Stomach Discomfort

A Guide to Common Causes of Stomach Discomfort

Experiencing stomach discomfort is never fun, even if mild.  Causes for pain and discomfort can be from a number of things, some minor such as a food allergy to a more serious problem to include liver disease.  If you experience ongoing discomfort, you should talk to your doctor who in turn would likely run a series of upper GI (gastrointestinal) tests to determine the exact reason so proper treatment could be started.

To give you ideas of what causes stomach discomfort, the following are the more common causes or illnesses.


The most common cause of stomach discomfort is indigestion, which accounts for as much as 70% of all complaints having to do with stomach pain.  Often, indigestion will also include bloating and gas, which is known by the catch-all phrase “dyspepsia”.  Studies show that approximately 25% of all people in the United States will experience stomach discomfort to some degree with women being more affected than men are.

The good news is that stomach discomfort associated with indigestion is usually not serious and treatment is easy.  Usually, an antacid or controlled diet takes care of the problem but in a small number of cases, the stomach discomfort of indigestion could be esophageal or stomach cancer.  Obviously, treatment in this case would be far more aggressive and while rare, this is why having the stomach discomfort checked is important.

Helicobacter Pylori

Another cause of stomach discomfort is called Helicobacter Pylori, which is bacteria often associated with the flight or fight response of the body.  In other words, when a person is stressed, traumatized, or feels threatened, the body naturally goes through what is known as a “flight or fight” response, meaning it fights or breaks down.  When the body does not fight back, in its weakened state, it is more susceptible to bacteria.

Usually, people experiencing stomach discomfort because of Helicobacter Pylori will also feel overly fatigued.  A blood test can identify the presence of bacteria and if this is found to be the culprit, which is treatable with medication.  However, the cause being stress or trauma may also be treated with behavioral or cognitive therapy.

Food Allergies

Stomach discomfort can also be caused by food allergies.  In this case, loose stools, heartburn, and bloating would likely be involved as well.  Often, people will see a doctor and provide a long list of symptoms but fail to mention stomach discomfort so it takes the doctor much longer to identify the real problem.  For this reason, when seeing a doctor, make sure every symptom is provided, making a food allergy much easier to find.


Additional causes of stomach discomfort that may or may not be involved include an ulcer, gastritis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, Mycoplasmas, Candida, or irritable bowel syndrome.  Therefore if you experience more than one episode of stomach disorder or if a current disorder lasts longer than a week or becomes increasingly worse, you need to make an appointment to see your doctor immediately.

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