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What Are the Most Common Causes of a Constant Upset Stomach?

Diets high in fat and sugar cause upset stomach.
Doctor examining patient's stomach.
An illustration of a human stomach.
There are various reasons why stomach aches occur.
Peppermint and chamomile teas can sooth upset stomachs.
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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2014
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A constant upset stomach can be caused by a number of different factors,, including stress and an unhealthy lifestyle. When a constant upset stomach is accompanied by bloating or severe pain, it is necessary to visit with a medical doctor. Identifying the cause of regular stomach pain can be achieved by eliminating various possibilities.

Diet can cause a person to suffer from a constant upset stomach. A diet that is high in fat or sugar may lead to stomach upset. Likewise, eating meals too quickly can cause an excessive amount of gas and bloating. Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may also lead to digestive problems. In addition to food consumption, abdominal pain may be caused by a high level of stress or certain medications that irritate the stomach lining.

Occasionally, a constant upset stomach is a sign of a serious medical condition. Some medical conditions associated with severe stomach pain include peptic ulcers and cardiac ischemia. If stomach upset persists for more than one week, regardless of altering one's diet or taking over-the-counter medication, it is best to speak with a medical doctor concerning this condition.

In order to diagnose the cause of a constant upset stomach, a doctor must perform a general checkup. Through a process of elimination, the cause of stomach pain can usually be determined. In most instances, stomach discomfort can be treated with prescription medication. Depending on the cause of pain, a medical procedure, such as surgery, may be necessary.

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When weight loss and bloody stools are associated with stomach pain, it is vital that medical attention be sought immediately. In this case, an endoscopy may be necessary in order to diagnose the cause of a constant upset stomach. Those who wish to avoid a visit to a medical doctor can attempt to find the underlying cause of stomach upset by keeping a food diary, avoiding alcohol, eating meals slowly, and avoiding any anti-inflammatory medications that may lead to minute pain. It is also important to avoid stressful situations, since stress can play a large part when it comes to abdominal pain.

Keep in mind that any persistent stomach pain may require medical attention. If the aforementioned self-diagnosis tactics do not work, make an appointment with a general medical practitioner as soon as possible. As with other parts of the body that may cause distress, stomach upset can be an indication that a more serious disease is lurking.

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Discuss this Article

anon343146
Post 13

I am on my period and having vary bad stomach pains. It keeps me up all night. What do I do?

anon330450
Post 12

I've been having problems since I can remember. It started when I was little and it's still happening.

Sometimes I go three times to the toilet and sometimes once. When I don't go to the toilet for a long time, then I have diarrhea and pain all the time.

I went to a doctor a lot of times, but nobody cared about me. They say its just because I'm stressed but it's getting chronic. Now I'm really depressed about my life. I'm not sure if there`s help for me.

anon327471
Post 11

Ever since my school days, I had stomach pain and I took ranitidine for three months, and I was cured at that time. After a ten-year gap, again I had stomach pain and without consulting the doctor, I took an omeprazole from the medical shop and again didn't have pain for another two years.

Now again I am having the same problem and am hurting severely. I even went to the hospital to see the doctor and started medication, but still I am having severe stomach pain associated with back ache. Kindly advise me, please.

anon318920
Post 10

I like to share a miracle, and maybe someone else can benefit from it.

I have had stomach upset from last four years, rushing to the toilet five or six times a day. I have been consulting specialists and one of them advised me to see if any food makes it worse. After omitting certain food for certain days, I found red onion was making it worse. Onions have so many good qualities but in my case, they were causing me more trouble. When I stopped eating red onion, my problem was cured by half. I had no problem with orange onions.

It’s always good to consult your medical specialist, but sometimes they might not have an answer for you. A couple of weeks ago, I was having craving for “Jal Jeera” -- something I have not had from years. I took a half tablespoon of Jal Jeera and mixed it with cold 7-up, and enjoyed with my dinner. The next day, I was feeling real good, so I had Jal Jeera again over the next couple days. Touch wood, my problem is gone since then. Now I only have to use the toilet once a day.

anon305925
Post 9

I've had stomach pain since I was five years old. Every time I went to school, my stomach would start to hurt, so I couldn't eat breakfast Monday through Friday. My parents say it's because I'm nervous, but I haven't asked my doctor yet.

