Monday, October 5, 2009

Severe pain in stomach

What causes stomach pains?

Question by Mr Tham
I will be turning 30 this year. For the past three weeks, I've had bad stomach pains that are accompanied by nausea and a pulling pain in my heart. I even vomited. Before this, I never had any problems with my stomach, even when I didn't take frequent meals. What could be the reason for the pain, and how can I manage it? Is there any underlying medical condition I should be aware of?

Reply from Dr Bhavesh Doshi

Consultant, Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University Medicine Cluster, National University Hospital

Most cases of abdominal pain are related to indigestion. Patients will usually experience symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. I would advise you to see a doctor for a detailed examination. You may be given simple medication to reduce the gastric "acidity" in your stomach. The doctor may also advise lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy, balanced diet. You may need to cut down on smoking and alcohol consumption as these factors can increase gastric acidity.

If the symptoms persist, it is important to have a proper examination to ensure that they are not due to more serious conditions such as stomach ulcers. You will be referred to a specialist for a further evaluation of your symptoms. The specialist may request for a gastroscopy (where a flexible tube is inserted through the mouth to "see" the stomach), an abdominal ultrasound (to look for gallstones) and blood tests if necessary.

The information provided above is for your general knowledge only. You should seek medical advice or treatment for your condition. Email questions to

From TODAY, Health – Tuesday, 08-Sep-2009