November 19, 2023

Why My Stomach Hurts When I Cough

If your stomach hurts when you cough, it may be a sign of an underlying health condition. Your physician can help determine what is causing your stomach pain and recommend the right treatment for you.

Stomach pain from coughing can be a result of muscle fatigue or strained muscles. The constant coughing uses many different muscles in the upper body, and this can lead to them becoming tired and sore. The pain can also be a symptom of a medical condition like bronchitis or a sinus infection. The pain may be a dull, aching feeling or it could be sharp and intense.

You might experience acid reflux when you are coughing, which can cause pain in the chest and stomach. This is a common problem for people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It is important to treat the symptoms of GERD before the acid damage your throat and lungs. Over-the-counter antacids such as Mylanta (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, and calcium carbonate) or Tums (calcium carbonate and aluminum hydroxide) can be helpful. If your acid reflux is persistent, speak with your healthcare provider about other treatment options.

You might also have pain in your ribs from coughing. This can be caused by overworking the intercostal muscles in your rib cage. Severe or repeated coughing can cause these muscles to stretch or tear. Your doctor can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests to determine the underlying reason for your rib pain. They might recommend lifestyle changes or medications.


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