Pregnancy As A Cause Of Upper Gastric Pain:
Pregnancy is accompanied by wide range of health issues. Some women experience pain in the upper portion on the stomach with pregnancy. This is possibly due to exertion of pressure over the abdominal wall by the growing foetus. Hormonal changes brought in by pregnancy can also lead to digestive issues and acid reflux causing pain on top of stomach.
Causes Of Right Upper Quadrant Pain
There can be several causes for right upper quadrant pain. The most common causes include:
- Gallbladder problems
In some cases like indigestion and gastritis, this might cause mild symptoms like burping, gas, bloating, and pain. This can be caused by eating certain foods and may be minor.
Other conditions like sudden pancreatitis and peritonitis are serious and might cause sudden and severe symptoms.
What Do Upper And Lower Abdominal Pain Signify
If the pain is coming from higher up in your stomach, it could be caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. You might also have heartburn and belching and the pain may either be made worse or relieved by food.
If you feel pain right across your stomach area or low down, its probably coming from your bowel. You may also have bloating and wind. If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause is probably gastroenteritis. If you are very ill for example, with chills or a fever you may have a more serious condition, such as food poisoning.
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How Can I Prevent Abdominal Pain
- You can keep your gut healthy by eating lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as other foods high in fibre, such as whole grains and legumes. Find out more about healthy eating.
- You can reduce the chance of food poisoning and gut infections by following food safety practices and keeping your hands clean.
- Find out about preventing specific conditions by linking on the related topics and links in the list of causes above.
Burning Sensation In Stomach Signs And Symptoms
Regardless of the cause of your burning stomach sensation, there are some common symptoms to look out for. Signs and symptoms of stomach pain include a burning sensation or discomfort in the upper abdomen or lower chest, bloating, belching, early feeling of fullness when eating, and nausea.The following symptoms indicate there is a very serious cause of your burning sensation and should prompt you to see your doctor immediately. These symptoms include bloody vomit, dark and tarry stool, shortness of breath, and pain that radiates from the jaw, neck, or shoulder.
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Right Upper Abdominal Pain
Dull, persistent pain beneath your right ribs could be generated by inflammation, infection or a mass in your liver. Intense, recurrent pain in this area is often a sign of gallbladder disease, particularly if the discomfort begins an hour or two after a meal, reaches a peak within a few minutes and lasts for several hours before decreasing. If your pain is relieved by having a bowel movement or passing gas, you could be constipated, suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or feeling the effects of diverticulosis, a condition characterized by bubble-like protrusions along the wall of your colon. Although they are more likely to cause flank or lower abdominal pain, kidney stones can cause upper abdominal pain, too.
Acute Pain Vs Chronic Pain
Chronic abdominal pain is pain in the abdomen that occurs continuously or is intermittent and that lasts for at least 6 months. Chronic abdominal pain may be due to a problem in any of the systems located in the abdominal area including the stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, liver, intestines, colon, kidneys, ureter, prostate, or uterus. Acute abdominal pain comes on suddenly and it is severe. The underlying cause of acute abdominal pain may be a medical emergency or life-threatening. Sometimes, patients with this kind of abdominal pain require surgery. Let your doctor know whether your abdominal pain came on suddenly or gradually, whether you experience it all the time or intermittently, and how long you’ve been in pain.
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What Are The Less Serious Causes Of Abdominal Pain
The key to determining less serious causes of abdominal pain is the definition of “less serious.” There is little or no agreement among patients about what constitutes “less serious”abdominal pains however, doctors have a general consensus of what constitutes “less serious” abdominal pain.
If the cause of the pain is likely short-lived possibly treatable, and the patient does not have an emergent condition, does not need to be hospitalized, or should be worked up or further diagnosed by outpatient tests, then the cause of the pain are considered “less serious” by many doctors. A large number of causes of abdominal pain may fit the doctor’s definition of “less serious” abdominal pain. However, even though a cause may generally fit these subjective requirements, there can be instances where they will not. The reader is urged to examine the following section to see what constitutes “serious” causes of abdominal pain. Consequently, the following is a list of potential less serious causes of abdominal pain :
Why Do I Have Abdominal Pain When I Bend Over
Abdominal pain when bending over is typically caused by GERD. This condition causes discomfort and burning after eating. Another potential cause of pain while bending over is an inguinal hernia. This occurs when the soft tissue in the abdomen protrudes through muscles, causing pain and other symptoms.
