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Stomach pain


Remember when you faked a belly ache to get out of school? Those were the days, right? Now that you're an adult, you probably know that pain in your stomach or abdominal area is usually not serious…but it's no fun, either. Whether it’s pain in the form of localized tightness or cramps, or pain that comes in waves, we’ve all had this symptom at some point—and there are tons of potential underlying causes. Stomach pain can be linked to food intolerances, indigestion, gas, infections like the stomach flu or a UTI, H. pylori infections and ulcers, and inflammatory illnesses like Crohn’s or UC. It can also be a sign of depression, anxiety, and (you knew this was coming) stress. The solution to stomach pain depends on the cause. If you're stressed and anxious, try yoga or another mind-body exercise (there are lots of them!). Dietary changes, especially adding more fiber and probiotics to your diet, can keep your GI system moving more smoothly if your pain is linked to constipation or gas. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you might also want to give your gut some love by starting the day with a dose of probiotics or a prebiotic such as inulin. (Don’t overdo the inulin, though, as bulking up too quickly on this kind of fiber can cause stomach pain!) If you have an inflammatory condition, a practitioner can help you find treatments and remedies to alleviate the symptom. No matter what, try to find out the root cause of your grown-up belly ache. It’s fun to skip out on a day of school, but it’s a lot less fun when stomach pain forces you to skip out on important things in your life!

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