Here is why you can have stomach upset

The stomach is one of the major muscular components of the digestive system. It is a muscular organ located on the left side of the upper abdomen, boarders the liver on the right side and the lower part of the heart on the left upper side of the body.
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha

The stomach is one of the major muscular components of the digestive system. It is a muscular organ located on the left side of the upper abdomen, boarders the liver on the right side and the lower part of the heart on the left upper side of the body.

The food we eat is chewed by the teeth in the mouth and this is why digestion begins in the mouth, passes through the esophagus and sent to the stomach for more complex breakdown by the enzymes and gastric acid.

Once food is in the stomach, the organ’s muscles contract periodically, churning food to speed up digestion. The stomach consists of the small valve-like part at its outlet the pyloric sphincter. The pyloric sphincter is a muscular valve that opens to allow food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine.

Now the stomach upset can be caused by various factors. Some of the stomach upsets encountered in life can be minor such as the hiccups after a meal that are in most cases linked to gastro-esophageal reflux and sometimes goes without any medical attention.

However, when there is a constant stomach upset such as persistent or longstanding bloats, persistent epigastric pain, it is necessary to seek medical advice. It should be understood that identification of the cause to regular stomach upset helps to get quicker solutions to the problem.

As part of lifestyle, stress and diet can elicit constant stomach upset. There are foods with complex molecular particles and sometimes our stomach contents such as the acid or enzymes do not have enough strength to break them down quickly and subsequently leads to problems.

For example, to some individuals, a diet that is high in fat or sugar may lead to stomach upset. Some individuals who eat meals too quickly can have an excessive amount of gas and bloating.

Smoke, alcohol, and caffeine may cause stomach upset or may lead to digestive problems. In addition to food consumption, abdominal pain may be caused by a high level of stress or certain medications that irritate the stomach lining.

Beware as a constant stomach upset can be a sign of serious medical conditions. Some medical conditions associated with persistent or severe stomach pain include stomach ulcers, gastric acid irritation to people with problem of over secretion as seen in gastritis patients, constant indigestion among others.

 If stomach upset persists for more than one week, regardless of the diet or over the counter medications you take, it is advisable to seek consultation from the medical doctor concerning this condition.

In order to diagnose the cause of a constant stomach upset, the doctor will perform a general checkup. Through a process of elimination, the cause of stomach pain can usually be determined. In most instances, stomach discomfort can be treated with prescription of medications. However, sometimes a medical procedure such as surgery may be required but this depends on the cause or origin of pain.

When weight loss and bloody stools are associated with stomach pain, it is vital that medical attention be sought immediately. In this case, an endoscopy or gastroscope is necessary in order to diagnose the cause of a constant stomach upset.

Those who wish to avoid medical care due to stomach upset need to equip themselves with information that regards diet, avoid gastric irritation agents such as alcohol, smoke and anti-inflammatory medications that may elicit stomach pain.

It is also important to avoid stressful situations, since stress can play a large part when it comes to abdominal pain. We need therefore to keep in mind that persistent stomach pain of any kind requires medical care. This is because stomach upset can be an indication that a more serious disease is lurking as has been seen in other medical conditions or problems.

Dr Joseph Kamugisha is a resident oncologist in Jerusalem, Israel

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