Tummy troubles can sometimes be a symptom of something much more serious.
Are you having abdominal pain that's beginning to make you worry? Such pain can be a symptom of a number of things ranging from poor diet or stress to gallstones or cancer. Consider the following factors to help determine if it's time for you to see your doctor.
- Severity. If your pain is mild and perhaps treated successfully with an antacid, you may be fine for now. However, if you have reoccurring episodes, talk to your doctor. Chronic gastrointestinal issues can cause bigger problems over time if untreated. If you're doubled over in pain or are experiencing pain that interferes with daily living, see your doctor.
- Duration. If your pain persists for weeks or months, it's time to talk to your doctor. Irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, a lactose intolerance or another condition could be at the root of your troubles.
- Location. Pain in the lower abdomen is common during menstruation, but chronic pain in this area should be investigated to rule out a gynecologic cancer.
- Your weight. Overeating can cause abdominal issues, and being overweight can raise your risk for both kidney stones and gallstones.
- Your level of stress. Stress can manifest itself physically. When stressed, you may tend to overeat, eat a nutritionally poor diet and consume more caffeine than usual. These things can cause constipation or other conditions that can result in abdominal pain. If you find that you're often under pressure, talk to your doctor about healthy ways to manage stress.
The Medical Center of Plano Women’sLink program is dedicated to women's health from head to toe, through every stage of life. Learn more by visiting us online or calling us at 972-519-1251.