Stomach Pain – Causes, Treatment

Stomach pain

Stomach pain is a general term used to describe various types of discomfort and pain in the stomach and intestines. The medical term for stomach pain is gastralgia . In addition to stomach pain, those affected also often suffer from abdominal pain or abdominal pain .

What is stomach pain?

Stomach pain usually feels burning, stabbing or sharp. Abdominal and stomach pain can occur only briefly or over a longer period of time.

Stomach pain is a symptom most people have known since childhood. The pain, as the name itself aptly puts it, originates in the stomach or abdominal region.

A serious illness does not always have to be behind a stomach ache. Stomach pain is usually fairly harmless and goes away after a short time. Often stomach pain is accompanied by diarrhea , vomiting and nausea .

Stomach pain can also occur in the form of stomach cramps , in which the stomach pain then occurs cyclically and increases over a short period of time. Stomach pain usually feels burning, stabbing or sharp. Abdominal and stomach pain can occur only briefly or over a longer period of time.

Stomach pain can be classified locally according to its zone. Seen in this way, there is stomach pain in the upper abdomen, in the lower abdomen and on the left and right. It should be noted that stomach pain does not necessarily have to arise in the stomach itself. Other organs can also be responsible, so that the pain stimulus then radiates into the abdominal or stomach region. Possible organs for this would usually be the intestines, the pancreas and, more rarely, the heart.


Since stomach pain often occurs with and with a wide variety of diseases, its causes are just as numerous.

Most of the time, stomach pains are rather harmless as a result of an upset stomach.

As already mentioned, disorders of other organs such as the pancreas, intestines and heart can also be the cause of stomach pain. A list of possible diseases as a cause can be found below.

Other causes of stomach pain are also: smoking , heartburn , stomach ulcer, medication, too much alcohol, poisoning (e.g. mushroom poisoning ), stress , eating disorders , psychosomatic problems, too much food in the stomach and autoimmune diseases.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

Stomach pain, also known as gastralgia, is not an independent disease, but can occur in many different forms and can only be correctly classified after a detailed discussion with the patient concerned.

To do this, the doctor must ask a few questions about possible previous illnesses, living conditions or the duration and exact location of the stomach pain. The patient’s physique must also be examined. This is done with blood and ultrasound tests as well as gastroscopies .

Stomach pain manifests itself in various ways. A pulling, pressing or stabbing sensation in the abdominal region can occur, as can cramps that occur at certain intervals. Constipation , vomiting , or diarrhea can accompany the stomach pain and indicate a more serious illness.


In most cases, stomach pain is not a problem and will go away on its own after a few days, for example in the event of a gastrointestinal infection or poor nutrition. If there is a serious underlying disease, serious complications can also occur. In rare cases, there may be an acute abdomen, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

A ruptured appendix or stomach or an intestinal blockage also brings with it serious complications if the underlying condition is not treated promptly. Stomach pain as a result of reflux disease can lead to changes in the cells in the esophagus and thus cause a so-called Barret ulcer. Barrett’s esophagus increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer and also makes eating more difficult.

In addition to other gastrointestinal complaints, stomach pain with diarrhea can also cause dehydration and various deficiency symptoms if it persists for more than two to three days. In the treatment of stomach pain, complications can usually be ruled out. However, dietary measures should first be discussed with a doctor so that the underlying disease can be treated in a targeted manner and without complications. Occasionally, medication can lead to an increase in stomach pain, for example if there is an allergy or intolerance.

When should you see a doctor

Mild stomach pain may be a reason to reconsider your eating habits. In an acute case, alkaline food or light food can calm the aching stomach again. Carbonated scene drinks or coffee should be avoided. However, if the pain in the stomach persists or gets worse by the hour, a doctor should be consulted promptly. Under no circumstances should those affected trivialize heartburn, a feeling of fullness and stomach pain for a long time.

Slight stomach pains that occur acutely after excessive alcohol consumption, nicotine abuse or similar sins can be treated by yourself. Heat, relaxation, massage, and a light diet are helpful. If left untreated, stomach problems that have existed for a long time can become chronic. Severe, sudden stomach pains are always an alarm signal. They require a doctor’s visit. After a survey about possible triggers, eating and drinking habits, the doctor will carry out some examinations. The laboratory results, sonographies or X-rays ordered by the doctor often clarify the cause of the pain. If necessary, a test for the gastric bacterium Helicobacter Pylori should be undertaken.

A so-called irritable stomach can also cause stomach pain. The patient can treat this themselves. Before doing so, however, other gastric dysfunctions should be ruled out as the cause of the pain by means of a careful differential diagnosis. If mental stress causes stomach pain, a consultation with a psychotherapist may be indicated. Massage or relaxation techniques can also be helpful if you tend to have stomach pains.

