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Abdominal Issues

Don’t Let Digestive Issues Control Your Life

Does abdominal pain cause you distress? Does IBS rule your life? We understand that digestive disorders and abdominal pain can be debilitating, and even incapacitating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We believe one of the first steps in finding long-lasting relief is understanding your pain, how your digestive system works, and what’s causing the pain in the first place.

Abdominal pain treatments near me
Digestive System Diagram

The Digestive System Anatomy

Your digestive system includes your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, as well as your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Your GI tract is made up of:

  • Your mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Anus

Your digestive system, when it’s working properly, breaks down the food you eat, extracts the nutrients you need, turns them into energy, and expels the solids that aren’t needed when you have a bowel movement.

Abdominal pain and digestive issues result when one or more parts of your digestive system aren’t working properly.

Types of Abdominal Issues

There are many types of abdominal issues that can cause discomfort, pain, and embarrassment. Here, we will discuss some of the most common digestive issues, including:

  • Heartburn
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Heartburn and GERD

Heartburn is one of the most common digestive issues. Occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about. You can find heartburn relief on your own by making some dietary changes or using an over-the-counter medication.

Heartburn happens when your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. This is known as acid reflux. It can be worse when you’re lying down. Heartburn is classified as GERD when the acid reflux is chronic, and starts to cause damage. If you suspect you have GERD, you should see a doctor.

Heartburn and GERD FAQs

Q: What does heartburn feel like?

A: Heartburn feels like a mild burning sensation in your chest just behind your breastbone.

Q: What does GERD feel like?

A: GERD can cause chest pain, as well as an unpleasant reflux feeling as the acidic contents of your stomach reenter your esophagus. This backflow can feel like you need to vomit. Chronic GERD can damage your esophagus and make it hard to swallow.

Q: What triggers heartburn or GERD?

A: Certain foods and beverages, such as spicy foods and alcohol can trigger heartburn and GERD. You’re at greater risk for both if you’re obese or pregnant.


Indigestion is another very common digestive issue that can cause mild abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness not long after starting to eat. You may have heard it called an upset stomach, sour stomach, or dyspepsia.

You can generally find indigestion relief by making dietary changes or taking an OTC medication such as TUMS. If your indigestion is chronic, you should see a doctor.

Indigestion FAQs

Q: What causes indigestion?

A: It’s different for everyone, but some common causes include:

  • Eating too fast
  • Overeating
  • Eating fatty or spicy foods
  • Anxiety

Indigestion can also be a symptom of another condition, including:

Finding the root cause of chronic indigestion is the key to finding long-lasting solutions.


Constipation happens. Most of us will be constipated at one point or another. It’s when the digestive system fails to produce a bowel movement 3 times a week. Many people have very regular bowel movements, one or more a day. But it’s not classified as constipation unless the frequency drops to 3 or less a week. Chronic constipation is constipation that lasts for several weeks or more.

Constipation can cause abdominal pain in infants, young children, and adults. It can also cause hard, lumpy stools, or cause you to strain when trying to go. While you can manage occasional constipation with dietary changes and more physical activity, chronic constipation, or baby constipation requires that you see a doctor.

Constipation FAQs

Q: What causes constipation?

A: There are many causes of constipation, including:

  • Not getting enough fiber in your diet
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • A change in routine, such as traveling
  • Side effect of some medications
  • Anxiety
  • Pregnancy
  • Introduction of solid foods to baby’s diet
  • Too much cheese, yogurt, and milk
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Finding the cause of your constipation is the key to finding relief.

Q: What helps constipation?

A: You may be able to find constipation relief by drinking more water, making dietary changes, and being more physically active. For chronic constipation, you should see a doctor, who can advise a course of treatment tailored to the root cause of your issue.


Diarrhea is on the other end of the spectrum from constipation. It’s marked by frequent, loose, watery stools. You may also feel cramping abdominal pain, and an urgent need to get to the toilet. Depending on what is causing it, it may present alone, or with other symptoms.

Diarrhea usually only lasts a day or two. If it lasts longer than several days, it can be a sign of a more serious problem. You should see a doctor if it doesn’t get better after 2 days or you become dehydrated. An infant or a child can become dehydrated much faster, and you should call your doctor if they’ve had diarrhea for 24 hours.

Diarrhea FAQs

Q: What types of food cause diarrhea?

A: Causes of diarrhea can include foods such as:

  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Sugary foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Gluten
  • Caffeine

Getting to the root cause of your diarrhea will inform the possible course of treatment.

Q: Can illness cause diarrhea?
A: Illness can cause diarrhea, such as:
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Certain medications such as antibiotics
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
Getting to the root cause of your diarrhea will inform the possible course of treatment.
Q: What helps with diarrhea?

A: You may be able to find constipation relief by drinking more water, making dietary changes, and being more physically active. For chronic constipation, you should see a doctor, who can advise a course of treatment tailored to the root cause of your issue.


IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a chronic disorder affecting your digestive system. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, or both. The appearance of your bowel movements may change as well.

You are more likely to have IBS if you’re a woman, and if you’re under 50. A family history can also be a risk factor, as can anxiety or depression.


Q: What causes IBS?

A: There is no clear cause of IBS. Some things that can play a role in IBS include:

  • The strength or weakness of muscle contractions in your intestines
  • Issues with the nerves in your digestive system
  • Infection
  • Change in your gut microbes

Certain foods, while they don’t cause IBS, can trigger constipation or diarrhea. Stress and anxiety can also cause a flare of IBS as can a sedentary lifestyle.

Q: What are IBS food triggers for constipation?

