Several home remedies can help resolve stomach and abdominal pain, such as drinking water and avoiding spicy foods. If these do not help, over-the-counter and prescription medications are available.
- heartburn, or acid reflux
- belching, sometimes bringing up bitter or foul-tasting fluid or food
- bad-smelling or sour breath
- hiccupping or coughing
This article looks at 12 of the most popular home remedies for an upset stomach and indigestion. We also explain when to speak with a doctor.
Stomach pain is a pain or an ache that someone experiences anywhere between the chest and groin.
This pain can vary in intensity and affect different areas of the abdomen, such as the:
Stomach pain can vary in intensity and has various causes.
More uncommon causes include:
- myocardial infarction, or heart attack
- strangulated hernia
- peritonitis, an infection of the stomach lining
- bowel obstruction
- kidney stones
- ovarian cysts
The following tips may help prevent stomach pain:
- eating slower
- eating less fatty or processed foods
- identifying food intolerances and allergies
- drinking more water
- reducing stress, where possible
- taking part in regular exercise
However, if a person has stomach pain that does not resolve itself or pain that interferes with their quality of life, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional for testing and treatment.
Food allergies and intolerances can cause stomach pain and bloating. Some common allergies or intolerances include those to:
- tree nuts
If a person believes they may have an allergy or intolerance to certain foods or beverages, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional to discuss an elimination diet or testing.
If someone experiences stomach pain that does not go away or believes it may be a symptom of another condition, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional.
A healthcare professional can investigate the cause of the stomach pain and prescribe treatment if necessary.
People should seek immediate medical attention if they experience stomach pain alongside:
- severe or sudden pain
- a tender or painful stomach
- vomiting blood or if vomit looks like ground coffee
- sticky, bloody, or black feces
- difficulty passing urine, feces, or gas
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- weight loss or loss of appetite
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about upset stomachs.
Does COVID-19 give you stomach cramps?
Research states that people with COVID-19 may have abdominal pain.
Some may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting, instead of fever at the start of COVID-19.
How do I know if my stomach pain is serious?
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), a person should seek immediate medical attention if their stomach ache is very severe or has a sudden onset.
People should contact a healthcare professional immediately if they notice other symptoms, such as vomiting blood, having difficulty passing urine or feces, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and jaundice.
What are the types of abdominal pain?
There are different ways of classifying abdominal pain. Some medical authorities say the three main types of abdominal pain are:
- Visceral: This is an aching or cramping pain that starts when nerves in an organ’s walls are stretched.
- Parietal or somatic: This refers to sharp, localized pain due to irritation of the parietal peritoneal wall.
- Referred: This involves pain that the brain mistakenly identifies as coming from one place, when it really originates someplace else.
Doctors can also help identify abdominal pain by what part of the abdomen it affects or the speed at which it develops — these include sudden, rapid, or gradual.
What is the main reason for stomach pain?
The most common causes of stomach pain are not very serious and do not last long. They frequently involve:
- digestion issues, such as indigestion, gas, food intolerances, and digestion or constipation
- infections, such as stomach flu, urinary tract infection, or GERD
- the menstrual cycle, as with menstrual cramps or pain from ovulation
How can I relieve pain in my stomach?
A person can help relieve stomach pain by:
- giving the stomach a break by not eating much and sticking to gentle foods, such as bananas
- maintaining hydration.
- using a hot water bottle or soaking in a warm bath
When should I go to the doctor for stomach pain?
A person with stomach pain may need to consider consulting a qualified healthcare professional in the following scenarios:
- the stomach pain rapidly gets much worse
- the pain in the abdomen does not go away or keeps coming back
- diarrhea lasts more than a few days
- atypical discharge from the vagina
- difficulty swallowing, in addition to stomach pain
- urination becomes painful or more or less frequent
- unexplained weight loss
- nonmenstrual bleeding from the vagina
- bleeding from the anus
Stomach pain can result from various conditions, such as gas and indigestion, and may be a sign of more serious conditions such as bowel obstruction or appendicitis. Home remedies may help ease stomach pain.
However, other conditions share similar symptoms with indigestion. A person should contact a healthcare professional to ensure the stomach pain results from indigestion before trying home remedies.