Stomach ache

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 meaning 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 and is extremely painful
  • 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 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

Call 111

If you can’t speak to your GP or don’t know what to do next.

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