Are you experiencing back pain with stomach pain? Is it chronic or did it just start? Is it a dull all-over ache or is it a shooting pain on one side? Stomach pain with back pain is very common and can have several different causes.
What Causes Stomach Pain with Back Pain?
- Gluten Intolerance
Gluten intolerance is a common cause of stomach and back pain. A person with gluten intolerance is unable to digest the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. As a result, when gluten is eaten, the immune system attacks the intestines as though it were a harmful invader. This causes chronic inflammation in the lower intestine, which can result in simultaneous back and stomach pain. Other symptoms of gluten intolerance include chronic diarrhea, constipation, sudden weight loss, hair loss, skin rash, muscle aches, brain fog, anxiety and irritability.
The only successful treatment for gluten intolerance is a strict, life-long adherence to a gluten free diet. To find out if gluten intolerance is causing your pain, try a gluten elimination diet for one month. After the 30-day period is over, reintroduce gluten to check for a reaction.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome can sometimes be caused by underlying gluten or lactose intolerance. This is another common disorder that can cause stomach and back pain. The gut and brain are very closely connected and in some people, the gut responds more directly to brain stimulation. Feelings of stress and anxiety often trigger intestinal and colon spasms that can cause both your back and stomach to hurt at the same time. Other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include bloating, flatulence, loose stools, and loss of appetite. Irritable bowel syndrome can often be effectively controlled with stress-management techniques and a high-fiber diet.
- Kidney Stones
Another common cause of back pain with stomach pain is kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard, round mineral deposits that form within the kidney or urinary tract. Symptoms of kidney stones are sudden onset of severe pain in the lower back, groin or abdomen. Pain increases and decreases in severity as time goes by. Other symptoms of kidney stones include blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and penile pain. Oftentimes, kidney stones will pass on their own with 48 hours. The intake of plenty of pure water is recommended and pain relievers can be used as needed. For large kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe calcium channel blockers and alpha blockers to relieve pain and encourage the stone to pass.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for making digestive juices and regulating insulin. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, you may experience sudden and severe back pain with stomach pain as well as nausea, vomiting, swollen abdomen, fever, chills, and rapid heartbeat. Pancreatitis can also lead to diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, liver problems, and anemia. Natural treatments for pancreatitis include abstinence from alcohol and the use of digestive enzymes to avoid malnutrition. It is also advisable for people with pancreatitis to avoid refined grain and sugars and all fried and processed foods. Your meals should be healthy and easy to digest. Vegetable juicing is recommended.
Appendicitis is one of those cases where severe stomach and back pain could be quite serious. Appendicitis occurs when your appendix becomes infected and inflamed. If left untreated, the appendix can rupture and be fatal. Symptoms of appendicitis include belly button pain, abdominal pain, pain that gets worse when you move your legs, cough or sneeze, low-grade fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and rebound pain (pressing on the belly, the pain gets worse when pressure is released).
Gallstones are crystalline masses found in the gallbladder, which can lead to extreme pain, inflammation, and blockage of the bile duct. Symptoms of gallstones include increasing pain in the right upper abdomen, pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades, and pain under the right shoulder. A doctor should be consulted if pain persists more than 5 hours or is accompanied by fever and chills, nausea, vomiting, clay-colored stools or yellowing of the skin or eyes. The most common conventional treatment for gallstones is prescription medication to help dissolve the stones (oral and intravenous) or, in severe cases, surgery. To avoid future gallstone attacks, it is recommended that you eat a nutritious diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, peanuts, coffee, and minimal amounts of alcohol such as a glass of wine a day.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurism
An abdominal aortic aneurism occurs when the blood vessel that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes abnormally large. Symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurism are only felt if the blood vessel ruptures suddenly. These symptoms include sudden onset of stomach and back pain that radiates to the groin, buttocks or legs, rapid heart rate, clammy skin, and shock. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Back pain with stomach pain can also be the result of pregnancy. Look back over your monthly calendar. Are you late for your menstrual period? Have you been having morning sickness? If so, you could be expecting. Other pregnancy symptoms include spotting, white discharge from the vagina, swollen or tingly breasts, fatigue, frequent urination, mood swings, headache, dizziness, and fainting.
The cause of back pain with stomach pain can be hard to pin down. After all, many health conditions are associated with similar symptoms. The process of elimination always works best when trying to figure out mystery symptoms. Diet, stress levels, exposure to chemicals, and prescription medications are the most common causes of unusual symptoms.
Don’t give up. Keep doing your research and book an appointment with a naturopathic physician in your area. You don’t have to put up with stomach and back pain. Once you get to the bottom of it, you can take the necessary steps to get well and stay well.
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