Feeling of Being Punched in the Stomach? Is it Something to Worry?

Ever had a pain that corresponded to the feeling of being punched in the stomach? Many of you might have experienced it!

This sort of pain can vary from being dull to severe. This solely depends on different individuals and on the type of disease causing this pain.

The causes behind this feeling can be diverse and variable. This pain alone does not indicate any disease. There are certain diseases that might make you feel like this. So, in case you are having this sort of feeling, consider visiting a doctor.

In this article, I will give you an insight into the probable causes of this kind of feeling. And will also narrate the treatment and prevention of these conditions.

Let’s dig into the details!

Causes the Feeling of Being Punched in the Stomach

This certain type of abdominal pain can indicate a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all the gut diseases will make you feel like this.

So, what causes the feeling of being punched in the stomach? Take a glance at the following diseases that may give you this feel

Peptic ulcer

The development of sores in the stomach or small intestine lining is called a peptic ulcer. Sometimes the sores are even seen in the lower esophagus lining. The inflammation is generally caused by H.pylori bacteria. But erosion due to stomach acids may also result in this sort of inflammation.

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Symptoms

Abdominal pain is the main symptom in the case of peptic ulcers. Here you can experience a burning sensation from the umbilicus to the chest. Or, you can have a feeling of being punched in the stomach or experience a burning sensation.  Rarely, this pain may disturb your sleep at night.

Peptic ulcer

But abdominal pain solely doesn’t indicate a peptic ulcer. Other symptoms that may accompany abdominal pain:

  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Retching
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Bloody dark stools
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you experience abdominal pain alongside these symptoms, then it might be a peptic ulcer.

Treatment

Enduring this sort of pain can make you agitated. It is important to seek treatment in order to get rid of it. In case you are diagnosed with a peptic ulcer, the following treatments might be given

  • Medicines like PPIs (Prilosec or Prevacid) or acid blockers (Famotidine) might be prescribed.
  • If it’s severe like stomach cancer, then only medication won’t work. The treatment here will depend on the severity of your condition.

Prevention

You can avoid such pain in the stomach by making certain lifestyle choices

  • Consume a balanced diet with vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid smoking
  • Drink a maximum of two alcoholic beverages a day
  • Avoid infections by washing hand often
  • Limit the use of naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin

Other than these, you can try out a supplement called Probio Lite. This will help you with your acid reflux problem and prevent ulcers.

Acute Pancreatitis

Sudden inflammation of the pancreas is called acute pancreatitis. This might be life-threatening or mild depending on the severity. But generally subsides within a few days to few weeks.

Symptoms

Feeling of being punched in the stomach after eating can be your primary symptom of acute pancreatitis.This pain generally includes the upper abdomen. Other symptoms include are:

Acute Pancreatitis
  • Radiation of the pain at the back
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness of the abdomen

Having a constant feeling of being punched in the stomach alongside these symptoms? Consult a doctor immediately! You might be suffering from acute pancreatitis!

Treatment

This disease is certainly treatable. Following are the treatments your doctor may suggest

Endoscopic Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): This might be used for the treatment of both chronic and acute pancreatitis. This process is a combination of x-rays and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. 

It treats blockage or narrowing of the pancreatic or bile duct. This might be used to remove gallstones too!

Cholecystectomy: This refers to the removal of gallstones through surgery.

Prevention

Certainly, you don’t want to experience this punched or kicked in the gut feeling. So, take a look at the following preventions

  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Try not to get obese
  • Check if you have hypertriglyceridemia
  • Check if you have hyperparathyroidism and hypercalcemia
  • Receive treatment if you have gallstones

It is possible to stay away from pancreatitis by avoiding its risk factors. Consider changing your lifestyle according to the above mentioned tips. This may not save you from pancreatitis completely but will reduce the possibility.

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Dissecting Aneurysm or Aortic Dissection

When the inner layer of the aorta tears, it is called aortic dissection. Aorta is a large blood vessel that branches off from the heart. So, when it tears blood surges through it.