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Right Side Abdominal Pain: Common Causes
Unfortunately, abdominal pain on the left side or right side can affect all of us. Most of the time, aches, pains, and discomfort in the right abdomen are not symptoms of anything serious.
Because some types of right side abdominal pain can be serious, its important to know where the pain is coming from and how to describe the pain. According to Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on MedicineNet, doctors divide the abdominal area into four areas or quadrants. The upper right abdominal area or right upper quadrant is the part of your upper body below the right chest and above your navel. The right lower quadrant or lower right abdominal area is below your navel and above your right pelvis.1
It is also important to recognize the type of pain and describe it properly. According to doctors from the National Institutes of Health, types of pain that you can feel in your abdominal area include:2
- Cramping pain
Organs On The Right Side Of The Abdomen
On the right side of your abdomen you can find some of the most important internal organs in your body:
Liver and gallbladder Your liver lies under the ribcage on the right side of your stomach and the gallbladder is right under the liver. Gallstones or infection around your liver can cause sharp, right-sided pain below your ribs on the right side of the abdomen.
Right lung Your lungs play an important function in removing toxins from your blood and replacing them with oxygen. Certain lung infections in the right lung can cause severe pain that can be felt in the right side of your abdomen.
Part of the stomach, intestines, and colon Part of your stomach, intestines, and colon are also located on the right side of your abdomen. The last part of your colon is located in the lower right side of the abdomen. If you have any digestive problems, the digestive-related pain might be felt on the right side.
Appendix You appendix is another organ on the right side of your abdomen that can cause right-sided pain. Sometimes, inflammation or infection can cause appendicitis which will result in severe pain the lower part of your belly.
Organs on the Right Side of the Abdomen
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Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments
Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.
Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.
If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.
What Causes Pain In The Lower Abdomen
Pain in the lower left abdomen and pain in the lower right abdomen can be caused by problems with the descending colon, rectum, or genitalia. To determine the cause of pain in the lower abdomen, it is important to recall what activities have occurred recently. Have you been constipated? Have you had trouble urinating? Have you been sick in any way recently? Have you eaten anything unusual or taken any prescribed or illicit drugs recently? Pain in the lower abdomen is commonly caused by stretching or tension placed on organs. Whether muscle contractions during an upset stomach, stretching of bowel from constipation, or an overfull bladder pressing on other organs, lower abdominal pain is commonly caused by stretching of an organ irritating a nerve. The other common cause of lower abdominal pain is inflammation which can occur in the setting of infection or, more rarely, malignancy.
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Are Everybody’s Organs In The Same Place
Very rarely, it is possible to have organs the opposite way round to the usual arrangement. This occurs in fewer than 1 in 10,000 people and is called situs inversus. If you were one of these few then all the causes which affect most people in the right upper quadrant could give you pains on the left.
What Could Cause Upper Stomach Pain
“Stomach pain” is one of the top 20 reasons people seek medical care, accounting for 1.5 percent of outpatient office visits in the U.S. Although upper abdominal pain may be related to your stomach, it could stem from other organs. When evaluating your abdominal pain, your physician will typically ask where your pain is how long it has been present whether it is sharp, dull, constant or intermittent and whether other factors aggravate or alleviate your discomfort, such as eating, having a bowel movement or changing position. These and other details will help your doctor eliminate some of the many possible causes of upper abdominal pain.
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Stomach Burning After Drinking Milk
A common reason for stomach burning after drinking milk is lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which your body doesnt have the right enzymes to break down lactose, a type of sugar found in milk. Because your body is unable to break down lactose, it can have negative side effects including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and burning stomach.
Once again, if you have IBS, you may notice an increase in burning stomach after consuming dairy. Overall, dairy is a common and known irritant in IBS, and it is often recommended that IBS patients reduce their intake of dairy especially if they are lactose intolerant.Related: Ultra Sensitive Stomach: Foods to eat and avoid
What Causes Sharp Pain In The Stomach
Sharp pain in the stomach can be caused by indigestion, stomach or intestinal infection, ulcer, or a stomach tumor. Indigestion and stomach infections usually self-resolve and are much more common. Many sharp stomach pains are benign, and if they happen infrequently, they can be ignored. “Infrequently” is considered not frequently enough to be remembered. Additionally, sharp pains may also come from intense muscle contractions associated with vomiting. However, in this case, it is best to treat the cause of vomiting as the sharp pains will diminish as vomiting stops.
