Stomach Tender to Touch

Stomach Tender to TouchThere are number of things that could cause your stomach to be tender to touch and the medical complaint is very common. Although usually a sign of something gastro-intestinal or digestive, there are a few other underlying medical problems that could come with a tender stomach as a symptom so if you find yourself with prolonged periods, or tenderness that doesn’t go away after a few days, it is wise to seek medical advice.

Here are a few of the common reasons why your stomach is tender to touch:

1 – Gas 

A build-up of gas happens often in the human body and if you eat foods that are known to cause it, you may experience some tenderness. During digestion, gas naturally occurs in the intestines but fiber-rich foods cause increased periods of belching and flatulence and this is when the pain could arise. Trapped gas is one of the most common reasons behind a tender tummy.

Foods that are rich in fiber include beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fruit juice and soft drinks and whole grains. The more you eat these foods, the more your body will get used to them so sometimes persistence is key.

Alcohol can also cause flatulence.

If you have repeated problems with gas, or it seems to be a problem that doesn’t go away on its own, it could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, Celiacs, Crohns disease and other bowel-related disorders, and even colon or bowel cancer.

2 – Indigestion 

When you eat too much or eat too fast, you will probable encounter indigestion. This normally happens when the digestive system is working on overdrive trying to absorb whatever nutrients are available and get to work with digesting that meal.

Indigestion can cause a tender stomach and when it happens on a regular basis, could be a symptom of GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease, cancer, and a number of the other medical complaints that often bring gas.



Stress and medication are also common factors behind indigestion.

3 – Stomach Flu 

Otherwise known as gastroenteritis, stomach flu is a very nasty bout of what appears at first sight to be food poisoning. With vomiting and diarrhea with a fever, the shakes, and a general feeling of being very unwell, it is a very unpleasant medical condition that generally only lasts two or three days.

As well as experience stomach tenderness, patients will also complain of aching muscles and joints, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and abdominal pressure.

4 – Food Poisoning 

Food poisoning is very similar in symptoms to stomach flue except the root cause of the symptoms are a source of food that hasn’t agreed with the body. Undercooked, out of date and incorrectly cooked food is likely to be the root of the problem and is quite common during the summer in BBQ season.



5 – Constipation 

Everyone suffers with constipation at some point in their life and although it is painful and uncomfortable, is normally a sign that the body isn’t receiving enough fiber. When there is no bowel movement, the body can become clogged and blocked with waste material.

Encouraging the matter to move along can usually be achieved with gentle, natural laxatives such as figs or prunes, but with long-term constipation, or for severe bouts, it is wise to seek medical attention. There are a number of ways in which constipation can be treated with medicated laxatives and even enemas.

6 – Appendicitis

Although it is rare for a stomach that is tender to touch to be caused by appendicitis, it can happen and it is considered to be a medical emergency.

When the appendix becomes inflamed and fills with pus, the patient will experience severe pain on the right hand side of the abdomen. Over time, the pain doesn’t go away, it just gets a lot worse. If left untreated or the appendage removed, the condition can be fatal although it is usually diagnosed and treatment a long time before that happens.

7 – Pancreatitis 

A condition similar to appendicitis but occurring in the pancreas instead, pancreatitis is another uncommon underlying cause behind a tender stomach. When the organ becomes inflamed, the patient will suffer from symptoms such as tenderness, oily and / or smelly stools, loss of weight, indigestion and an upset stomach.

8 – Peritonitis 

Another medical emergency, when the thin layer of the abdomen (the peritoneum) becomes inflamed because of a fungus or bacteria, peritonitis can cause graying of the skin as well as tenderness, fatigue, bloating, vomiting and nausea, excessive thirst and more.

There are a number of reasons when this layer of the abdomen could become infected and some of the main causes are a wound or injury to the abdomen, a ruptured appendix, perforated colon, stomach ulcers, pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease and even catheters or feeding tubes.

9 – Diverticulitis 

This is a rather common but relatively unknown condition that leads to bulging pockets or sacs on the intestines which have the potential to become filled with waste matter and food and then become infected. When this happens, the pockets cause a number of uncomfortable problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, bloating, fatigue, fever and more.