 Aortic Dissection

This results in the separation of the middle and inner layers of the aorta. Sometimes, though the outside aortic wall, this blood-filled channel may rupture. This situation is very fatal.

Symptoms

Having severe abdominal pain which may feel like being punched in the stomach? This is a typical symptom of aortic dissection.  Some other symptoms may accompany this pain:

  • Severe upper back or chest pain. This may give a ripping sensation that may radiate to the neck.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Leg pain
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Leg paralysis
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Loss of proper vision
  • Weak pulse

Abdominal pain accompanied by chest pain is considered critical. Immediately consult a doctor in such conditions.

Treatment

Here are the treatments for dissecting an aneurysm

  1. Beta-blockers and nitroprusside medications can be prescribed. These are given to lower the heart rate and reduce blood pressure. These can prevent the worsening of aortic dissection.
  2. Graft can be inserted to reconstruct the aorta. This is a surgical procedure.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure! Tolerating a severe weakness and stomach pain suddenly is definitely terrifying. And in the case of dissecting aneurysm, this can be fatal as well. Here are some preventive measures that you can follow

  • Quit smoking
  • Wear a seat belt to avoid traumatic injury
  • Keep your blood pressure under control
  • Control your weight. Avoid becoming obese
  • Consider seeing a doctor often if you have a family history of dissecting aneurysm.

Blind Loop Syndrome or Stasis Syndrome

Sometimes a loop is formed in a specific part of the small intestine. Food generally bypasses this area at the time of digestion. This situation is called the blind loop syndrome. Foods tend to move slowly because of this. So, bacteria may grow in the stomach causing pain, malnutrition, and weight loss.

Generally, the condition may occur after abdominal surgery. So, it is included in the list of surgery complications. But it can also be caused by some other diseases.

Symptoms

Stomach pain is a common symptom of blind loop syndrome. You might have dull to moderate pain that certainly makes you suffer. Other symptoms might be:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Discomfort after eating
  • Weight loss

Feeling of being punched in the stomach and nausea can be an indication of stasis syndrome. But these two symptoms do not necessarily mean that you are suffering from it. It might be the symptom of some other disease too. So, consider consulting a doctor for ensuring your condition.

Treatment

  • Antibiotic therapy for controlling the bacterial overgrowth
  • A lactose-free diet and nutritional supplements might be given
  • In some cases, surgery may be needed

Prevention

As this is generally a complication of surgery, there’s no specific prevention here. You can just remain careful about any symptoms indicating stasis syndrome.

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis can be defined as inflammation and infection of the digestive tract. This is often called stomach flu. Typically, it is caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Gastroenteritis

You may have a feeling of being punched in the stomach in this case. But this sort of pain is rare here.

Symptoms

Certainly, abdominal pain is the first thing you will experience in the case of gastroenteritis. Alongside abdominal pain, you may have the following symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Bloating
  • Lethargy
  • Body ache

Having these symptoms alongside abdominal pain might indicate gastroenteritis. But visit a doctor for confirmation.

Treatment

Gastroenteritis treatment is given based on the cause. Some of them might be:

  • Oral rehydration drinks
  • Parasite killing drugs
  • Antibiotics for bacteria
  • Plenty of fluids

Prevention

You can prevent gastroenteritis by being a bit conscious in your daily life. Following are the preventive steps

  • Wash hands before preparing any food
  • The utensils used for cooking foods should be cleaned properly
  • Keep the food in the freeze to avoid bacterial growth
  • Keep your washroom clean

Stress

Some people complained that they experienced substernal pain after overworking. The pain felt like being punched in the stomach. You may also feel upper stomach pain while when walking.

While you are stressed, the adrenal gland makes cortisol hormone. This is then released into the bloodstream. Subsequently, your body faces a fight-or-flight response. This affects your physiology to some extent.

