What Is a Stomachache?
A stomachache is any pain associated with the area between the chest and the groin. Stomachaches can be brought on for a number of reasons, but largely have to do either with the abdominal lining, or referred pain from an organ residing in the abdominal area. Referred pain means that the pain is associated with a specific part of the body, but is felt somewhere else.
Certain foods are well-known for causing stomachaches. Any food that promotes gas or allergies in the body will cause the digestive organs to transmit pain to the abdomen. This is a warning that either you need to release the gas and the body is having a hard time doing so, or the food you are eating is not agreeing with your body and needs to be immediately expelled.
Many times your stomachache is acting as a signal to your body that something is not going right. This is the case with stomachaches associated with constipation. When the body is no longer able to expel waste, it sends out a signal to your brain, which in turn sends out a pain signal to you so that you are aware that something is wrong. The stomachache is usually relieved once the body's waste process is moving again.
A stomachache can often be a warning sign for a more serious issue. An example of this would be with food poisoning. Once your body detects that the food you have ingested is harmful, your brain sends a pain signal alerting you to the problem through the stomachache. Once the poison is able to pass from the body, the stomachache subsides. This is the same case with foreign invaders such as the flu virus. The stomachache associated with the bug acts as a signal that something is wrong.
A stomachache can also be referred pain from inflammation of other organs in the abdomen. Examples of this include appendicitis, gall bladder infections, kidney infections, urinary tract infections, pancreatitis and ulcers. The inflammatory process stimulates the nerves in the area that causes pain. The pain is then referred to the abdomen and felt as a stomachache.