A: Trigger foods for constipation will vary from person to person, but can include:

  • Products with refined grains (rather than whole grains) such as white bread and pastries
  • Processed foods such as cookies and chips
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • High-protein diets
  • Dairy products
Q: What are IBS food triggers for diarrhea?

A: Again, trigger foods will vary from person to person, but can include:

  • Too much fiber, especially from the skin and peel of fruits and vegetables
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Sorbitol and fructose
  • Fatty foods
  • Dairy products, especially for people with lactose intolerance
  • Gluten, especially for people with an intolerance

Making dietary changes, minimizing stress, and getting plenty of exercise can help reduce IBS symptoms and flares.

How Cima Health Can Help

Cima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that target the root cause of your abdominal pain and digestive issues. Your care will start out with a comprehensive evaluation to assess the pain. We will also ask questions about your health history, home life, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with conservative and alternative treatments that can help you live a healthy and active life.

Treating and preventing abdominal issues involves several treatment modalities, all of which you can receive in one location. They include:

Chiropractic Care

After a thorough evaluation, the chiropractic care teammay make precise adjustments of your neck, spine, and pelvis to bring everything into alignment. These adjustments are gentle, and will not cause you pain. A chiropractor does more than relieve back pain and improve joint mobility. We can also help you deal with your gastrointestinal issues. The truth is that digestive health starts with a healthy spine.

Chiropractic treatment can help reduce flares of IBS, relieve chronic constipation, get rid of abdominal pain, and more. Please know that a chiropractor will not treat your disease, but can offer pain relief and guide you on the path to whole-body wellness.

Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors include:

Pediatric Care

Dr Natalie specializes in pediatric care and helping expectant and new moms navigate all the changes they are experiencing. Infants and children can have major issues with constipation, diarrhea, reflux, and colic. Dr. Natalie’s gentle adjustments help your baby or child feel better and eat better, which makes you as a mom feel better.

Physical Therapy (PT)

Physical therapy can help you find relief for abdominal pain and bloating and a host of digestive issues. By improving your gut health, you improve your quality of life. Your physical therapist may use manual organ manipulation as well as use massage techniques to help relieve your pain and promote digestive health. They may also provide you with breathing and gentle exercises that can help you maintain digestive wellbeing.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help with several types of digestive disorders. Digestive issues can get worse when you’re feeling stressed. Regular massage can help reduce your stress level, allowing your digestive system to function better. Massage therapy targeting your abdomen can help relax muscles, reduce pain, and get rid of bloating. Massage is not recommended during an IBS flare as it could aggravate your symptoms, but it can be helpful afterwards to reduce your stress and anxiety and promote a sense of well-being.

Lifestyle Changes

Depending on the cause of your abdominal pain and digestive issues, the doctors at Cima Health may make some recommendations for lifestyle changes. These can include:

  • Avoiding triggers
  • Dietary changes
  • Exercising more
  • Losing weight

Avoiding Triggers

The easiest way to reduce abdominal pain and digestive issues is to avoid triggers. These can include:

  • Trigger foods
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Certain medications

The Cima Health team will work together to help you identify your triggers and make changes in your home and work environments to avoid them.

Dietary Changes

Making some dietary changes can reduce the risk of abdominal pain and digestive issues. If there are certain foods that trigger bloating, constipation or diarrhea, cut those out of your diet. Reduce or eliminate your use of alcohol if it causes trouble. Our functional medicine team can work with you to develop a nutrition plan that helps reduce your abdominal pain and digestive issues and can also help you lose weight, if weight is a factor. Eating a healthy diet will help you feel better overall.

A comprehensive blood chemistry analysis can help identify what nutrients you are missing. Dietary changes and the addition of supplements can help you provide your body what it needs to thrive.

Physical Fitness

Getting enough exercise and staying physically fit can help promote digestive health. Physical activity increases blood flow to the muscles that move food through your digestive tract. When your muscles are working at peak performance, they move food through your system quickly and efficiently. Exercise can also help balance your gut bacteria. A nice walk after a meal can improve your digestion. You’ll want to avoid any strenuous activity for at least an hour after a meal, however.

Our physical fitness team of personal trainers can also help you lose weight, which will naturally help you feel better. Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of digestive disorders. We will develop an exercise program tailored to your capabilities and goals.

By making some lifestyle changes and getting regular chiropractic adjustments, you can help reduce the occurrence of abdominal pain and digestive issues. Team up with the providers at Cima Health to find restorative, lifelong solutions.

Read What Our Patients Have to Say

Dr. Cima is a knowledgeable, caring & compassionate doctor who dedicates his time to actually fix you. He studies your body & condition & puts together a treatment plan that gets you back in superb condition. I have not felt better in months after just my first visit. Finally found someone who can work with the body without aggressive movements & who is also gentle, kind & caring. Tali S.
Great family business plus you are treated like family the minute you walk in the door! A revolutionary blood test that tells them exactly what nutrients you are needed. They get you on the right path of a healthy lifestyle through eating, exercising (they have their own gym) and proper supplements. Thank you, Cimas...I haven't felt this well in years. Gary B.
Most amazing Doctors around, they help me consistently with my aches and pains and even have helped me cure my headaches, cramps, and stomach problems. Very well educated in many aspects and look to help cure the underlying problem, not just mask the symptoms. Will be a patient for life! Madison B.
Book an Appointment

If you’re looking for non-invasive treatment for abdominal pain or digestive issues, book an appointment today. One of our chiropractors will do a comprehensive examination to get to the root cause of your pain and develop an integrative plan of care to relieve your pain and inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.


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