Stomach cramps are undoubtedly an extremely unpleasant condition that can generate ourself significant discomfort. When they occur, we can’t concentrate or perform any daily activities, and we can only think of immediately alleviating this condition. Still, it isn’t easy to do so when we do not know what causes them. Suppose there is something clear when this condition occurs intensely and is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. In that case, we must go immediately to a health care center. In the same way, if we frequently have this discomfort, it is appropriate to visit a gastroenterologist. At FastlyHealwe, explain in detail the causes of stomach cramps most common and the symptoms present in each condition.
Stomach infections or food poisoning
One of the most frequent causes of stomach cramps, especially those that appear suddenly, is stomach infections caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites, or food poisoning, which occur when we eat food in bad condition or possibly contaminated water.
Both stomach infections, which include common conditions like gastroenteritis, and food poisoning, share similar symptoms. If this is the problem, in addition to stomach cramps, you will experience:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever usually occurs with infections
In this case, it is recommended to go to a health care center as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis and offer treatment to stop unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, in the case of bacteria, antibiotic treatment will be required, while stomach parasites will also need medication for their elimination.
Presence of gas and colic
I was eating a diet rich in flatulent foods such as broccoli, cabbage, onion, chard, spinach, legumes, or soft drinks, eating too quickly, drinking carbonated beverages during meals, having food intolerances, or consuming copious and very rich foods. Usually, fats can cause stomach inflammation and thus lead to the arrival of annoying gas and colic.
The accumulation of gas and jerky movements in the stomach, better known as colic, are two common causes of stomach cramps. This scenario can occur sporadically and due to the causes mentioned above or result from more critical gastrointestinal conditions such as food intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or Crohn’s disease. If you suffer from gas or colic frequently, you must review your diet and remove from it those foods that could cause discomfort, that you eat slowly and avoid ingesting beverages during meals and that you take digestive infusions such as chamomile, anise or mint to promote digestion.
If the problem continues, then it is recommended to visit a gastroenterologist.
Suffering from constipation
According to specialists, a person suffers from constipation when they have bowel movements less than three times a week. However, it is also associated with disorders in which the patient has hard stools and difficulty in evacuating. In most cases, this condition is due to a low fiber diet, low water intake, little physical activity, and inappropriate habits when going to the bathroom, characterized by the delay in evacuating when the urge occurs.
Difficulty going to the bathroom causes, among other symptoms, bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort that can cause severe stomach cramps. It is essential to make the necessary corrections to improve the frequency of bowel movements. That is why it is recommended:
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and the liquid is necessary to soften and move the stool through our intestines.
- Eat a fiber-rich diet with green leafy vegetables, legumes, fruits, especially those with seeds such as kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, or plums, or cereals such as oats, rice, bread, and wholegrain pasta. These ingredients will clean the intestine and promote a good rhythm in bowel movements.
- Bowel movements should not be postponed. Once we feel the urge to go to the bathroom, it should be done immediately to develop good habits that allow frequent bowel movements.
- Performing physical activity is very important to promote proper bowel movement. A sedentary lifestyle notably favors constipation.
On the other hand, if you have always had a regular evacuation rhythm and suddenly begin to suffer constipation without having modified your daily habits, this could be due to intestinal disorders, problems with the thyroid, and the intake of certain medications, among others. In these cases, it is recommended to visit a gastroenterologist. In our article home remedies for constipation, we give you some valuable recommendations to combat this problem.
Food intolerances and allergies
When our body cannot properly digest a portion of food due to the presence of a compound to which it is intolerant or that generates an allergic reaction, stomach cramps are a prevalent condition that can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal inflammation, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea.
Food intolerances and allergies are common conditions, especially with certain ingredients such as lactose, the gluten found in cereals such as wheat, barley, or rye, or foods that are difficult to digest, such as legumes or corn. Observing if stomach cramps occur when we eat certain ingredients can be essential to determine if there are allergies or intolerances. If you suspect this condition, you should visit a gastroenterologist.
Various intestinal conditions
The stomach cramps may also occur when we have certain intestinal diseases characterized by low tolerance to certain foods and changes in the rhythm of bowel movements. Some of the more common conditions that cause this symptom are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome, with symptoms such as abdominal swelling, constipation alternating with diarrhea, and a sensation of incomplete evacuation.
- Crohn’s disease, with signs like stomach bloating, loss of weight and appetite, diarrhea, and bloody stools and mucus.
- Colitis is characterized by diarrhea, frequent urination, blood in the stool, and severe abdominal pain.
- Intestinal obstruction is a condition that requires immediate medical attention and is characterized by abdominal pain, constipation, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, and bad breath.
Stress and nerves
The stomach is a susceptible organ to stress and emotional changes. Therefore any episode of tension or a situation that produces nerves can cause stomach cramps. Family, work or school problems, strains with a friend or relative, a very stressful situation in our environment are enough to cause these symptoms and others, such as changes in bowel movements and gastric conditions such as gastritis.
In these cases, the recommendation is to calm down and try to cope without getting so emotionally upset. Performing frequent cardiovascular exercise or yoga or Pilates can significantly reduce daily tension.
Other conditions that cause stomach cramps
- Menstrual cramps can also cause these discomforts.
- Stomach ulcers
- Physical exercise during digestion.
- Drink icy drinks while we eat.
- Presence of gallstones.
- If the pain is in the lower abdomen on the right side, it could be appendicitis.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Stomach cramps: causes, we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.