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From the pangs of hunger to a stomach ache to doubled-over cramping, the stomach sends a range of signals about its state of being. Yet, it’s often hard to pin down what is causing your symptoms. Is it indigestion, food poisoning, a stomach bug—or a more chronic condition?

All articles in Stomach

You feel a burning sensation in your chest. You sit up, and it seems to get better. But as soon as you lay back down, the pain comes back. You likely have heartburn. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid travels up into your esophagus and burns its lining.

Throwing up clear liquid is a sign your body wants to get rid of a toxin when there’s no food in your stomach. Usually, it’s a sign of a stomach bug, but it can also be from hormonal changes like morning sickness during pregnancy.

Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, causes a burning pain or heartburn in the chest area. Acid reflux occurs because stomach acid flows up the esophagus. Changing what you eat is the easiest way to stop symptoms. Some people with GERD also take medication to lower the amount of stomach acid.

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Gastritis, in general, refers to inflammation of the stomach lining due to a failure of normal protective mechanisms. Acute gastritis is a condition that resolves within days to weeks. Symptoms include nausea or vomiting, a loss of appetite, belly pain, bloating, or passing blood in severe cases.

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Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach. It causes nausea and vomiting, stomach pain and bloating, and heartburn. It is usually caused by bacteria, but can be caused by medications and other issues. Finding the best treatment for the inflammation is the key to getting relief.

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Food poisoning is an illness of the digestive tract caused by eating contaminated food. It causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and may cause dehydration. Food poisoning could be caused by germs like bacteria, viruses, or parasites or by toxins created by germs.

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Viral gastroenteritis—usually called a stomach flu or bug—is a common infection. It’s also highly contagious. It can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but usually goes away in a day or two.

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Stomach ulcers are sores or breaks in the stomach lining and are caused by inflammation. The h. pylori bacteria and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are two of the main causes. They are treatable.

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Dyspepsia (indigestion) is discomfort or pain in the stomach, usually just after you eat. There’s no apparent physical cause for it (it’s not caused by an ulcer, there aren’t high levels of stomach acid).

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Throwing up dark vomit is usually a sign you have internal bleeding or a serious infection, which are medical emergencies. Here’s what to look out for—and what to do.

Pain in your abdomen can be from small things like a virus or food intolerance. But it can also be a sign of a serious issue like appendicitis or a bowel obstruction. Here’s how to figure out what’s causing your pain.

Common causes of stomach cramps include eating foods that can irritate your stomach, constipation, food poisoning, or a stomach bug.

Everyone experiences bloating sometimes, and it’s usually just a temporary problem. But bloating can be a sign of chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease that need to be treated by your doctor.

Regurgitation is when food, liquid, or stomach acid flows back up from the stomach and into the mouth. It can happen from eating too fast. Or if you are overweight or pregnant. If it happens a lot, there may be an underlying issue.

Retching, or dry heaving, occurs when you feel the need to vomit but nothing (or very little) comes up. Common causes include stomach infections, heartburn, and morning sickness.

Sometimes the cause is obvious, such as a stomach virus. But a decreased appetite can be a sign of many different conditions, including depression, hypothyroidism, and even cancer.

Stomach spasms aren’t usually an emergency. They’re often caused by heartburn, but other triggers are more serious and require urgent care, such as a gallbladder infection. Here’s how to tell when you need a doctor and when to go to the ER.

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Rumination syndrome is a disorder where recently swallowed food is spat back up or regurgitated. It usually happens after each meal. The symptoms of rumination syndrome can mimic other conditions, so a careful diagnosis is important.

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Lactose intolerance means you can’t digest the sugar (lactase) in dairy products. It can cause painful stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea. Avoiding dairy can stop symptoms but be sure to replace the nutrients you’re missing by making changes to your diet.

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Nausea is that queasy feeling in your stomach that makes you feel like you're going to vomit. Usually, nausea is from an infection, pregnancy, taking certain medication, or acid reflux.

Salmonella poisoning, also known as salmonellosis, is a type of food poisoning you can get from drinking water or eating food that is contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria.

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Projectile vomiting is a forceful type of throwing up that can seem scary. The good news is that many of its causes—such as food poisoning and stomach bugs—aren’t dangerous and are often easy to treat.