An uncomfortable feeling in the stomach described as heaviness may be related to something you’ve eaten. That said, it could also signify an underlying health condition that may require medical treatment.

Heaviness in the stomach, also referred to as the abdomen, is a symptom that may occur alongside other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

There doesn’t appear to be any definition or broadly endorsed use of stomach heaviness, and very limited research has examined the symptom itself.

However, heaviness in the stomach is sometimes used to describe other GI conditions.

Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for heaviness in the stomach.

Heaviness in the stomach is sometimes used to describe a variety of symptoms, such as:

Depending on the underlying cause, these symptoms may also be accompanied by other symptoms.

For example, indigestion may cause additional symptoms like:

If your physical symptoms persist or worsen, and they’re affecting your overall sense of well-being, consider talking with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive examination.

When is heaviness in the stomach a medical emergency?

It’s important to get immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:

Was this helpful?

The causes of stomach heaviness and related symptoms like bloating, distension, and flatulence may range from one-off eating habits to more severe, chronic health conditions.

Eating habits

A common cause of bloating and temporary heaviness in your stomach may be related to your eating habits. For example, these may include eating:

Temporary causes

Sometimes symptoms like stomach heaviness, bloating, and pain may result from a temporary condition, such as:

Some medications may also slow down your body’s digestion process, which could lead to feelings of fullness and stomach heaviness, among other symptoms. These medications may include certain:

If you’re taking any of these medications and experience unexplained symptoms like stomach pain, consider speaking with a healthcare professional. They could assess your treatment plan and modify it to improve stomach symptoms.

Long-term causes

Symptoms that may be related to stomach heaviness, such as bloating, abdominal pain, and fullness, could be a sign of an underlying health condition that requires medical treatment. Only a healthcare professional could determine if this is your case.

These conditions may include:

Per the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), if you experience symptoms like bloating for longer than 3 weeks, speak with a healthcare professional. They could provide a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan for your condition.

Treatment options for heaviness in the stomach and related symptoms like bloating will depend on the underlying cause but may include a combination of:

  • lifestyle changes
  • medications
  • surgery
  • herbal remedies

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes may be the first step to treating heaviness in the stomach if it’s caused by gas in the digestive tract. They may include:

It’s important to note that specific lifestyle changes will also depend on the underlying cause. For example, the NHS recommends eating high fiber foods if you’re constipated.


Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications could help relieve symptoms associated with a variety of GI symptoms, such as bloating, heartburn, and constipation. These medications may include:

It’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any OTC medications. They could help evaluate your stomach symptoms and likely come up with the best treatment plan.

If OTC medications do not help your symptoms, the doctor may prescribe stronger medications.

For example, if GERD is causing your symptoms, a doctor may suggest prescription-strength H2 receptor blockers or PPIs. If these do not help, or you want to stop taking medications for GERD in the long term, a doctor may suggest endoscopy or surgeries like fundoplication and bariatric surgery.

Some herbal remedies may also be combined with other treatments to help relieve GI symptoms like bloating and stomach pain, such as:

It’s important to note that research on the efficacy of herbal remedies is limited and mixed.

Speak with a healthcare professional before trying an herbal remedy. They could likely help evaluate whether it will interfere with any medications you’re taking or aggravate other medical conditions you may have.

What causes a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen?

A feeling of heaviness in the abdomen may describe symptoms like bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. Short-term symptoms like bloating may be caused by eating too quickly or eating certain types of food. However, long-term GI symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health condition like GERD, gastritis, or gastroparesis, among others.

How do you release stomach pressure?

It depends on the cause of the pressure. Some ways to help relieve stomach pressure due to indigestion and other gastrointestinal causes may include OTC and prescription medications, natural remedies, and changes in your diet.

There’s no exact definition of heaviness in the stomach, but the phrase is often used to describe an uncomfortable feeling or pressure in your stomach that may be associated with bloating, belching, and a feeling of fullness.

Some potential causes include following certain eating habits, taking certain medications, and having an underlying health condition that may require medical treatment.

If GI symptoms related to heaviness in your stomach persist, speak with a doctor. They could provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for relief.