Gastric pain is quite a common problem in Malaysia. College students to high-flyers get them, but what really happens when you get gastric pain? Why does it happen, and what can you do to relieve the pain? Together, let’s understand gastric pain a little better!
What Is Gastric Pain?
Gastric pain is an informal term used to describe pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. In fact, gastric pain is just one condition out of many under the umbrella “gastritis”. Gastritis is a general term for a bunch of conditions related to inflammation of the lining of the stomach. So, in simple terms, gastric pain refers to pain that is caused by irritation, erosion or inflammation of the stomach lining.
How Does The Stomach Lining Get Inflamed?
Well, there could be a number of causes, including excessive alcohol consumption, infection, stress or other medical conditions. However, we’re going to focus on the most common cause associated with gastric pain almost everyone complains about: skipping meals. Actually, our body operates on a biological alarm, which means that it releases acid and enzymes when it predicts food intake. If we eat at regular times, the food intake and acid release timing syncs. When we skip a meal or do not eat at a usual time, the acid stays in the stomach without finding food. As we all know, acid has erosive properties, and it can irritate the stomach over time.
What Does It Feel Like Getting Gastric Pain?
As with many other conditions, symptoms may vary, but here are some typical symptoms:
- Excessive wind, which may cause bloating (and burping)
- A burning/gnawing pain
- Painful stomach contractions
- Feeling weak
- A strong desire to eat
- Not being able to eat much before feeling full again
Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all experienced it at some point.
What Do I Do To Get Rid Of The Pain?
If it’s just gastric pain due to a skipped meal or irregular eating, the pain goes away with time. Usually, feed yourself, and the pain will disappear. However, there are also over-the-counter medicine you can get at pharmacies if the pain is really excruciating and you need quick relief. Also, a tip on eating when you get gastric pain? Don’t eat too much at first. It’s likely your stomach is all gassy and irritated, so go slow with small amounts, and perhaps it’s best to lay off oily food till your stomach’s back to normal again. My personal regime is to sip hot water, then a hot beverage be it Milo or soup, before digging in.
Last but not least, the best thing to do? Eat regularly and don’t skip meals! Your stomach will thank you for it!