A sense of pressure in your stomach usually means you’re due for a bowel movement. If that doesn’t help, or the pressure is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical care.

The feeling of pressure in your stomach is often easily relieved with a good bowel movement. However, sometimes the pressure can be a sign of a preexisting condition.

If the feeling of pressure is intensified by cramping or pain, you may have a condition that should be checked by your doctor.

Pressure in your stomach can occur in conjunction with several common conditions, including indigestion and constipation.


Indigestion is usually caused by an imbalance of acid in your stomach. It’s typically accompanied by:

Indigestion can often be minimized by cutting down on acidic food and using over-the-counter antacid medication such as:


Pressure in your stomach or abdomen may be caused by a backup of fecal matter. If you haven’t had a bowel movement in a while or are experiencing difficulty passing a bowel movement, you may be constipated. Constipation can be caused by:

Occasional constipation can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as:


Overeating can cause pressure in the stomach. This is due to the stomach stretching to accommodate the food that you have ingested. This condition will typically pass with time.

You can prevent pressure in the stomach that comes from overeating by practicing portion control.


Stress can cause any number of reactions within your body. If you’re feeling anxious, nervous, or stressed, you may feel pressure in your stomach commonly called “butterflies.”

If you’re experiencing a stressful situation, try to remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t remove yourself, some ways to calm yourself include:

  • breathing exercises
  • counting to 10
  • closing your eyes
  • using acupressure on your hand

Premenstrual syndrome

If you have regular menstrual cycles, you may be experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. For some women, symptoms can include stomach pressure, cramping, or tightness.

If these symptoms are unbearable, keep a log of your PMS symptoms to discuss with your doctor or gynecologist.


A growing baby can cause physical pressure within your stomach. Pregnancy also causes many reactions within the body due to changing hormone levels. Side effects of pregnancy, such as nausea, can also result in a feeling of pressure within your stomach.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel diseases are long-term conditions. Often they can’t be cured, but symptoms can typically be managed by medication and a treatment plan from a doctor. Symptoms can include:

  • cramps or pain in the stomach
  • bloody stool
  • tiredness
  • weight loss
  • fever


Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. It’s caused by an inflammation of the pancreas. Sometimes the enzymes produced from the pancreas can damage other organs if not treated quickly. You may have pancreatitis if you’re experiencing:

  • severe upper abdomen or stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea


A hernia is defined as a sac that pushes through an opening in the muscle that surrounds the intestines. This is commonly caused by heavy lifting, strenuous tasks, or pressure within the stomach. If a hernia is causing pain, your doctor might suggest surgery.

Food poisoning

It’s reported that one in six Americans will have food poisoning annually. Most likely, you will recover fully from food poisoning, but serious side effects can occur.

There are many types of food poisoning caused by different types of bacteria. Food poisoning is marked by symptoms that often include:

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) reports that roughly 3,000 deaths occur annually in the United States from food poisoning.

If your symptoms last more than a few days, seek medical attention.

Your stomach pressure can often be resolved by a bowel movement. If it isn’t solved by a regular bowel movement or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek your doctor’s advice.