The second form of stomach ailment is vomiting, which is caused by viruses, alcohol, stress, pregnancy, bacteria or food poisoning. The best way to take care of yourself is to let your stomach rest. Do not eat or drink until you feel better, usually two to four hours.

Next start with tiny sips of clear, non-carbonated fluids because dehydration is a risk associated with vomiting. Symptoms of dehydration, which is defined as excessive loss of water from the body, are decreased urination, dry mouth, dizziness while standing and fatigue. A doctor's care is recommended if the vomiting does not stop within six to eight hours, if you have a fever over 100 degrees, severe headache or abdominal pain.

The third stomach problem is diarrhea, or frequent and watery bowel movements. Some causes include viruses, bacteria, food poisoning, stress and food sensitivities. Self treatments include consuming clear fluids and avoiding over-the-counter medications to let it run its course. However, if symptoms continue over-the-counter medications may work. But sometimes a prescription antibiotic is needed. Symptoms to watch out for include dehydration, fever over 100 degrees, severe pain and bloody stools.

The fourth stomach ailment occurs with sharp cramping pain in the lower and upper abdominal region. The causes include gas, constipation, menstrual cycle, stress, medications, peptic ulcer or another potentially serious condition. Severe pain, continuous pain and fever are reasons someone should consult a doctor.

The fifth aliment is constipation, which is defined as excessively hard and infrequent stools. Insufficient intake of water and fiber (found in whole wheat, bran, vegetables, and prunes), lack of exercise, medications are several causes for the problem. Increasing fluid and fiber intake may help the problem. But sufferers should seek a doctor's advice if they experience severe pain or rectal bleeding.

The sixth stomach problem is gas and bloating. Gas is caused by specific foods such as beans and cabbage, too much fiber, carbonated beverages and chewing gum. Gas can be alleviated by avoiding the listed items, taking an over-the-counter medication. However, a doctor's opinion is needed for persistent suffering.

Bloating is the common term for gas buildup in the intestines and stomach. Bloating is often appears with abdominal pain that may be relieved by gas or bowel movements. Fatty foods are often the cause. Fat slows stomach emptying and can increase the sensation of fullness. Bloating may also be related to stress, gastrointestinal infection or blockage or irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is defined as a condition distinguished by abdominal pain and/or cramping and changes in bowel function. This common disorder is also accompanied with diarrhea and constipation. Up to one in five Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. The disorder accounts for one out of every 10 doctor visits, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. However, there is good news. Irritable bowel syndrome can sometimes be treated by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress. Other times medication may be needed.

Over-the-counter solutions include fiber supplements to help with constipation or anti-diarrhea medications. Sometimes when symptoms include pain and depression, doctors may prescribe a tricylic antidepressant or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. These medications help relieve depression as well as inhibit neuron activity controlling the intestines. Side effects include drowsiness and constipations. Prozac and Paxil are examples of drugs in these categories. These options should be discussed with a physician.

Prescription medications include Alosetron is a nerve receptor antagonist that relaxes the colon and slows the movement of waste through the lower bowel. Tegaserod helps coordinate the nerves and muscles in the intestines. Both medications are only approved for short-term use in women. Alosetron and tegaserod should only be used after all other options have been exhausted. Physicians recommend they only be prescribed by gastroenterologist with expertise in IBS because of potential and harmful side effects.

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