Stomach Cramps: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies
About Stomach Cramps
Stomach cramps are a common health issue experienced by men and women of all ages at some time or the other. Stomach cramps are sudden, crampy abdominal pain. It is marked by pain, which feels like knotting or tightening in the abdomen and stomach. In certain cases, people suffering from stomach cramps may also experience headache and nausea. When severe, stomach cramps can make it difficult for the individual to even carry out their daily activities normally. In such cases, the person must consult a doctor and get the cause of the problem treated seriously. It is important to know about stomach cramps to be able to deal with it in an effective way. Knowing about the causes of stomach cramps can help to manage and prevent it with right treatment and home remedies.
Causes of Stomach Cramps
There are many causes of stomach cramps and it is mostly a combined effect of many such factors. Most of the times, doctors use the accompanying symptoms to determine the possibilities and accordingly decide on the best course of treatment. Some of the common causes of stomach cramps are indigestion, constipation, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, food poisoning, kidney stones, inflammation in any abdominal organ, tumor, ulcer or cancer.
Stomach cramps may be acute, short lived, or chronic long lasting and can sometimes affect a person repeatedly. Some acute conditions of stomach cramps may be associated with other complaints as well and often need immediate medical treatment. Some of the common causes of stomach cramps that are more related to diet and lifestyle can be effectively managed with home remedies and foods to avoid.
Symptoms of Stomach Cramps
The symptoms of stomach cramps usually depend on the underlying conditions and causes of stomach cramps. Common symptoms of stomach cramps are nausea and vomiting, painful urination, constipation and muscular pain throughout the body. The symptoms of stomach cramps are often related to eating food and pain is felt during or after eating. Sudden crampy stomach pain is sometimes felt after eating particular food items and may also be related to intolerance.
Treatment of Stomach Cramps
One can initially try over-the-counter medications to get relief from stomach cramps. H2 blockers are easily available and can prove to be very helpful in managing the pain associated with cramps. One should however not take any anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin unless prescribed by a doctor. Acetaminophen can be taken for stomach pain which are not related to the liver. If relief is not obtained or if the stomach cramp worsens, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention.
Home Remedies for Stomach Cramps
The following home remedies for stomach cramps can also control the pain effectively.
Water is one of the best home remedies for stomach cramps. Drinking sufficient amount of water and other fluids can work wonders for people seeking relief from stomach cramps.
The anti-inflammatory property of Chamomile makes it a popular home remedy for stomach cramps and pain. It works by relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract and reducing the inflammation in the lining of the stomach caused by gastritis or any bacterial infection. Thus by drinking a cup of hot chamomile tea, one can reduce the pain from spasms and stomach cramps effectively.
Heat helps to loosen and relax muscles and ease the pain from stomach cramps. One can use a hot bag or hot compression on their stomach, for 15 minutes a day, to relieve this pain and discomfort. This is one of the most traditional home remedies for stomach cramps.
Rice water is a good demulcent which can help to relieve stomach pain caused by inflammation on the lining of the stomach. Drinking a glass of warm rice water with some honey in it can be a useful home remedy to get rod of stomach cramps.
Fresh peppermint is another effective home remedy to get rid of stomach cramps. It helps to relax stomach muscles, improve flow of bile, and promote good digestion. Chewing a few peppermint leaves or steeping the leaves and drinking the warm water proves useful in relieving stomach cramps, especially pain that results from bloating or indigestion.
Stomach ache caused by indigestion can be cured with a glass of lemon water. This is one of the popular home remedies for stomach cramps and also improves hydration, digestion and metabolism.
The naturally occurring antioxidant called gingerol, present in ginger helps to relax smooth muscle that line the intestinal tract and relieves stomach cramp. Ginger root also aids in curing nausea which accompanies stomach pain. A cup of warm ginger tea can prove to be an effective home remedies for stomach cramps.
For relieving stomach ache caused by indigestion, chewing a spoonful of fennel seeds is considered to be an effective natural remedy. The oil called anethole present in these seeds stimulates the secretion of digestive juices in the body and thus helps to improve the overall digestion. It controls stomach cramps, heals inflammation, reduces pain and even relieves discomfort caused by gastritis.
Lime in Soda
Lime also proves useful in relieving a stomach cramps naturally. Drinking a glass of lime in soda can help in easing stomach pain and indigestion instantly.
Foods to Avoid in Stomach Cramps
People suffering from stomach cramps must avoid having solid food, dairy products, citrus drinks, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages. These can exacerbate the stomach pain and also cause vomiting.
When abdominal pain and cramp persists for long, one must visit a doctor. For stomach cramps associated with breathing troubles, rigidity and sensitivity in the stomach, abdominal injury and pregnancy, one must seek immediate medical attention.