Stomach ache and abdominal pain


Stomach ache and abdominal pain
Stomach ache and abdominal pain

Most stomach aches are not anything serious and will go away after a few days.

Common causes of stomach ache

These are some common types of stomach ache and what may be causing them. But see a GP if you're unsure and worried.

Types of stomach ache and possible conditions:

  • Type: Feeling bloated, farting a lot. Possible condition: Trapped wind (flatulence)
  • Type: Feeling full and bloated after eating, heartburn, feeling sick. Possible condition: Indigestion
  • Type: Cannot poo. Possible condition: Constipation
  • Type: Watery Poo, feeling sick, vomiting. Possible condition: Stomach bug or food poisoning

A pharmacist can help with stomach ache

Speak to a pharmacist about:

  • what might be causing your stomach ache
  • treatments that might help
  • medicines for constipation and indigestion

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if:

  • a stomach ache gets much worse quickly
  • stomach pain or bloating will not go away or keeps coming back
  • you have stomach pain and problems with swallowing food
  • you're losing weight without trying to
  • you suddenly pee more often or less often
  • peeing is suddenly painful
  • you bleed from your bottom or vagina, or have abnormal discharge from your vagina
  • you have diarrhoea that does not go away after a few days

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • a stomach ache came on very suddenly or is severe
  • it hurts when you touch your stomach
  • you're vomiting blood or your vomit looks like ground coffee
  • your poo is bloody or black and sticky and extremely smelly
  • you cannot pee
  • you cannot poo or fart
  • you cannot breathe
  • you have chest pain
  • you have diabetes and you're vomiting
  • someone has collapsed

What we mean by severe pain

Severe pain:

  • always there and so bad it's hard to think or talk
  • you cannot sleep
  • it's very hard to move, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash or dress

Moderate pain:

  • always there
  • makes it hard to concentrate or sleep
  • you can manage to get up, wash or dress

Mild pain:

  • comes and goes
  • is annoying but does not stop you doing daily activities

Other causes of stomach ache

Don't self-diagnose - see a GP if you're worried.

Type of stomach ache and possible condition

  • Type: Pain and cramps when you have your period. Possible condition: Period pain
  • Type: Sudden pain in the lower right-hand side. Possible condition: Appendicitis
  • Type: Ongoing cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation. Possible condition: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Type: Bad ongoing pain that can go down to your groin, nausea, pain when peeing. Possible condition: Kidney stones
  • Type: Severe pain that lasts for hours in the centre of your tummy or just under the ribs on the right-hand side. Possible condition: Gallstones

The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website
Last Updated: 23/11/2023 13:38:08