Signs & Symptoms of a Stomach Disorder

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Stomach disorders include a variety of conditions, including food allergies and intolerances, acid reflux, gastroenteritis and food poisoning as well as stomach ulcers, polyps and cancer. Although anyone can develop a stomach disorder, people who have a family history of stomach problems, eat certain types of foods, eat too much or too quickly or suffer from emotional stress are more likely to develop some types of stomach disorders. Consider this information derived from the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases about the signs and symptoms of stomach disorders.

Belching

People with stomach disorders may frequently belch (burp), and the belch may leave the person with a bad taste in the mouth. The belches may have a foul odor and may be difficult to control. Some people may find that certain foods, including caffeinated drinks, alcohol and greasy foods make the belching more frequent or severe.

Bloating

Bloating of the stomach and abdomen may develop in people with stomach disorders. The stomach may appear distended and swollen, as if the person were several months pregnant. People may have difficulty wearing or zipping their usual pants or skirts as a result of bloating.

Gas

Stomach disorders such as lactose intolerance may cause people to develop gas (flatulence), which may be uncontrollable. The gas may have a foul stench and can sometimes be accompanied by bowel or urinary incontinence. People may find that avoiding foods high in fiber, such as legumes and certain vegetables, can reduce the frequency of passing gas.

Heartburn

Stomach disorders such as acid reflux may cause people to have heartburn or a feeling of discomfort in the upper chest and throat. People may find that heartburn develops or gets worse after eating greasy or spicy foods or drinks containing caffeine or alcohol. Taking antacids or eating something bland such as saltine crackers may reduce the discomfort caused by heartburn.

Indigestion

People with stomach disorders such as polyps in the stomach may feel full quickly even after only eating a little food. They may feel as if they have a "brick in the stomach." People may find that greasy, fried or spicy foods increase or worsen feelings of indigestion.

Nausea

Stomach disorders such as polyps or cancer, as well as food intolerances and other conditions may cause people to become nauseous at the sight or smell of certain foods. Nausea may also be accompanied by loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, especially in people with food poisoning ("stomach flu").

Pain

People with stomach disorders such as lactose intolerance or food allergies may develop stomach and abdominal pain after eating dairy foods or the ingredients that trigger their allergies. Stomach cramps may also occur in people with disorders such as gastroenteritis. People may find that their stomach pain gets worse after eating a large meal or drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can irritate the stomach.

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