NHS website

Stomach ache

Read about a stomach ache and abdominal pains, including stomach cramps or a dull ache in the tummy (abdomen).

12 October 2018


Most stomach aches aren't anything serious and will go away after a few days.

Common causes of stomach ache

Use these links to get an idea of how to ease the most common causes of stomach ache. See a GP if you're worried.

Type of stomach ache Possible condition
Feeling bloated, farting a lot trapped wind ↗
Feeling full and bloated after eating, heartburn, feeling sick indigestion ↗
Can't poo constipation ↗
Watery poo, feeling sick, vomiting diarrhoea ↗ or food poisoning ↗

How a pharmacist can help with stomach ache

A pharmacist can:

  • help you find out what's causing your stomach ache
  • suggest a treatment
  • recommend medicines for constipation and indigestion

See a GP if:

  • the pain gets much worse quickly
  • the pain or bloating won't go away or keeps coming back
  • 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
  • your diarrhoea doesn't go away after a few days

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your 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 can't pee
  • you can't poo or fart
  • you can't breathe
  • you have chest pain
  • you're diabetic and vomiting
  • someone has collapsed

Other causes of stomach ache

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

Type of stomach ache Possible condition
Pain and cramps when you have your period period pain ↗
Sudden pain in the lower right-hand side appendicitis ↗
Ongoing cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ↗
Bad ongoing pain that can go down to your groin, nausea, pain when peeing kidney stones ↗
Severe pain that lasts for hours in the centre of your tummy or just under the ribs on the right-hand side gallstones ↗