Why does my stomach hurt when I breathe

Why does my stomach hurt when I breathe?

Anyone would be concerned if they experienced abdominal pain. And it can be much more concerning if the discomfort is severe and hits right before you breathe deeply. You could experience stomach discomfort when taking deep breaths, but there isn’t one specific cause for this.

It’s because your stomach is filled with numerous complicated structures. As a result, there are numerous potential causes, including acid reflux, pleurisy, and hiatal hernia. Another sign of a medical emergency is pain while breathing.

This article clarifies why your stomach could hurt when you breathe.

Why does my stomach hurt when I breathe?

As air enters and exits the lungs during breathing, the diaphragm contracts and relaxes. A big, narrow muscle at the base of the chest is called the diaphragm.

It is possible for breathing-related pain to feel like it is coming from the stomach when in fact it is the diaphragm or other nearby chest muscles and tissues because of the position of the stomach directly below the diaphragm.

The various reasons why your stomach will hurt when you breathe are discussed in this section of the article.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

A disorder known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid escapes and flows back up into the esophagus, or food pipe.

Heartburn, a painful burning feeling that develops in the middle of the chest or abdomen, is the most typical symptom of GERD. Heartburn is not a symptom of GERD in everyone, though. It can also happen if the esophageal valve at the base weakens or is damaged.


Deep breathing can result in lower right abdomen pain, which is a more serious problem. A portion of your digestive system is your appendix. It can be found where your large and small intestines meet. It is a blind pouch, so picture it as a balloon that has lost all of its air.

Your appendix is at the lower right portion of your abdomen. Your appendix may bump up against your abdominal wall as you inhale. Breathing deeply may induce a strong discomfort if you have appendicitis.

The infection and inflammation of your appendix are called appendicitis. The appendix inflates like a balloon if food becomes trapped inside and the aperture closes off. There is a breeding ground for bacteria. All of the microorganisms in your abdomen could leak if it explodes. Peritonitis, a dangerous condition, is brought on as a result.

Liver disease

The top left corner of your stomach is where your liver and gallbladder are situated. Your liver is located immediately below the diaphragm. It, therefore, moves most when breathing in and out. Moreover, your gallbladder is joined to the liver’s underside.

Breathing deeply may induce pain in the upper left abdomen from any liver issue. Hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and other liver infections are frequent.

Gallstones can develop as a result of stone buildup in the gallbladder. This occurs frequently. Stones can inflame the gallbladder and block it. Cholecystitis is the term for this. Cholecystitis causes upper left abdominal pain. Right shoulder soreness also occurs occasionally.

Issues involving the Uterus and Bladder

Additionally, you could experience respiratory issues while pregnant. The infant develops in the uterus, which is the cause. The pressure in the abdomen may rise as a result. Thus, breathing deeply may even be painful as a result of this.

When you breathe deeply, it can result in lower abdomen pain if you have any bladder-related disorders. Inflammation, an upper urinary tract infection, interstitial cystitis, etc. are some of these conditions.

Hernia (Hiatal hernia)

Another reason for pain when breathing deeply is hernias. An organ or portion of an organ that protrudes from its normal location is known as a hernia. The muscular wall’s usual opening or weakening is often how it happens.

A hiatal hernia is the specific kind of hernia that is most frequently linked to discomfort when inhaling deeply. When the stomach passes through this gap in the diaphragm, it becomes a hiatal hernia. You might be thinking right now that this motion would hurt.

But what it actually does is make it simpler for stomach acid to get from the stomach to the esophagus. And doing so can make it painful to breathe deeply.


When you breathe, pain from injuries to your stomach or the surrounding area may be experienced. For instance, hard chest blows chest-penetrating injuries, violent coughing, surgery, etc.

Diaphragm injuries sometimes co-occur with other serious injuries to the abdominal and chest area, making it challenging for doctors to make a diagnosis. Another possibility is that a person may not exhibit any symptoms for weeks or even months following the accident.

Pleural inflammation

The layer lining the lungs is called the pleura. There are no somatic pain receptors in the lungs. However, somatic pain receptors exist in the pleura. It implies that they are capable of sensing touch, friction, and other unpleasant sensations.

Because the pleura encircles the lungs, they inexorably bump into one another while breathing. Therefore, pleural inflammation may result in severe pain during breathing. Pleurisy is the medical term for this illness.

You’re more prone to experience chest pain when you have this illness. The pleura does, nevertheless, descend to the diaphragm. Under the lungs, it lines the upper surface of the diaphragm.

Therefore, any infection of the lower pleura may show up as a stomach ache with deep breathing. An infection with bacteria or a virus, an embolism, or both can lead to pleurisy.

Diaphragm Spasm or Pain

Any issues affecting the diaphragm can cause stomach pain when you breathe deeply. Diaphragm spasm or pain It may hurt if your diaphragm is injured or has an irritated area.

If you have diaphragm pain, you can also experience an abdominal cramp. Breathing problems could also be present in addition to this. You might even experience cramps in your stomach. You can harm your diaphragm by:

  • excessive activity without adequate warm-up
  • blows to the abdomen or chest
  • operations on the diaphragm
  • chest wall damage

Other causes

Other factors might also occasionally cause your stomach to hurt when you breathe. For instance, an infection in the lower chest or abdomen may be to blame. Numerous organs can become infected by bacteria and other organisms. And that could be the cause of any breathing discomfort you experience.

This may also be brought on by some other, more significant medical issues. Aortic dissection, cancer, heart attacks, etc. are a few of them. These are quite unlikely to be the source of your pain. They are also accompanied by other severe symptoms.


The presence of stomach aches with deep breathing is actually concerning. However, it is rarely brought on by serious illnesses. You can get rid of this pain by visiting your doctor at the appropriate time and following their recommendations.

Some of the common causes for why your stomach hurts when you breathe include Gastroesophageal reflux disease, appendicitis, liver disease, and many others discussed in this article.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Does Appendicitis Affect Breathing?

Whether you are breathing or not, appendicitis will cause agony. Take a deep breath because doing so will make the agony greater. However, there will still be excruciating discomfort even if you stop breathing. If you apply pressure to your lower right abdomen, the pain will get worse.

Can breathing be affected by stomach pain?

It can occasionally be a little harder to breathe if you have a stomach ache. The muscular wall between the chest and abdomen known as the diaphragm moves during breathing, which is why. The abdominal organs are pushed up and down as a result.

Therefore, in cases of stomach pain, the diaphragm is unable to function properly due to the pain. Your respiration may then be affected.

What to Do if Deep Breathing Causes Stomach Pain?

There are several reasons why you could experience pain when taking big breaths. They range in severity from some to others. But the likelihood of such is slim. Still, if the discomfort seems excessive or has persisted for a while, you should visit your doctor.

Why Does Breathing Deeply Hurt My Stomach?

There are many reasons why your stomach could hurt when you breathe deeply. Your chest or abdomen may be the source of the issue. Pleurisy, hernias, liver and gallbladder disorders, diaphragm injuries, etc. are a few of the causes.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for enochkabange.com and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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