How Do I Make My Stomach Stop Hurting?

Reviewed on 1/31/2022
Man lying on couch and holding his stomach
Stomach pain treatments and home remedies often include drinking plenty of fluids, consuming clear liquids, the BRAT diet, and OTC medications.

Stomach pain, or abdominal pain, can range from bloating and indigestion to severe and sharp, stabbing pain. 

There is no single treatment to make your stomach stop hurting. Treatment to make your stomach stop hurting varies widely and depends on the specific cause.

21 Home Remedies & OTC Treatments for Stomach Pain

Most of the time, an upset stomach can be treated at home by:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids so urine is a pale yellow or clear color
  • Consuming clear liquids in frequent, small amounts
  • If vomiting occurs, start with small sips of water or sucking on ice chips and if these are well tolerated, try:
    • Diluted juices such as apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry (avoid citrus juices)
    • Sports drinks
    • Clear, non-caffeinated sodas such as ginger ale, 7-Up, or Sprite 
    • Clear soup broth or bouillon
    • Popsicles
    • Decaffeinated tea
  • If fluids are tolerated, bland solid foods may be slowly added, such as the BRAT diet
    • Bananas
    • Rice, white
    • Applesauce
    • Toast, plain or with only jelly or honey if desired
  • Avoid:
    • Spicy foods
    • Fatty or greasy foods
    • Dairy products
    • Whole grains 
    • Raw vegetables
    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications may help relieve certain symptoms associated with an upset tummy. Talk to your doctor to determine which medicine might be indicated in your situation. 

What Are Symptoms of My Stomach Hurting?

When your stomach hurts, symptoms depend on the cause.

Pain may be dull or sharp, intermittent or constant, mild or severe. Your stomach may hurt in any part of the abdomen, and may also radiate to other areas such as the back, flank, or shoulder.

Symptoms that may accompany stomach pain may include: 

If you experience any of the following symptoms when your stomach hurts, see a doctor because these may be a sign of a more serious condition:

  • Pain is severe and lasts more than an hour or comes and goes for more than 24 hours
  • Pain starts suddenly
  • Bloody bowel movements
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to eat or drink for several hours
  • Fever greater than 102°f (39°c)
  • Weight loss without trying 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling a lump in the abdomen

SLIDESHOW

Super Tips to Boost Digestive Health: Bloating, Constipation, and More See Slideshow

What Causes My Stomach to Hurt?

There are numerous things that can cause your stomach to hurt. 

Common conditions that can cause your stomach to hurt include:

Other conditions that can cause your stomach to hurt include:

How Is Stomach Pain Diagnosed?

Diagnosing the reason your stomach hurts begins with a history and physical exam. Depending on the symptoms and the location of the pain, the physical exam may involve: 

  • Abdominal exam
  • Rectal exam
  • Pelvic exam

Blood tests used to help diagnose the cause of stomach pain include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) with differential
  • Electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and glucose
  • Aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin
  • Lipase and/or amylase
  • Calcium
  • Aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin
  • Serum iron, total iron binding capacity, and ferritin
  • Anti-tissue transglutaminase
  • Pregnancy testing for women

Imaging tests used to help diagnose the cause of stomach pain include:

Other tests used to help diagnose the cause of stomach pain may include:

  • Urine tests
  • Stool tests
  • Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG)

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Reviewed on 1/31/2022
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/causes-of-abdominal-pain-in-adults?search=Stomach%20Pain&source=search_result&selectedTitle=4~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=4

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-of-the-adult-with-abdominal-pain?search=Stomach%20Pain&source=search_result&selectedTitle=5~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=5

https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/abdominal-pain

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/stomach-ache-and-stomach-upset-the-basics?search=upset%20stomach&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/medical/upset-stomach/