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Gastrointestinal

Abdominal Pain

Appendicitis

Constipation

Diarrhea

Heartburn/GERD

Irritable Bowel

Stomach Flu or Gastroenteritis 

Abdominal Pain

There are many causes of abdominal pain. If you have severe abdominal pain or cramping that progressively worsens, see a healthcare provider.

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis is a serious condition. See a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Symptoms

  • Severe abdominal pain that starts in the upper part of your abdomen or around your belly button and moves to the lower right part of your abdomen
  • Tenderness when the right lower abdomen is pressed
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mild fever

Additional Resources

Constipation

Symptoms

  • Hard, infrequent stools that are difficult to pass
  • Straining with bowel movements

Self-care

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid antacids and iron supplements
  • Try over-the-counter bulk forming agents such as Metamucil

Additional Resources

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is frequent bowel movements that consist of watery, loose stools with cramping and pain in the abdomen. 

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Frequent, loose, watery stools
  • Blood in the stool 

Self-care

  • Drink clear liquids
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Include low-fiber foods gradually
  • Avoid dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber foods and/or highly seasoned foods
  • Try an over-the-counter medicine such as Imodium A-D

Additional Resources

Heartburn/GERD

Symptoms

  • Burning or gnawing pain under the breastbone or in the upper middle abdomen
  • Pain can occur after meals, between meals or during the night 

Self-care

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, smoking, chocolate and other aggravating foods
  • Do not eat immediately before bedtime
  • Elevate the head of your bed
  • Try eating small, frequent meals
  • An over-the-counter antacid can be helpful

Additional Resources

Irritable Bowel

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Mucus in the stools
  • Sense that you have not completely emptied your bowels

Causes

The cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not clearly understood. The symptoms of IBS are thought to be a faulty communication between the brain and the intestinal tract which then causes abnormal muscle contractions in the intestines. 

Self-care

  • Include fiber in your diet
  • Avoid problem foods such as alcohol, caffeinated beverages, fats, nuts, ice creams and red meats which may aggravate symptoms
  • Eat at regular times
  • Limit dairy products
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Exercise regularly

Additional Resources

Stomach Flu or Gastroenteritis

This is an inflammation of the stomach or intestinal tract caused by viruses, food poisoning, water contamination or too much alcohol. 

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever or chills

Self-care

Do not eat or drink anything except ice chips until the nausea passes.

Contact Us

Student Health Center
Radford Hall
Email: studenthealth@uwosh.edu
Phone: (920) 424-2424 · Fax: (920) 424-1769

Hours

SHC will be closed on Monday, Sept. 22 from 8AM-4PM. We will be open for appointments from 4PM-6:30PM.

FALL & SPRING (14-week terms)
Monday 8 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Thursday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m

Interims (3 weeks)
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesdays: 10-4:30 p.m.

Summer 2015
June 15 - Aug. 7
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Monday - Thursday
Friday CLOSED

Affiliations

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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh — Where Excellence and Opportunity Meet.