Health conditions

Stomach pain

The abdomen, commonly referred to as the stomach, contains many organs which can make it difficult for your clinician to be sure of the cause of your abdominal pain.

Your health care professional will ask you many questions to rule out serious conditions associated with abdominal pain and may take some tests.

Sometimes the exact cause may not be found or will only become evident with time.

If symptoms persist or worsen you should see your general practitioner or go to the emergency department.

Do

  • rest whilst you feel unwell 4 ensure you complete a course of antibiotics if prescribed
  • wash your hands after using the toilet and prior to eating
  • use pain relief as directed
  • drink plenty of water and reduce your coffee and tea intake
  • ensure you eat only bland things like crackers, dry toast or unsweetened biscuits
  • use a wheat bag or hot water bottle on your stomach.

Do not

  • drink alcohol until you are feeling better
  • smoke cigarettes or use recreational drugs.

See your family GP or go to the emergency department if any of the following develop

  • severe pain in the abdomen or chest which does not subside with simple painkillers
  • the pain worsens, changes or moves
  • a high temperature that is not being relieved by simple painkillers
  • unusual fatigue
  • blood in your vomit
  • blood or mucous in your bowel motions
  • are unable to keep fluids down
  • have abdominal swelling
  • are unable to pass urine, move your bowels or unable to pass wind
  • are pregnant with severe pain or bleeding.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • Visit a GP after hours
  • Ring healthdirect on 1800 022 222

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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