Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Cough?

why does my stomach hurt when i cough

Why does my stomach hurt when I cough? If you’ve experienced belly pain while coughing, you’re not alone. This discomfort can vary from mild aches to severe pain, and coughing might not be the only trigger. Sneezing, laughing, or even exercising could also make your stomach hurt.

Coughing is your body’s way to clear out throat irritants, but sometimes this natural reflex can cause your chest or abdomen to ache. Let’s explore what might be going on.

Why does my stomach hurt when I cough?

Experiencing stomach pain while coughing could be alarming and should never be self-diagnosed. Consult a doctor if you experience sudden or persistent stomach pain along with other symptoms. Here are some possible explanations:


When your appendix becomes inflamed, you’ll likely feel a sharp pain in your lower right abdomen that intensifies when you cough, sneeze, or even walk. Additional symptoms like fever, nausea, and abdominal swelling are red flags. Delaying medical intervention could lead to a ruptured appendix, which is life-threatening.


This urinary tract infection predominantly affects women and could be the reason behind your lower abdomen pain. If you also experience a frequent urge to urinate or a burning sensation when you do, consult a doctor. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat the infection.

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Diverticular Disease

This condition may develop silently but become more serious over time. Along with abdominal pain and bloating, you may experience fever, nausea, and changes in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea. A balanced diet rich in fiber, along with medications, can manage symptoms effectively.


In the U.S., this condition affects a significant percentage of women and causes tissue similar to the uterine lining to grow outside the uterus. Along with abdominal pain, symptoms can include discomfort during periods, sexual activity, urination, and bowel movements. While not life-threatening, it’s a leading cause of infertility.


If your gallbladder stores excess bile or cholesterol, gallstones can form and trigger what are known as gallbladder attacks. These attacks bring about intense abdominal pain that can last for half an hour or more, often radiating to the upper back or right shoulder. Additional symptoms may include fever and jaundice.


A hernia occurs when an internal organ pushes through a weak point in your abdominal wall, often creating a noticeable lump. The pain or discomfort can worsen when you cough, sneeze, run, or lift heavy items. While not immediately dangerous, some cases may require surgical intervention to prevent complications.

How long is too long for stomach pain?

The duration of stomach pain that is considered “too long” can vary depending on the cause and intensity of the pain. In general, if you experience mild stomach discomfort that lasts for a day or two, it may not be cause for immediate concern.

However, if the pain persists for more than a few days, becomes severe, or is accompanied by other troubling symptoms such as fever, vomiting, blood in the stool, or unexplained weight loss, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly.

Chronic or prolonged stomach pain may indicate underlying medical conditions that require evaluation and treatment by a healthcare professional.

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How can I relieve my stomach pain?

If you’re seeking relief from stomach pain, there are several strategies you can try:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water helps maintain proper digestion and can alleviate stomach discomfort.
  • Maintain an Upright Position: Avoid lying down immediately after eating to prevent acid reflux and indigestion.
  • Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease stomach pain and nausea. You can consume it as ginger tea or add it to your meals.
  • BRAT Diet: The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These bland, easily digestible foods can provide relief during stomach upset.
  • Avoid Smoking and Alcohol: Both smoking and alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, so it’s best to avoid them when experiencing stomach pain.
  • Avoid Hard-to-Digest Foods: Spicy, greasy, and high-fiber foods can exacerbate stomach discomfort, so skip them for now.
  • Lime or Lemon Juice with Baking Soda: Mixing lime or lemon juice with a pinch of baking soda in water can help neutralize stomach acid and alleviate pain.
  • Figs: Figs have natural laxative properties and can aid in digestion, potentially reducing stomach pain.


Should I be worried if my stomach hurts when I cough?

Mild stomach discomfort when coughing may not be a cause for concern. However, if the pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other worrisome symptoms, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation for a proper diagnosis.

How can I stop my stomach from hurting when I cough?

To alleviate stomach pain when coughing, try holding a pillow against your abdomen when coughing. This provides support to your stomach muscles and can reduce the discomfort associated with coughing.

How do I know if my stomach pain is serious?

Stomach pain should be taken seriously if it is severe, persistent, accompanied by symptoms like fever, vomiting blood, or unexplained weight loss, or if it interferes with daily life.


While stomach pain when coughing can result from various causes, it’s essential to pay attention to the severity and accompanying symptoms. Mild discomfort may be temporary, but persistent, severe pain warrants medical attention to identify and address any underlying issues, ensuring your overall health and well-being.



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