Description: Pain in the stomach or abdomen; also known as gastralgia.
Persons most commonly affected: All age groups and both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Abdomen
Symptoms and indications: The main symptom as is clear from the name is ache or pain. The pain can be of many types depending upon the cause of pain. In some cases it can be very mild and bearable while in other it could be very severe and appears as if the patient is going to lose his/her life. Depending upon the cause of pain it can be continously high, sometimes high and sometimes low like a wave, appear during a specific time, like one hour before or after the meals or on empty stomach. The nature of pain is also different . It can be biting, burning, throbbing, spasmodic, piercing or sometimes very mild and relief giving. May be accompanied by indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or fever.
Causes and risk factors: Abdominal adhesions, abdominal aortic aneurysm, appendicitis, biliary cholic, badder infections, bowel obstruction, cholecystitis, colon cancer, diverticulitis, gall stones, excessive gas, endometriosis, food allergy, food poisoing, hernia, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney stones, actose intolerance, menstual cramping, metabolic disease, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, peritonitis, streptococcal pharyngitis, toxins, ulcers, uterine fibroids, viral gastroenteritis, and psychological factors
Prevention: The patient should have clear bowel movements and should not be constipated. If the pain is due to acidity or gas, drinking plain soda water provides immediate relief. Giving local heat treatment at the site of the pain also gives some relief from the pain. Diet should be mainly light and easily digestible. Little grains, rice, yogurt or butter milk, a little salad with a thin dressing of oil or yogurt on it is good. A dressing of lemon juice can also be used on the salad. Cooked vegetables like squash, zucchini, pumpkin and green beans or pulses will also help. A soup of vegetables is good as are fruit juices and fruits like grapes, papaya, orange, peaches etc. Fried and spicy foods which contain too much oil are prohibited. Beans, potatoes, sweets, creams and yogurt in the night time are also not good. Avoid all kinds of physical activities immediately after meals. The patient should take sufficient rest. Mental tension, worry, anxiety, greed, anger and fear should be given up and the patient must have a relaxed mind.