10 – Lactose Intolerance 

This seems to be a food disorder on the increase and if you are lactose intolerant and eat foods containing lactose, you are likely to experience tenderness in the stomach as well as a whole host of other symptoms similar to food poisoning.

Lactose is commonly found in many dairy products so by avoiding things like milk, cheese, yogurt and other byproducts of milk, you can keep symptoms down.

There are many reasons why your stomach might be tender to touch and as well as the relatively common factors we have discussed here, you will a number of other problems such as ectopic pregnancy, hernias and more. If the stomach tenderness happens for more than a few days or seems to be getting worse, make sure you seek out medical assistance.

40 COMMENTS

  1. All of a sudden today right in the middle of my belly became sore and tender to touch. Right after the soreness followed fatigue which u layed down and took a nap. When I woke up my belly was still sore… I have no signs of diarrhea or nausea; and when I drink water it just feels more full and it gets super sore. I’m not sure what to do? Any suggestions…

    • It could be a digestive problem, or it could be from working out a lot. There are also other things that can cause this though, so you should probably go to your doctor to be professionally diagnosed.

  2. All of a sudden this afternoon, my lower stomach became very tender and painful to touch. I could even feel discomfort while walking or as I go to sit down…even when I went pee it hurt my lower stomach. I don’t know if this is conected but I had a bad cough this week and pulled the muscles in my back. I have no other symptoms.

    • You should go to your doctor. There are many reasons why this could be happening, and pulling your muscles is one of them. It is important that you go to your doctor and make sure that there isn’t a serious reason behind the sudden pain.

  3. This happens everytime I eat and drink something. My stomach hurts when I play with my kids, when I lay down in the bed. I even get sweaty and jittery. Like today, we came back from spending time together and I felt nauseated, sweaty and tired. I felt like I had throw up. The only time it doesn’t hurt is when I lay on my side. I had to ask my husband to get some peppermints to calm my nauseated stomach. What is it? Plus I feel like this when I have my period every month. I have heavy bleeding badly.

    • You will want to develop a diet diary. AS you must continue to eat, you should take note of the experiences that you have after you eat certain foods. Some foods, such as vegetables and fruits, may cause you less discomfort that processed foods and meat. If these troubles continue, then make an appointment with a medical professional for a diagnosis. Best of luck, Nikki!

  4. I had a fever two nights ago and it’s gradually got better. Along with this I had stomach tenderness (stomach not bowel). No nausea sickness or diarrhoea and I was hungry but not massively. So I was feeling a bit better last night and went to dinner with friends but found eating large quantities difficult, although I kept up. The food was quite rich, but I had no alcohol. I got home and couldn’t sleep,as the food felt like it was still in my stomach and it’s now 6am and I’ve hardly slept. My stomach feels less full now but it’s oh so tender – almost feels like it does when you get winded..right in the middle. It feels stiff and congested. I’m on flucloxicillin for a skin infection and I’ve taken nsaids to reduce my temperature . What could this be?

    • Continue to monitor the experiences that you are having. It is possible that you are experiencing side effects. If your symptoms worsen, then visit a medical professional. If they diminish, then take note for future reference. Speak with a doctor if any major painful experiences occur. Best of luck, Janie!

  5. I have had pain in my stomach for 3 months now. It runs down either side of my rectus abdominus-but I can’t tell if it is muscle related or something inside. It hurts to press but otherwise is just a nagging pain. I went to the doctor and they took X-rays and saw nothing. I had a baby 11 months ago-could this have messed something up? I also have digestive issues-i only have a bowel movement every 2-3 days. I don’t even know if it’s the muscles or internal..I’m at a loss!

    • It is possible that your experiences are due to your previous pregnancy, but since they started much later, then that is likely not the case. Digestive issues may also be the problem. Your muscles may be causing you pain. Your nerves may also be causing you pain. Continue to monitor your experiences and speak with your doctor again if they continue or increase in intensity. Best of luck, Gwen!

  6. Woke up at 5 am this morning with really bad stomach pain in upper abdomen right under my chest bone one both sides and above my belly button. I went and sat on the toilet and after 30 mins pooped a good bit. Then started feeling nauseated my stomach still hurts and tinder to the touch right under neath my chest bone. Have had the urge to poop once more and a little come out mostly gas. Still hurts though. What could this Be? A virus? Food poisoning?

