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What Do You Do if Your Stomach Hurts Really Bad?

Medically Reviewed on 12/20/2021

If your stomach pain is due to gas, bloating, or acid reflux, home remedies and over-the-counter medications may help

Treating stomach pain depends on the cause, severity, and duration, as well as your overall health. If your pain is due to gas, bloating, or acid reflux, home remedies and over-the-counter medications may help.

However, if the pain is severe, constant, accompanied by other symptoms, or is affecting a child or elderly person, it is best to seek emergency medical treatment.

When to see a doctor for stomach pain

If your stomach pain is severe or accompanied by any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inability to hold down food
  • Bloody vomit
  • Bloody stools
  • Gray or pale stools
  • Unbearable pain during pregnancy
  • Tenderness or sensitivity to touch
  • Severe pain after an injury
  • Severe constipation
  • Jaundice

These symptoms may be a sign of internal inflammation, infection, or bleeding that requires emergency medical treatment.

How to treat stomach pain at home

If you have generalized abdominal pain as a result of minor gastrointestinal problems, these home remedies may help:

  • Warm water for gas or constipation
  • Baking soda diluted in water for indigestion
  • Ginger tea for nausea and indigestion
  • Chamomile tea to soothe cramped stomach muscles
  • Heating pads for cramp-like pain
  • Liquid diet for upset stomach
  • Lying on your left side to help pass gas
  • Avoiding spicy or potentially triggering foods such as dairy, beans, etc.
  • Blackstrap molasses for constipation

What are medications for abdominal pain?

Over-the-counter options for abdominal pain due to gas, indigestion, constipation, and upset stomach include:

  • Antacids and acid reducers
  • Anti-gas drugs, such as Maalox
  • Antinausea medications
  • Stool softeners for constipation

Medical treatment for gastrointestinal causes of abdominal pain, such as food poisoning, gastritis, or peptic ulcer disease, may be prescribed by a doctor:

  • Antibiotics for bacterial or parasitic causes
  • Acid reducers and acid-blockers
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Electrolyte replacement fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Probiotics and prebiotics

For severe abdominal pain, your doctor may recommend a combination of medications or even surgery.

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Medically Reviewed on 12/20/2021

References

Image Source: iStock Images

Medline Plus. Abdominal pain. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003120.htm

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

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