What’s Causing Your Stomachache?

Stomach discomfort can have many causes, and various conditions can have similar symptoms. Your primary care physician (PCP) or a gastroenterologist can diagnosis you, but you may want to familiarize yourself with some common disorders ahead of your visit.

Acid Reflux/Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
The symptoms of acid reflux (and its chronic version, GERD) include a cough, and pain and burning in your throat, chest and stomach. Your doctor can help you identify your triggers, which may be certain foods, medicine or even stress, and may recommend self-care and diet changes, as well as prescription medicines.

Crohn’s Disease
This chronic inflammatory condition affects the digestive tract, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and weight loss. Crohn’s can be managed with lifestyle changes and prescription medicines.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease can cause symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever and weight loss. Prescription medicines, as well as diet changes and low-impact exercise, may be able to help manage the condition.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS affects mostly women, and what causes it is unknown. Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramps. You may be advised to make diet and lifestyle modifications, and your doctor may prescribe medicine.

Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes sores in the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea (sometimes bloody). Treatment may be a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

Need Help Finding a Doctor?
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey wants to help you get the care you need. To find an in-network PCP or gastroenterologist, visit HorizonBlue.com/doctorfinder.

Always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your exercise or diet.

Sources: WebMD®, Healthline