Stomach ache

The abdominal cavity is home to many different organs.

Overview

The abdominal cavity is home to many different organs. Stomach ache can therefore have many possible causes, ranging from slight indigestion to an intestinal obstruction. Warm compresses (e.g. warm cherry stone pillows) can help for mild complaints.

Symptoms

Stomach ache comes in many different guises and can be categorised as follows:

Type of pain

  • Constant dull pain, often made worse by movement or touch
  • Cramping pain that comes and goes (colic), often improved by movement

Location

  • Pain concentrated in one specific area (localised)
  • Pain “in the stomach”, with no specific location (diffuse)

Other symptoms

Causes and treatment

Causes

The abdominal cavity is home to many organs and tissues. As a result, there are many causes of stomach ache. Only a few of these are listed:

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Feeling / listening to the abdomen
  • Blood test (inflammatory markers)
  • Urine test
  • Abdominal ultrasound (sonography)
  • X-ray
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
Possible therapies
  • Painkillers
  • Antibiotics (for bacteria)
  • Surgery (if the cause can be eliminated by an operation, e.g. appendicitis)

What can I do myself?

  • Use warm compresses for stomach cramps (e.g. cherry stone pillow, hot-water bottle)
  • A stomach massage can help for bloating

When to see a doctor?

  • Suddenly occurring and worsening stomach ache
  • High fever
  • No bowel movements
  • Blood in stools

Synonyms

appendicitis, kidney stones, gallstones, intestinal obstruction, warm compresses, stomach massage, ectopic pregnancy, diverticulitis, peritonitis, impaired intestinal circulation

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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