Stomach ache and abdominal pain

A stomach ache usually refers to cramps or a dull ache in the belly (abdomen).

Information written and reviewed by Certified Doctors.

Stomach ache or abdominal pain

A stomach ache, including stomach cramps or abdominal pain, doesn't usually last long and isn't usually caused by anything serious.

Some common causes of a stomach ache include:

Speak to your pharmacist for advice about medications to help ease symptoms of these conditions.

If you have diarrhoea and vomiting , it will usually clear up by itself within a week.

Read about what to do if you have diarrhoea and vomiting.

Try checking your symptoms with our free symptom checker.

When to get medical advice

See your doctor if you're worried or need advice about your symptoms.

For example, if:

Call for an ambulance or go to your nearest hospital accident and emergency (A&E) if you:

  • have sudden, severe stomach pain
  • feel pain when you touch your stomach
  • are vomiting blood
  • have bloody or black, sticky stools
  • aren't able to urinate
  • have collapsed or can't breathe
  • you're diabetic and vomiting

If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, read about chest pain for information and advice.

Causes of sudden, severe abdominal pain

Some of the possible causes of sudden, severe abdominal pain include:

Causes of long-term or recurring abdominal pain

Some of the possible causes of long-term or recurring abdominal pain include:

Possible causes in children include:

Content supplied by NHS Choices