The stomach is the organ of upper gastrointestinal tract. It is the initial place of food digestion. The stomach produces gastric acid which actually starts the process of digestion. The contractions of the stomach muscles provide with proper contact of the food with stomach acid and better digestion. These contractions additionally send food into the small intestine. This organ normally does not hurt. Still in some medical conditions, the pain in stomach can be rather intensive.
Painful Stomach Ache
The lining of the stomach is covered with thick layer of the mucus. The, mucus prevents the inner wall of the stomach from devastating effects of the stomach acid. In case that mucus is not produced in sufficient amounts certain parts of the stomach epithelium become exposed to stomach acid. The exposure to gastric acid leads to destruction of the superficial layer of the stomach lining and the pain occurs. The pain is sharp and intensive and usually occurs during meals since the food increases the production of stomach acid. Apart from the pain a patient also complains about heartburn and bloating.
The inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) can withdraw but in case that mucous membrane of the stomach is further exposed to stomach acid the damage can be even more severe. The initial inflammation will progress to stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers are painful sores of mucous membrane of the stomach. They are rather painful and require specific therapy. If left untreated certain complications such as bleeding or even perforation may occur. Bleeding from stomach ulcers as well as their perforation is accompanied with severe pain and represents life-threatening conditions.
Prevention of Stomach Ache
Gastritis and stomach ulcers can be successfully prevented and if they occur after all they can be successfully treated. Changes in patients' diet can reduce the production of stomach acid and reduce the pain. If a patient is taking certain medications which increase the acidity within the stomach he/ she will need to discontinue them or to take additional drugs which will prevent further damage of the stomach mucous membrane.
Gastritis and stomach ulcers are treated with several medications. They belong to three different groups, H2 blockers, blockers of proton pump and antacids. These medications reduce the production of stomach acid and help the mucous membrane to heal properly. These medications are also prescribed to people who are taking certain medications which cause increased production of gastric acid.
In conclusion, it is recommended for all people who are suffering from sharp pain in upper middle abdomen to visit their GPs and to see where the pain originates from and what the actual cause of the pain is.