    • Continue to monitor the experiences that you are having. If you notice that your feelings continue for another day or so, then you may want to speak with a medical professional. If you are feeling better at this time, then your diet is likely the culprit. Add fiber to your diet and reduce dairy consumption. If you have reason to believe that you have food poisoning, then visit the emergency room at this time. Best of luck, Shay!

    • It could be a wide variety of digestive problems or other conditions. You should go to your doctor because he or she will need to run diagnostic tests to figure out the exact cause. It could be something as simple as acid reflux disease, but you really should go to your doctor to make sure that it isn’t anything serious.

  7. Recently had a horrible case of acid reflux. It woke me up at 3am and felt like my insides were on fire and felt like I was breathing fire. I stay away from spicy foods but I do drink a lot of Dr. Peppers. But, I’ve had acid reflux for most of my life. I’m 35 and been dealing with it since I was 18. I’ve had it under control well over a year with the medicine I’ve been taking daily. But this came out of nowhere. My pills would not curb it, water did not work. I tried some “home remedies” like milk, spoonful of mustard, sugar free gum, apples, etc… The next day I bought some over the counter medicine and bought some gas X and banana’s. That took the pain level down from a 10 to a 3. Now 3 days later. I’m still feeling the affects from it. I feel bloated, still a slight burn and constantly feel bubbles moving around. When I slightly press in on the middle of my chest right below my sternum. It’s slightly uncomfortable and kind of feels like a burning sensation. Is this just the after affects of a really bad reflux attack or is this something completely different? I honestly don’t remember ever it being this bad after I curbed it. Not 3 days after the fact. I’d hate to go to the doctor and get billed (cause my insurance is horrible) for him to say “It’s just gas mixed in with your acid reflux” or something like that. Thank you

    • Reduce your soda intake. It would be best to completely remove the soda from your diet. Carbonation can lead to stomach troubles. You will find that reducing sugar, meat, and salt from your diet will help. Meat, especially salty meat like pork, can lead to troubles as well. Try to establish a plant based diet and you will find that these problems will subside. Best of luck, Brandon!

  8. What is wrong with me when it hurts to touch the outside of your stomach.You feel hungry but food hurts your intestines and you have diarrhea. If you eat you throw up becase of the pain. You are thirsty all the time. It has lasted 4 weeks now.

    • It seems like you may have commented twice on this article. I have to answer and approve each comment individually, so it may take me a little bit to get around to all of them. If you do not see a response right away, do not worry because you will. Read through my last response and let me know if you need any more help. You should definitely go to your doctor though because both IBS and diabetes could cause some of these symptoms–both will need professional treatment to improve.

  9. What’s wrong when it hurts to touch the outside of your stomach. You feel hungry but food hurts your intestines. You have diarrhea and if you eat it make you throw up because of the pain. You are thirsty all the time. You don’t have a gallbladder.

    • It could be IBS or a similar problem. IBS would cause all of the symptoms that you just mentioned, so you could have that. There are special diets that can help control flare-ups of IBS if this is what you have. You should go to your doctor to be diagnosed however because there are several other illnesses that can cause the same symptoms, so it is important that you get an accurate, in-person diagnosis.

  10. I am 13 years old and whenever I move or touch my lower stomach I get severe pains, these pains also occur when using the bathroom.

    • You will want to speak with your parents about speaking with a doctor. Anytime that you are in major pain when you touch your body, it is possible that you have a serious problem. If your parents do not bring you to a doctor, then speak with the nurse at your school tomorrow. Stay safe and best of luck, Jenna!

  11. Hi Can Someone Help I Went To The Gym On Monday And On Tuesday I Had Extreme Pain On My Abs Chest Stomach Both Right And Left Really Sharp Pain My Pubic Area Is Sharp Pain To Touch And It Hurts To Laugh Cough And Sneeze And My Ribs Are Sore Anyone Have Ideas Also I Can Barley Get Up Or Bend Over

    • You may have over exerted yourself. It is also possible that you are ill. If you believe that you have an illness, then make an appointment with a medical professional. If you believe that you worked out too hard, then perhaps it would be best for you to exercise less vigorously. Best of luck, Lee!

