Stomach Spasms – Causes And Treatment Options
There are many different reasons why one might experience stomach spasms. Almost everyone experiences these spasms at one time or another. They may be mild, and occur only a single time or two, or they may occur fairly often, be more severe, and even linger on for some time. Infrequent stomach spasms, especially if they are short-lived and not particularly painful, are usually not indicative of something that would require medical attention. Drinking a liquid too quickly is an example of something that might cause a spasm to occur in the stomach. If a spasm is more severe, or occurs frequently, or is becoming a real problem, it's usually a symptom of some underlying disorder that most likely requires treatment.
Some Common Causes
Sometimes a muscle spasm in the stomach will occur when one is constipated. Once the constipation has been successfully dealt with, the spasms will cease. Pressure is one of the possible causes of a stomach spasm or cramp. Remove the pressure, or the source of the pressure, and the stomach muscles will stop misbehaving. Dehydration is another common cause. In fact, dehydration can lead to spasms or cramps in many different muscles in the body, but particularly in the stomach and in the legs. Other possible causes include food allergies, bowel obstruction, and appendicitis.
A stomach spasm may be felt either in the upper part of the stomach or in the lower part. Spasms occurring in the upper part of the stomach are usually referred to as esophageal spasms. These spasms tend to be short, but often rather severe, and at times are mistakenly thought to be an issue with the heart, as any accompanying pain is generally felt in the lower chest area. If theses spasms are infrequent, treatment may not be needed, although it's always a good idea to discuss the problem with a doctor in the event some form of treatment is indeed necessary. If esophageal spasms occur frequently, or begin to interfere with swallowing, medical assistance is probably required. There are methods available to treat such disorders.
Like A Chorus Line
Food usually moves through our digestive system in an orderly manner, as if the muscles along the way were being choreographed. When muscle spasms occur, the muscles no longer are working in sync, and food is not being smoothly and efficiently passed through the digestive tract. This may result in pain, feelings of fullness, or bloating, and at times additional muscle spasms might be triggered. It's not only the muscles in the stomach muscles are involved. Muscles in the esophagus can be involved as well, to the great discomfort of the person experiencing the spasms.
Treatment Of Spasms
Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are common causes of stomach spasms, but drinking very hot or very cold liquids can trigger them as well. Stress can also be a factor, as can gender, since women tend to experience muscle spasms and cramps more often than men do. The type of treatment, if treatment is necessary, will of course vary with the cause. If stress is the problem, the cause of the stressful condition will need to be addressed. Dietary changes or changes in eating habits may be all that is needed. In some instances medications may be prescribed, either to reduce the number and severity of the spasms, or to relieve the pain they cause, or both. In rare instances, surgery may need to be performed to eliminate the cause of the spasms.
Spasms occurring in the lower part of the stomach or the lower abdomen are most often due to indigestion or gas, and may be accompanied by noises or growling in the large intestine, a situation commonly, and incorrectly, referred to as stomach growling.
Note Any Additional Symptoms
Usually, when stomach spasms occur, we have little idea as to the reason. If severe enough, the spasms can be rather alarming, but there is usually little cause for concern if they go away quickly and do not return. If spasms or cramps persist, a diagnosis should definitely be performed. It is of utmost importance to take note of any additional symptoms that are being experienced. Symptoms such as running a fever, experiencing chills, experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding or discharges, or having a feeling of flu-like symptoms, often indicates the presence of an underlying condition that may requires treatment, perhaps even emergency treatment. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness, a rapid pulse, weakness, or severe pain and abdominal swelling, with the spasms call 911, and let the paramedics, and eventually the hospital staff, take charge.
The area between the lower chest and the groin contains an abundance of different organs. There are many things that can go wrong in our lower abdomen. When something does go wrong, pain accompanied by spasms, or cramps may often be felt in the area of the stomach. That is why it’s advisable to take careful note of any additional symptoms that are being experienced, and relay the information to medical personnel, so they'll be in the best position to take quick and appropriate action.