Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Cough? Find Out The Reasons!


Hurting your stomach can never be a good feeling. It is an unexplainable discomfort that needs to be addressed immediately. But even though we cannot see we know how each of those stomach pains differ from each other. Additionally, some are waves, and some are just cramps but in any case, they are unbearable. But what are the reasons for it? Obviously, there could be a myriad of reasons but which ones to believe and which ones to disregard? This article will cover all the reasons why your stomach hurts especially when you cough. Read on to know more about it.

What Causes Stomach Pain When Coughing?

A hurting stomach is not uncommon due to cramps, unhealthy food habits, and bad food but why does it hurt when you are coughing? Find out the reasons here-

The Reasons For Stomach Pain While Coughing

1. Muscle strain- When you cough, you might have noticed how all of your abdominal muscles feel the pressure. Now if you cough for a long time, chances are your muscles undergo a strain and this may escalate into stomach pain. This could be generally experienced all over your abdomen with special concentration on your lower abdomen.

2. Hernia- Hernia happens when a small part of your intestine breaks out from the abdominal wall. When you cough the organ or tissue that found its way out of the wall often pressures again the muscles and this could be painful. Treating the condition could be how you improve the pain.

3. Gastrointestinal issues- Acid reflux is a situation where not eating food for a long time could mess up the acids in the stomach and then move up to the throat. When you cough these symptoms could just escalate and cause gastritis. Gastritis could be much worse as it leads to inflammation of the stomach walls. As you cough, the pain could be ruthless.

4. Infections- Stomach walls are sensitive and may be prone to infections more than you know. If you have conditions like bronchitis that may require you to cough more frequently than ever, chances are the stomach walls could be bruising against the muscles and it could hurt more than ever.

5. Gallbladder issues- When the gall bladder is filled with stones or is swollen, when you cough your stomach could hurt more than you could believe. This is because the gallbladder stones might be pressing against the organs and the walls.

6. Appendicitis- The inflammation of the appendix could be another reason why it hurts when you cough. Cough generally involves all of the organs and appendicitis could definitely exert pressure on the abdomen.

7. Intestinal issues- Your intestines play a major part in digestion and absorption of nutrients so when there is a problem with your intestine wall including perforation, it might mean a lot of difficulty when breathing let alone coughing.

8. Pregnancy- Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the body and abdomen and coughing could be pain-generating. You should see a doctor immediately if the cough persists for a long time to check for infections.

So what do you do to improve the pain? The main idea is to always look out for the underlying cause and treat it. Moreover, you should also get your stomach checked regularly as it does suggest some serious conditions. Some women also complain of pain while coughing while menstruating so the pain could be nothing but it could also be a lot worse than appendicitis and other ailments.

Firstly you can look for some proper bed rest that can help improve the pain. Secondly, you can always hold a support pillow against the abdomen to lessen the impact. Also, go for some superior breathing techniques that may avoid these problems in the future.

Secondly, you should look for surgical options to alleviate some conditions that might be right for hernia and appendicitis.

Thirdly, take painkillers or antacids to relieve the acid reflux if that is what is causing the problem. Additionally, opt for antibiotics or medications to do away with the infections that might have caught your intestines in a rut. Lastly, modify your diet to make sure your weight is optimum.

When Should You Call The Doctor?

You should call the doctor when you have-

  1. Fever- High temperatures are a sign of your body fighting off the infection and that is why you should consult a doctor to know what it is.
  2. Severe pain- Low to moderate pain is not a problem but when the pain gets over your head, you should go to a doctor.
  3. Nausea and vomiting- If the abdominal pain is accompanied by persistent vomiting and nauseous feeling, you may be rushed to a hospital.
  4. Change in bowel habits- With all the above symptoms, diarrhea, and constipation could also mean there is something wrong with the abdominal wall.
  5. Blood in stool or vomit- If you pass stools and identify blood in the urine or feces, contact your healthcare worker immediately.
  6. Persistent symptoms- What will happen if the symptoms are staying for over 2 weeks? This is your sign for you to call your healthcare provider.
  7. Previous medical conditions- Sometimes when you have a chronic illness, it should be checked out with the doctor to make sure there is no residual pain and it isn’t a flare-up. It is never too late to be cautious.


Hurting your stomach while coughing can never be a good sign. But mostly it could be mild symptoms while sometimes those could escalate. It could be a simple gastritis but it can also be a symptom of appendicitis, the rupture of which could be extremely dangerous.

Additionally, you always need to get treatment for the underlying condition before treating the pain. The pain might slow down with the pain killer but the main cause could spiral and lead to multiple problems. Never take it lightly when the symptoms are coupled with some of the others mentioned above as it could be life-threatening. Take your regular medications to not awaken any dormant condition.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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