Digestive Disorders > Upper Abdomen

Stomach pain – causes, diagnosis and therapy

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

Stomach pain can appear in many different forms. The symptoms are just as varied as the causes. In general, stomach pain is understood to mean various types of pain that occur in the area of the stomach. Sometimes the term “stomach pain” is equated with “abdominal pain”. However, a clear separation is important here. While the term abdominal pain can often refer to the entire area of the abdomen in a very general sense, stomach pain is limited to a certain area.

Stomach pains are focused in the epigastric area and rarely on the right side, but mostly localized on the left to the center. Symptoms include, for example, pressure, drilling, stinging, or burning in the stomach, as with heartburn. Another manifestation of stomach pain is cramps, which can occur at relatively short intervals from one another and often very suddenly, especially after eating. Have you observed such symptoms in yourself? We developed a nutritional therapy program for this and have sustainably alleviated stomach pain in numerous fellow sufferers. Arrange a free initial consultation here and find out whether our therapy can help you too.

What are the different symptoms?

If you suffer from stomach pain, you can often not only notice the above symptoms, but also other symptoms. Stomach pain is often associated with the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Anorexia
  • Abdominal pains

Depending on the cause and disease, stomach pain can become an acute, i.e. relatively short-term, or chronic, i.e. long-lasting condition. If the pain persists for a longer period, those affected should consult a doctor.

What are the causes of stomach pain?

There can be many different causes for stomach pain. From a medical point of view, the causes can be divided into:

  • Illness
  • Triggered by individual lifestyle or diet

There are various gastric diseases that provide organic causes for stomach pain from gastritis (gastritis), gastric ulcers, food poisoning, infectious gastrointestinal diseases and reflux disease to stomach cancer or irritable stomach. Home remedies alone often do not provide a reliable remedy for serious illnesses with medically related stomach pain. Here, after a detailed consultation with the doctor, it is advisable to prescribe medication that is individually tailored to the patient. If there is pain from too much stomach acid, for example, Maaloxan can be prescribed, which reduces symptoms such as heartburn or upset stomach caused by overacidification. For example, Buscopan helps with an irritable bowel.

Why does diarrhea cause stomach pain?

Diarrhea and vomiting are often symptoms of food poisoning or food intolerance, for example lactose tolerance or gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Diarrhea and stomach pain often occur in the same context, with diarrhea usually following the stomach pain.

Do stomach pains occur during pregnancy?

A question that surely concerns many expectant mothers: Why do stomach pains occur during pregnancy or early pregnancy? Abdominal pain and stomach pain are more common during pregnancy. Due to the increased pressure in the abdominal cavity due to the growth of the child, gastric acid flows back to the level of the food, which can lead to heartburn. Symptoms such as heartburn, a feeling of fullness, digestive problems as well as possible uterine contractions and kicking of the child are initially no cause for concern. However, if the stomach pain is very severe, persists or recurs, it is always advisable to see a doctor. In general, however, mild stomach pain is harmless during pregnancy. Because of the pregnancy-typical nausea, stomach pain can occur especially in the morning, but also at other times of the day in connection with possible vomiting.

Why do you sometimes experience stomach pain during your period?

Abdominal pain is one of the typical symptoms that women suffer from during their period. They arise from the contraction of the uterus. The uterus wants to get rid of the remains of the uterine lining (endometrium) prepared for the implantation of a fertilized egg.

In some cases, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) nausea may occur during the days leading up to the period. Other symptoms of indigestion during the period are:

  • Bloating
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps and abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
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Why do stomach pains and back pain sometimes occur simultaneously?

If a patient is suffers from gastric and back pain at the same time, these two symptoms do not necessarily have to be directly related. They can occur independently of one another and yet at the same time. However, the joint appearance of the two symptoms can also indicate an impairment of an organ such as the pancreas. If there are complaints in this area, the pain can radiate to both the back and the abdomen, since the organ is located in the abdomen in front of the spine.

Stomach pain from stress?

It is not for nothing that people commonly say they feel like they've been “punched in the gut” when they are in a stressful or difficult situation. In fact, it has long been proven that physical symptoms often arise from mental causes. But why does stomach pain arise during stress? Stress is a strain on the whole body. Not only for the heart, but also for the stomach, for example. This can cause symptoms such as nausea, heartburn or diarrhea. In a particularly extreme form, mental stress can even trigger stomach ulcers.

Why do stomach pains arise after eating?

The wrong diet can also be one of the many causes of stomach pain. Sometimes stomach pain occurs after eating. Very rich, fat or sugary food often leads to physical discomfort, especially in large quantities. Because then the stomach wall has to stretch. Children in particular often suffer from stomach pain because they have more sensitive stomachs than adults.

If stomach pain occurs after eating, a change in diet can help. For this, symptom triggers should be identified. One of our certified nutritionists can assist you. Arrange a free initial consultation here and find out about our range of therapies.

What foods can cause stomach pain?

  • Eating greasy or rich foods right before bedtime often causes stomach problems
  • Citrus fruits and onions have an irritating effect on the stomach lining
  • Beans or cabbage are known to inflate the stomach
  • Food that is too spicy or too fatty also irritates the stomach lining and promotes the production of stomach acid
  • Frequent regurgitation, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness or heartburn are often caused by drinks that contain carbon dioxide
  • Hasty food consumption can also cause stomach pain

Why do stomach pains arise after drinking alcohol?

Alcohol, like cigarettes, promotes gastric acid overproduction.

Why do stomach pains arise after enjoying coffee?

Caffeine-containing foods such as coffee or cola irritate the stomach lining.

What causes stomach pain in children?

Stomach pains in children are not uncommon and occur more often. The reasons for the symptoms can lie in the stomach itself or have other causes. Typically, gastric complaints occur in children with:

  • Intestinal infections
  • Digestive problems
  • Constipation
  • Improper nutrition, for example due to very rich, sweet or fatty food and especially spoiled food

Especially in older children, however, psychological problems such as mental stress, fears and the like should not be neglected as causes of stomach pain. If the abdominal pain is not too pronounced and disappears after a while, there is usually no need to worry. However, if the symptoms persist over a longer period of time, parents should definitely see a doctor with their child. In some cases, stomach pain in the child can indicate serious illnesses. For example pyelonephritis, appendicitis. flu, rever, colic, poisoning, a urinary tract infection or possibly pneumonia could be the cause.

Which home remedies help against stomach pains?

For stomach pains that are not based on organic causes, but rather on personal lifestyle, in many cases prescription medication does not necessarily have to be used. Here natural home remedies can often alleviate the symptoms in a gentle way:

  • Flax seeds serve to protect the stomach wall from acid and help with mild inflammation
  • Herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, fennel or caraway have anti-inflammatory and calming effects
  • Ginger helps to absorb acids
  • Here's something that's not only a good idea for a child with stomach pain, but also popular with adults: a hot-water bottle or a heating pad because both have a relaxing and antispasmodic effect
  • Relaxation exercises bring calm not only to the mind, but also to the body and thus the stomach
  • Enough time should be taken between meals to give the stomach a break


Dr. med. Andre Sommer

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

I’m André, a medical doctor from Berlin. Together with a team of medical doctors, nutritionists and data scientists we empower people to understand digestive issues with our app Cara Care.

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