Adult Health

What is Your Stomach Pain Telling You?

Written by andy

Listen to your body; it knows best!

For many, stomach pain is a pretty common part of life! Stomach pain can be caused by all sorts of things: eating the wrong food, eating too much, not eating enough, drinking too much soda, excessive acidity, and the list goes on. Understanding what your stomach pain is telling you is the key to dealing with whatever the problem is.

Here are a few of the more common types of stomach pain, and what they might be trying to tell you:

  • Severe pain on your right side — If you feel a sharp pain on your right side, right beneath your ribs, it may be gallstones. Gallstone pain comes and goes, but it can last for several minutes or even hours. It may radiate up to your back or even your shoulder blades, and can be accompanied by yellowing whites of your eyes and skin (jaundice), itchy skin, shivering, vomiting, and fever. Gallstones are made of bile, and they may require surgery to remove. If you feel this pain, visit your doctor ASAP!
  • Bloating, cramps, and nausea — If you feel gassy, bloating, and nauseous, it’s a definite sign that something is wrong. Add on a loss of appetite and stomach cramps, and it’s very likely constipation. Constipation is the result of insufficient fiber, though some illnesses and medications can also cause constipation. The best way to deal with the problem is to get more fiber in your diet. Eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

READ MORE: 8 Food Sensitivity Symptoms to Watch

  • Dull or sharp pain behind your hip bones — This is a stomach pain women will be very familiar with: ovulation pain and period cramps. The pain will be dull or sharp, and it will usually form on either side of your lower abdomen or behind your hip bones. The pain can last anywhere from a few minutes up to 48 hours. Thankfully, it’s a pain that most OTC painkillers can deal with, or a warm bath can help to reduce the pain.
  • Pain in your stomach, side, and back — If your stomach pain isn’t confined to your gut but radiates around your sides and back, it may be the result of kidney stones or a kidney infection. Excess waste in your kidneys can cause hard stones to form, which can in turn block your urinary tract. They can be painful to eliminate, but they must be dealt with or risk serious infection. Consult your doctor for the best advice on how to eliminate the stone.
  • Gnawing pain in your upper abdomen –– This pain is often the result of a peptic ulcer or gastritis. Peptic ulcers are sores that form on your stomach lining, while gastritis is inflammation of your stomach. The pain is very specific, and will often be accompanied by vomiting and/or nausea. Excessive use of aspirin can cause the problem, or it may be caused by a H. pylori infection. In cases of no infection, antacids may be the solution to your pain. In cases of infection, you may need antibiotics.
  • Bloating and aching with loose stools –– This is usually the result of some food intolerance, such as gluten or lactose. If you notice any sort of stomach pain after eating a specific food, it may be a good idea to eliminate that food from your diet. If the pain goes away, try adding the food to your diet once more. If the pain returns, you can know the pain is caused by a food intolerance. The simple solution is to cut that food from your diet completely!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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