For all but a gym-dedicated few, the abdomen tends to be a literal soft spot. But even without rock-hard abs, we shouldn’t feel too vulnerable, since the abdomen is well protected. As Healthline states, “The abdominal muscles provide postural support, protect internal organs, and perform other important functions.”
When describing the abdomen, it is commonly split into four quadrants. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the location of your stomach pain can give clinicians important clues about the problem you are experiencing. The right upper quadrant is home to the liver, gallbladder, part of the small and large intestines, part of the pancreas, and much of the stomach. The left upper quadrant hosts parts of the stomach, the spleen, and part of the small and large intestines. Pain in the lower left quadrant can include ovarian, fallopian tube, and uterine issues. It also holds part of the small and large intestines, including the sigmoid colon and rectum. The left kidney, ureter and half of the bladder also share this space. Lastly, the right lower quadrant includes urinary structures such as the right kidney, right ureter and right part of the bladder. Similarly, the right sided parts of the ovary, fallopian tube, and uterus share this quadrant. This part of the body is home to the small intestines, the first part of the colon, and the infamous appendix.
Here are some of the possible reasons why you experience stomach pain, and how to prevent or treat them.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Sometimes, spaghetti bolognese can prove to be a volcanic decision. That is because foods high in fat and acidity can trigger heartburn. According to the Mayo Clinic, heartburn occurs when stomach acid bubbles from its caldron into the esophagus. The cells of the esophagus are not adapted for a high pH environment, which is why they are susceptible to this condition.
It is normal for occasional heartburn to occur. However, frequent heartburn is commonly called gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). It is important to manage frequent heartburn in collaboration with a medical professional like a gastroenterologist. This is because GERD can result in increased risks of dangerous conditions like ulcers, perforated organs, and certain cancers.
Fortunately, GERD can be treated very effectively with oral medications such as proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and H2 receptor blockers such as Pepcid. These medicines are typically well-tolerated and inexpensive, especially when prescribed by a medical professional instead of purchased over the counter.