Treatment & Therapy

Since stomach pain can have many causes, a visit to the doctor is beneficial. If the pain lasts longer or is very severe, a doctor must be consulted immediately anyway, since life-threatening illnesses may be behind it.

The doctor will then carry out an exact questioning of the stomach complaints. These include questions such as: how long the stomach pain has lasted, where exactly the pain occurs and how intense it is, is the stomach pain dependent on external or internal factors (e.g. certain foods or physical movements), which medications are being taken, is alcohol increased consumed and Are there pre-existing conditions, such as stomach ulcers.

After that, the doctor will examine the affected patient holistically. He will listen to the abdomen and stomach area with a stethoscope and feel the abdomen. A gastroscopy, ultrasound examination and blood test are only required if the medical history is unclear or if a suspected cause needs to be examined more closely.

If no disease-related cause is found, harmless stomach pain can usually be assumed. In this case, painkillers such as analgesics, antispasmodic drugs such as spasmolytics and gastric acid-relieving drugs should be prescribed by the doctor for treatment and pain relief . Furthermore, a change in diet, a ban on alcohol and tobacco products could be useful. Depending on the individual symptoms, further treatment by a psychotherapist can also be carried out.

In self-treatment, the patient can often support relief with gastrointestinal teas containing herbs such as lemon balm and chamomile , hot water bottles on the stomach and relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation and autogenic training .

Outlook & Forecast

No universal prognosis can be given for gastric pain. The further course of this disease depends very much on the pain itself and the rest of the patient’s health.

In most cases, stomach pain indicates an intolerance or spoiled food and will go away once the ingredient has been cleared from the body. This can take several hours. Stomach pain is often accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting, which is usually an infection in the gastrointestinal region. These infections do not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor and usually go away on their own.

The stomach should be spared. Drugs from the pharmacy can be used to support the treatment. However, if the stomach pain is very severe and does not subside after a few days, you should definitely see a doctor. This can be a serious infection that the body cannot deal with on its own.

In case of intolerance or allergies, the respective ingredient should be avoided in order to prevent stomach pain. However, most stomach pains do not require treatment and will go away on their own.


Stress and nervousness should be avoided at all costs. Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption should also be stopped. Gluttony and overeating when eating just as often lead to stomach pains and can therefore be easily prevented.

A lot of exercise in the fresh air and in nature stimulates a healthy and good metabolism, so that the chance of stomach pain or intestinal problems is minimized. Drink herbal teas as a preventive measure and support your general stress resistance and vitality through preventive autogenic training or with the help of progressive muscle relaxation.

Home remedies & herbs for stomach pain

  • Fennel , raw and steamed, has a beneficial effect on the stomach and intestines. Fennel also has a high vitamin C content.
  • For stomach and intestinal problems, drink a tea made from the following herbs: 10 grams of peppermint , yarrow , chamomile blossom and calamus root, 5 grams each of fennel, condurango bark and couch grass root, 2 grams of centaury, 1 gram each of wormwood and gentian root .
  • Drink unsweetened chamomile tea for stomach pain, stomach inflammation and stomach cramps. It also helps with abdominal pain and bladder pain .
  • Various measures can be taken for stomach pain: drink a cup of wormwood tea and swallow some cumin seeds. Eat only rusks for a day and drink chamomile tea and put a hot water bottle on your stomach.

You can do that yourself

Stomach pain can often be relieved by following a stomach-friendly diet for several days. Rusks and white bread are easy to digest, and the mucilage contained in rice and oatmeal soup soothes the damaged stomach lining. After a few days on a bland diet, low-fat and mildly seasoned dishes can be added to the diet. Grated apples , [[bananas] and other mild types of fruit are usually well tolerated. Alcohol , coffee and nicotine, on the other hand, should be avoided for a while, and a sensitive stomach often reacts irritated to carbonated drinks.

Chamomile tea or a blend of herbal teas made from lemon balm leaves , chamomile flowers and peppermint leaves help the aching stomach to recover. To do this, several cups of warm tea without sugar should be drunk throughout the day – food and drinks that are too hot or ice-cold put a strain on the stomach and can increase the pain.

In many cases, spasmodic stomach pains are alleviated by placing a hot-water bottle on . If stress or major mental stress hits the stomach, regular breaks and relaxation help to improve it. Eating in a hurry under time pressure can also lead to stomach ache: Here, enjoying the meal slowly and consciously without being distracted by cell phones, computers or television helps. If the stomach pain persists for several days despite self-treatment or even worsens, a doctor should be consulted.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.