Stomach ache - NHS

Skip to main content

Stomach ache

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.

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

You can ask a pharmacist about:

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

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the pain gets much worse quickly
  • the 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
  • your diarrhoea does not go away after a few days

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It's still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

Find out about using the NHS during coronavirus

Immediate action required: 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 cannot pee
  • you cannot poo or fart
  • you cannot breathe
  • you have chest pain
  • you're diabetic and vomiting
  • someone has collapsed

Other causes of stomach ache

Do not self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.

Type of stomach ache
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

Page last reviewed: 15 July 2020
Next review due: 15 July 2023