  12. Hi i’m 11 years old and i have been having stomach pain for a few weeks now and i feel like i’m going to puke and it hurts VERY bad to touch it! i’ve told
    my dad who is a paramedic but he thinks i don’t need to go to the doctor and thinks it’s a muscle strain! I am all so getting head aches and my right cheek feels swollen! This all happens after i eat! What should i do?

    • If you are still having this problem, talk to your dad again and ask him to take you to the doctor. While he has experience as a paramedic, a doctor would have the tools to accurately diagnose you.

        • Explain the experiences that you have been having to your doctor. You may want to take any notes or write down any information that you can remember. This will help you answer any questions that your doctor may have for you. Bet of luck, Becca!

  13. Hello I am 12 years old. When I woke up today (January 20th, 2017) I had pains in my stomach whenever I pressed on it. Whenever I pee I get like cramps in my stomach, but only when I pee. My brother touched my stomach and I screamed in pain, whenever something is on my stomach it hurts. What should I do?

    • If you scream in pain at someone’s touch, then you need to speak with a doctor immediately. Speak with your parents as soon as possible and go to the emergency room. You should rest at this time. Note where the pain is located on your body. Also note what events cause you to feel significant pain. Go to the doctor as soon as you can. Best of luck, Zoe!

  14. I my daughter October of 2015 she was my fourth c section and as I was on the table the Dr said I should really think about not having anymore babies. She said I was very lucky with this baby but since I had my daughter my stomach seems to be growing and I look like I’m 7 months pregnant if not father along but I am not pregnant my husband had a vesectomy, and we are very careful. Whenever my kids push on my stomach it is very tender I’ll lose a few pounds but then gain it plus some back. Any ideas on what is wrong I’m lost on what’s going on with my body.

    • You would be benefited by speaking with a doctor. This may be a sign of other health concerns. Make an appointment when you are able to do so. While you are waiting for your appointment, take note of the experiences that you are having. You will be better able to answer your doctor’s questions with this information. Reduce stress on your body at this time. Best of luck, Springe!

  15. I had my daughter October of 2015 she was my fourth c section and as I was on the table the Dr said I should really think about not having anymore babies. She said I was very lucky with this baby but since I had my daughter my stomach seems to be growing and I look like I’m 7 months pregnant if not father along but I am not pregnant my husband had a vesectomy, and we are very careful. Whenever my kids push on my stomach it is very tender I’ll lose a few pounds but then gain it plus some back. Any ideas on what is wrong I’m lost on what’s going on with my body.

    • You would be benefited by speaking with a doctor. This may be a sign of other health concerns. Make an appointment when you are able to do so. While you are waiting for your appointment, take note of the experiences that you are having. You will be better able to answer your doctor’s questions with this information. Reduce stress on your body at this time. Best of luck, Springe!

  16. I have been sexually active. First my boobs on the sides are sore. For the past two days my stomach has been sore and sensitive to touch and pulling of my belly button. Me and my fiance have been trying to have a baby. But it has been to failure because i have been on my period for a long time. Please can someone tell me whats going on

    • If you are having these symptoms, then it is possible that you are pregnant. If the two of you have been attempting to have a child for a long time, then it may be beneficial for you both to speak with a fertility clinic. They may be able to help the two of you conceive. Take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date to determine your situation. Remain positive as you move forward. Best of luck, Stormie!

    • What exactly do you mean when you say you have been on your period for a long time? A period doesn’t last a long time, that is actually considered excessive bleeding when you bleed more than a normal cycle which could last up to 8 days no more than 10 days! If you are experiencing bleeding for more than 10 days at the most you definitely need to see your gynecologist!

      • You are absolutely right–I assumed that she meant “off” or “no” period and it was a spelling error. On a closer reading, I realize it could be either. You are right in suggesting that Stormie go to the gynecologist. At the very least, an exceptionally long menstrual cycle can lead to anemia and other health consequences. Thank you for pointing that out, Brandy!

  17. Stomach Tender To Touch article
    You say pain on the left could be appendicitis but the appendix is in the lower right hand side.

    • I have updated the article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We appreciate our articles being looked over and commented on by our readers. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the future. Have a great day, Lisa!

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