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Stomach Cramps

Muscle cramps can happen anywhere you have muscles, and that includes your stomach, where a cramp may be mistaken for a ‘generic’ bellyache, indigestion, upset stomach or side stitch.

When a muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen-carrying blood to meet its needs muscle cramps can occur. When stress, overindulgence or heavy exercise after a big meal sets the stage, your stomach can become the fall guy for cramping.

Stomach cramps
are usually a painful squeezing sensation that comes and goes over a span of minutes. They crescendo up and then decrease. By the way, the squeezing sensation does not always originate in your stomach. Sometimes the trouble is further down.

Take, for example, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, a troubling and unexplained digestive problem that can cause pain, cramps, diarrhea and constipation. What you perceive as stomach cramps are actually spasms of the intestines. You get cramps only when you have the urge to go to the bathroom with less severe cases of IBS, and they go away after you’ve defecated.

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