Symptoms

Stress may include both physical and emotional responses.  Alongside stimulating abdominal discomfort and nausea, it may exhibit certain symptoms

  • Tiredness
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Sleeping problem
  • Chest pain
  • Migraine
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Loss of creativity

Again, chronic stress may lead to habits like smoking and drinking alcohol more than normal. This also triggers stomach discomfort leading to pain.

Management

There are certain ways in which you can try to reduce and control your stress. Look at the following ways

  • Consume healthy foods
  • Perform regular exercise
  • Try out meditation or yoga
  • Take time for processing your feelings
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Practice your hobbies
  • Ask for social help
  • Stop relying on smoking or drugs to diminish stress
  • Visit a psychologist if needed.

Prevention

Though there is no specific prevention of stress, you can make some lifestyle changes. Take a look at them

  • Don’t over exhaust yourself
  • Learn to control your emotions
  • Try to solve life problems in a positive way

Sometimes, stress may cause symptoms like some other diseases. In this case, it is better to consult with a doctor for confirmation.

Constipation

If the intestines cannot move the bowels as a result of any physical or mechanical blockage, then it is termed constipation. The motility of the bowels is hampered. So, you may have less than three bowel movements in a week.

The abdominal pain in this case can be cramping pain. Sometimes the pain may be dull. Here, you might feel like being punched in the stomach.

Symptom

Though abdominal pain is the primary symptom of constipation, you may experience the following symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Any tumor
  • Abdominal distention

Treatment

Doctors may recommend medicines in case the home remedies do not work for you. Following are some of them:

  • Medicines like Trulance, Linzess, and Amitiza draw water into the intestines
  • Prucalopride aids to move the feces through the colon.
  • Relistor and Movantik can be given if constipation occurs due to opioids. These meds reverse the effects of opioids.

Prevention

Constipation can be prevented by taking some home remedies. Let’s take a look at them

  • Eat more fiber
  • Drink plenty of water
  • You can try out an herbal laxative
  • Do exercises
  • Have prebiotic foods
  • Avoid dairy

Constipation is a very common problem. But you should not ignore any of these symptoms. Consult the doctor if the problem persists.

Conclusion

Abdominal might not be something to worry about. Yet sometimes it is an indication of some severe diseases. So, it is always recommended to visit the doctor in such conditions.Feeling of being punched in the stomach is quite a common sort of stomach pain. Yet many people do not have proper knowledge about it. This article gives an insight into the causes of this type of feeling. And also narrates about the treatment alongside prevention.

FAQs

Q. Why did I wake up with my stomach hurting?

The most probable reason for morning stomach pain can be indigestion. If you consume unhealthy food at night, you might experience pain in the morning. Pain might also be accompanied by bloating and nausea. The pain can also indicate serious issues like ulcers or gallbladder disease.

Q. Why do I feel pressure on the right side of abdomen?

There are certain reasons for having right abdominal pain. Mostly it is related to the liver as it is a vital organ. Here are a few common causes:

  • Liver disease
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver infection
  • Gallstones
  • Appendicitis
  • Infection on the right side of the colon
  • Kidney disease

Q. When the stomach feels blocked?

Whenever something blocks your stomach, then intestinal blockage may occur. In this condition you may have certain symptoms:

  • Not being able to pass gas or stool
  • Abdominal cramp
  • Vomiting

If the intestine gets blocked completely, then it is considered an emergency situation. Consult a doctor immediately in such situations.

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Zahin Ibnat

I'm a medical student from Bangladesh. Along the path of my life, medical science has always entranced and enticed me through it's continuous advancement. I believe being health conscious and having a wholesome lifestyle should be our utmost priority. Being a medical student, I like to share my opinions and views on different aspects of medical science in order to enlighten people with knowledge and to motivate them to become aware of their own health condition. We all need to remember that health comes first! So, I hope that my work will help out and benefit people and assist them to remain hale and hearty in their daily life. Zahin Ibnat MBBS (3rd year) Armed Forces Medical College, Bangladesh

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