variety of reasons starting from infections to anxiety. To a large extent, the treatment of this condition depends on the cause. Following are the various ways in which this condition can be treated.
Sex Therapy: A sexologist or an expert who specialises in psychosexual medicine can help in treating this condition by conducting a series of counselling sessions where psychoanalysis will help in understanding and unravelling the cause of the condition. This may be followed by CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy. This kind of therapy usually helps in reprogramming the brain after the root cause for the condition is known.
Exercises: During sex therapy, the doctor may also teach you various kinds of exercises and vaginal trainers that can help you in strengthening the pelvic floor and relaxing the muscles as well. These vaginal trainers are especially helpful in equipping you suitably so that you can relax your vagina and let the insertion happen. Vaginal trainers consist of four smooth balls of plastic which can be inserted with the help of lubricants to help in stretching the vagina.
Relaxation: Getting yourself to relax is also a matter of exploration and touching, which can help you understand the kind of touch and the exact areas that make you tense. During sex therapy, you may be taught a technique known as progressive relaxation. This mode includes tensing and relaxing your muscles as you explore by inserting a finger.
Sensate Focus: This is a part of sex therapy and involves your partner. In this method, you will be asked to abstain from sex and touch each other without going to the genitals and other private parts. This will help in better arousal and sexual stimulation.
Surgery: The last option for treating a very severe form of this condition is to put the patient through surgery which will seek to remove endometriosis, as these growths in the womb's lining can cause a lot of pain during intercourse. Also, vaginal enlargement surgery can be carried out with the help of episiotomy.
This kind of procedure usually helps in fixing the scar tissue that may have been left from a previous procedure, which can restrict or block the vaginal path. Getting help at the right time for this condition is of great importance so as to have a normal sex life.