COVID-19 & The Stomach
COVID-19 infections have been shown to cause multiple stomach problems including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

Key Findings

COVID-19 & The Stomach

COVID-19 & Stomach Problems

COVID-19 has been shown to cause several problems with the stomach and the gastrointestinal tract. The most common is nausea and vomiting. Surprisingly, many people with stomach problems don't have any of the traditional lung or breathing problems.

Key Data

COVID-19 & The Stomach

The above chart shows the prevalence of different gastrointestinal symptoms in COVID-19

Key Facts

GI Symptoms & COVID-19

1. This was a meta-analysis

Meta-analyses combine multiple studies to create better estimates of an effect, phenomenon, or outcome.

2. It’s pretty common

"Overall, gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in 15% of patients with COVID-19 and liver injury in 19% of patients. As the severity of the disease increases, digestive symptoms and liver injury become more pronounced."

Source: Mao et al

3. You can have stomach symptoms without lung symptoms.

"About 10% of patients presented with gastrointestinal symptoms alone without respiratory features; these patients have delayed diagnosis of COVID-19. Patients with gastrointestinal symptoms have increased risk of severe or critical disease, and development of acute respiratory distress syndrome."

Source: Mao et al


About the symptoms

Nausea & Vomiting

"Nausea is an unpleasant feeling of needing to vomit. People also may feel dizziness, vague discomfort in the abdomen, and an unwillingness to eat. Vomiting is a forceful contraction of the stomach that propels its contents up the esophagus and out the mouth. "

Loss of Appetite

"A decreased appetite is when your desire to eat is reduced. The medical term for a loss of appetite is anorexia. Any illness can reduce appetite. If the illness is treatable, the appetite should return when the condition is cured."

Abdominal Pain

"Pain in the stomach is a normal occurrence, an uncomfortable experience that almost everyone goes through from time-to-time. But for some people this pain can become so disruptive, due to its frequency and/or severity, that it can seriously lower their quality of life. "

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