Stomach pain can ruin your day before it even begins. Most of the time, a stomach ache is probably nothing to be concerned about at all, especially if it's happening during that special time of the month, when Aunt Flo comes to visit and wreak all havoc on your body. But other times, the pain in your tummy might actually be something you should pay attention to, because it could be a symptom of a bigger problem. Looking out for red flags of stomach pain is easy, but only once you know what's normal and what's not.
Beyond your menstrual cycle, another thing you should always pay attention to is how your stomach responds to the food you eat. Healthline reports that you might be intolerant to some types of food without even realizing it at first, as you may have been attributing your stomach pain to something else entirely. But if you pay attention to how you feel after you eat different meals, you'll be able to notice patterns in your stomach pain. Similarly, if you know that the food you eat doesn't normally cause stomach aches, it'll be that much easier to get to the source of the problem ASAP.
Here are five stomach red flags to pay attention to, and what they might mean for your health.
1You're Constantly Nauseous, And Always Running To The Bathroom
A definite red flag to pay attention to here is if you notice you're throwing up blood along with the rest of your lunch. If this happens, you should see a doctor ASAP, because it could be caused by any number of health conditions that require professional assistance.
2A Sudden, Sharp Pain On The Right Side Of Your Stomach
When you feel like your pain is coming from a very specific part of your stomach, you should definitely talk to a medical professional ASAP. More specifically, if you're feeling sharp, sudden pain on the right side of your stomach, it could be a sign of appendicitis, according to Mayo Clinic, which means your appendix is inflamed.
If you have appendicitis, you'll most likely need to undergo surgery, so it's important that you get checked out immediately.
3The Pain Is Radiating From Your Stomach To Your Back
If you're feeling intense pain in the upper area of your stomach, and you notice the discomfort radiating down your back, it could be a sign of pancreatitis, aka an inflamed pancreas, according to Mayo Clinic.
Pancreatitis can happen acutely, meaning the pain sets in suddenly, or it can be chronic, which means the discomfort sustains itself over a long period of time. Pancreatitis can also go away on its own for some people, Mayo Clinic reports, but in other cases, you'll need to see a doctor and potentially undergo surgery, which is why it's important to communicate your symptoms to a professional to see what treatment is right for you.
4There's A Burning Pain Near Your Belly Button
One of the most common symptoms of a stomach ulcer is a burning sensation behind or near your belly button, eMedicineHealth reports. But what exactly is a stomach ulcer anyway?
According to Healthline, a stomach ulcer is a painful sore in the stomach lining which occurs when the mucus in your stomach lining is reduced. Most ulcers can be treated with a prescription, but some do require surgery, so it's definitely important that you get a diagnosis as soon as you can either way.
5Intense Cramping During Your Period
If you feel intense cramping during your period that feels borderline debilitating, there's a chance you may have undiagnosed endometriosis, a disorder in which the lining from your uterus grows outside of your uterus, according to Mayo Clinic.
Approximately 176 million women are impacted by endometriosis around the world, per the Endometriosis Foundation of America. There's no outright cure for endometriosis, but a proper diagnosis will help you learn how to cope with the symptoms day to day.