Sometimes I would rush to the bathroom, but other times I don't. I'm perfectly fine on Saturday and Sunday, but there are certain foods I can't eat since I get pain.

anon284191
Post 8

I've been having lots of trouble with my stomach for a few months now. It seems to be getting worse along with bad chest pain. I went to my doc and he said it was my nerves and I have acid reflux. It feels like I'm going to throw up all the time. He gave me Nexium, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Does anyone else have an upset stomach and chest pain at the same time every day? Should I go back to the doc or wait it out? And also does anyone think antibiotics might help? Thanks.

starrynight
Post 7

@SZapper - It's great your mom believed you were really sick. I bet a lot of other parents might have believed the doctors when they said you were making it up!

I've suffered from stomach problems that took a little while to diagnose as well so I feel your pain. My symptoms were constant upset stomach and gas. I also went through tons of tests but eventually the doctors figured out I had a food allergy.

I developed an allergy to chicken as an adult! What a disappointment. On the other hand ever since I cut chicken out of my diet my stomach has felt great. I sure miss wings though.

SZapper
Post 6

Stomach pain can be so tricky. When I was in middle school I had constant stomach pain. I was also nauseas and tired all the time. I missed a lot of school and went to a lot of doctors. I went through test after test and the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me!

Luckily my mom believed I was really sick even though many doctors told her I was probably just "stressed out" or "didn't want to go to school." She did some research of her own and figured out I probably had a fungal infection from a medication I had taken the previous summer.

My mom convinced my doctor to do the test and lo and behold she was right! I had candidiasis which is basically a systemic yeast infection instead of the more localized kind we're more familiar with.

wantasiam
Post 5

@Domido - An upset stomach is discomfort brought on by heartburn, nausea, gas, bloating, or pain in the stomach or abdominal region of the body. The medical term for it is dyspepsia, meaning literally "painful digestion".

poppyseed
Post 4

My mom had constant indigestion and acid reflux for as long as I’ve been alive (let’s just say I’m less than forty and more than 29, okay).

She had prescriptions out of the yin yang, and even resorted to shoveling in mouthfuls of baking soda at times. I wouldn’t do that last, by the way, because it can cause stomach ulcers, and actually did for her.

No matter what she did, however, still left her with a severe upset stomach all of the time. She literally didn’t drink orange juice for over 20 years because it gave her such bad heartburn.

After all this time, and several endoscopies, a doctor finally discovered that she had had a rare thing happen to her. Nobody really seems to know why this happened, but it did.

Her stomach actually was enclosing a large part of her esophagus. It was like someone had forcibly pushed her stomach up and around it. And, it had been this way for so long that her esophagus cells had actually begun to take on the traits of her stomach cells.

As a result, a large portion of her esophagus was constantly engulfed by stomach acid.

They did a surgery that pulled the stomach back down to where it ought to have been, and at first she couldn’t eat at all. Then she went to fluids and things like pudding. Now, however, she can eat whatever she wants!

One of the first things she did as soon as she was able to was to drink a gallon of orange juice – and she never got heartburn either.

Domido
Post 3

This may seem like a silly question, but I’m serious about it when I ask it.

Growing up, my mom and dad were great parents. They were very supportive and positive reinforcers. However, anything having to do with such things as peeing, pooping, menstrual cycles or sex had them running for the door.

As a result, we also heard stuff said in a very hushed whisper like, “Bless his heart. He’s got (in a very soft tone) an upset stomach.” Or you might hear in the sweetest tone imaginable, “Poor baby. (Again, really softly) Her stomach is running off.”

Now, nobody ever bothered to stop and tell me what any of this actually meant.

So, is an upset stomach having diarrhea? Or is it being nauseous or having indigestion or stomach gas?

I guess what I really want to know is, what is an actual upset stomach?

sunshined
Post 2

There are so many things that can cause an upset stomach, but if this is something that is constant and does not go away, I would have a doctor check it out. If someone has a chronic upset stomach, you should know what is causing it.

Stress does play a big part in having an upset stomach, but there are many other things as well. One of the first things I would do is rule out any kind of food poisoning. If you can rule that out, and you continue to have problems, it never hurts to have it checked out.

bagley79
Post 1

I was having some unusual abdominal pain and stomach cramps. I went to the doctor and they did a gallbladder ultrasound to make sure my gallbladder was OK. Then I was scheduled for an endoscopy.

Turns out my stomach pain was related to acid reflux. Once I started on some Nexium, and later switched to over the counter Prilosec, I didn't have any more trouble.

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