Pink Hospitalized for Stomach Pain

Singer Pink doesn’t seem blue about being admitted to the hospital for stomach pain.

Look at the picture she sent out on Instagram!

Maybe that big smile has something to do with the morphine she was given

Maybe it’s cause my mom was an ER nurse all my life- but throw me in a gown and a hook me up to an IV- and I’m a happy girl. Stomach flu sucks but morphine doesn’t.

Pink later clarified that she did not get morphine for stomach flu, but that she may be suffering from an ulcer (something she apparently has had before:

Thanks for all the get well wishes. And no-they don’t give morphine for flu. I might have ulcers again. Because I care too much. It’s a gift.

How do you get ulcers?

Your stomach makes acid to break down the food you eat. But in some people, the acid can damage the lining of their stomach. This is called gastritis (inflammation of the stomach). Gastritis can be caused by a number of different things. The most common are:

  • Alcohol
  • Infection of the stomach with a germ called Heliobacter pylori (the most common cause)
  • Medications that can irritate the stomach lining such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibruprofen and naproxen (the second most common cause)
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as pernicious anemia
  • Excess gastric acid secretion (such as from stress)

Symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain
  • indigestion
  • dark stools
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • vomiting blood or coffee-ground like material.

If the irritation to the lining is more severe, an ulcer (simply a break in the lining) can form in the stomach (gastric ulcer), or in the upper part of the small intestine leaving the stomach (duodenal or peptic ulcer).

How do you diagnose gastritis or ulcers?

Several tests may be done to make the diagnosis:

  • Stomach x-rays – usually done with swallowing a chalky substance called barium to better outline the stomach lining
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy – where a long flexible tube with a camera at the end is inserted into the stomach to directly observe the stomach and duodenal lining
  • Stool tests – to look for blood and bacteria
  • Blood tests – to look for anemia and H. pylori. A positive H. pylori blood test is not definitive for an current infection (it may be a mark of past infection) whereas a positive stool test for H. pylori does indicate current infection.

How do you treat it?

Treatment depends on what is the underlying cause.

If irritation from alcohol, smoking or NSAIDs is the cause, discontinuing them will help the problem. This is often paired with medications which reduce or neutralize stomach acid.

For mild gastritis, over the counter antacids (such as Maalox or Mylanta) can neutralize the acid and provide relief.

If antacids don’t provide enough relief, medications called acid blockers may be used to reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. Examples of this kind of medicine include cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid) and ranitidine (Zantac).

There are also medications that decrease acid production by shutting down acid-secreting cells in the stomach. Omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and esomeprazole (Nexium) are examples of these “proton pump inhibitors”.

In the special case of chronic gastritis or gastic ulcer caused by H. pylori, most doctors use a combination of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor, sometimes with bismuth (such as in Pepto-Bismol) to the regimen.


Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Real Time Analytics Google Analytics Alternative