stomach pain

The patient said she had continuous stomach pain day and night that got worse eating.

Her doctors could not find anything wrong.

Obviously, something was wrong. You’re not supposed to have ongoing stomach pain all throughout the day and evening. And eating is not supposed to make your stomach feel worse.

This patient’s complaint was in a health forum. One has to wonder if she’d had a CT scan of her abdomen or even an ultrasound.

Another important question is what the specialty of the doctors were who told her that they couldn’t find anything wrong.

If your doctors have told you that they have not found anything wrong, you need to keep pursuing this matter.

What could possibly cause constant stomach pain that worsens with eating?

“The only thing that comes to mind that can explain such a complaint would be a form of gastritis, or inflammation of the lining of the stomach,” says Morton Tavel, MD, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and author of “Health Tips, Myths and Tricks: A Physician’s Advice.”

“Such a problem could arise from a number of causes such as chemical irritation by alcohol and others, infections and possibly even cancer,” says Dr. Tavel.

“Such discomfort ordinarily requires consultation with a physician adept at dealing with gastrointestinal disorders, but if nothing was found after a previous consultation, simple gastritis might not show up with many common X-ray procedures.

“Gallbladder disease, which seems unlikely, might be a remote possibility to explain similar complaints.”

Stress and Constant Stomach Pain

Chronic or acute anxiety or emotional stress can cause knots in the stomach that result in an uncomfortable feeling.

It can persist all day long, due to muscle tension and/or acid reflux (stress is one of reflux’s triggers).

But even a lot of mental turmoil shouldn’t cause “constant stomach pain day and night,” especially if eating makes it worse.

One Day vs. Ongoing

Persistent abdominal pain for several hours that worsens with eating can be caused by gas. This may last for several hours or for part of the day and gradually resolves.

But for those with this same problem day after day, and nearly continuously, it’s not going to be gas.

If your doctor tells you that these precise symptoms are being caused by mental anguish, keep searching for the correct diagnosis. Make sure you get a full blood workup and the appropriate imaging studies.

morton tavel, MD

Dr. Tavel’s medical research includes over 125 publications, editorials and book reviews in peer-reviewed national medical journals. He was formerly director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Vincent Hospital in Indiana.