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When Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy Is Serious
Although many women who experience abdominal pain have healthy pregnancies, there are times when abdominal pain can pose a serious risk. If you exhibit any severe symptoms, such as those discussed below, please consult your medical care professional immediately.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: Occurring in 1 out of 50 pregnancies, an ectopic pregnancy is when the egg is implanted anywhere other than the uterus. Most often, the egg is implanted in the fallopian tube. Sadly, an ectopic pregnancy cannot continue to term and requires medical treatment. In the unlikely event that you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience intense pain and bleeding between your 6th and 10th weeks of pregnancy. Women at increased risk for ectopic pregnancies include those who have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past or have had endometriosis, a tubal ligation, or an intrauterine device in place at the time of conception. Learn more about Ectopic Pregnancies.
- Placental abruption: Placental abruption is a life-threatening condition in which the placenta separates from your uterus before the baby is born. One symptom of placental abruption is constant pain that causes your stomach to stay hard for an extended period of time without relief. Another sign is bloody fluid or premature breakage of your water. Additional symptoms include tenderness in your abdomen, back pain, or fluid discharge that includes traces of blood. You can access the complete Placental Abruption article here.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After I Eat
Your stomach may hurt after you eat if you haven’t eaten in a long time, if you’ve eaten a particularly large meal, or if you have an ulcer, tumor, or other mass that is not protected from stomach acid by mucus within the stomach. Stomach pain after eating is most commonly caused by the normal contractions/motions of the stomach as it churns and breaks down food with stomach acid. If you have damage to the stomach or a mass of some sort, these motions can aggravate that point of tenderness causing additional stomach pain. Gas is also a common cause of stomach pain after eating. An antacid or fizzy drink may help you belch, releasing the gas and discomfort.
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Eat Plenty Of Roughage
Fibre is the part of food that is not digested. It is filling but has few calories. It helps your bowels to move regularly, which reduces constipation and other bowel problems. Fibre may also help to lower your cholesterol level.
Starchy foods, and fruit and vegetables contain the most fibre. So the tips above on starchy foods and fruit and vegetables will also increase fibre. If you switch to wholemeal rice and pasta and wholemeal bread, this can significantly increase your fibre intake. Pulses like lentils and beans are also full of fibre.
Have plenty to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet .
Further reading and references
Cartwright SL, Knudson MP Evaluation of acute abdominal pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Apr 177:971-8.
Zgheib H, Wakil C, Shayya S, et al Retrospective cohort study on clinical predictors for acute abnormalities on CT scan in adult patients with abdominal pain. Eur J Radiol Open. 2020 Jan 277:100218. doi: 10.1016/j.ejro.2020.01.007. eCollection 2020.
Dysmenorrhoea NICE CKS, November 2018
Constipation NICE CKS, November 2020
Constipation in children NICE CKS, November 2020
How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
As well as asking where the pain is, your doctor will ask you to describe your pain, so notice whether it’s sharp, stabbing, cramping or a dull ache. Also, notice whether the pain is there all the time or if it comes and goes in waves.
Your doctor will also ask if the pain came on suddenly , or whether you have had it for a while . They will also want to know if you have been sick or had diarrhoea .
Depending on what they think is causing your abdominal pain, they may want to do further tests.
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Middle Upper Abdominal Pain
The most common causes of pain in the pit of your stomach are peptic ulcer disease, acid reflux and gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining. If your pain is worse when your stomach is empty and abates when you eat, you may have an ulcer. Most ulcers are caused by Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that infects the stomach lining and triggers inflammation. However, people who routinely take aspirin, ibuprofen or other antiinflammatory drugs are also at increased risk for ulcers. Antiinflammatory drugs can cause gastritis, too, as can alcohol, smoking and excess consumption of coffee or other irritants. The pain of gastritis behaves much like that of ulcers. Persistent pain in the upper middle portion of your abdomen could indicate damage to your lower esophagus, the hollow tube leading from your throat to your stomach. Many people with acid reflux disease develop erosions, or ulcerations, at the bottom of their esophagus, and these injuries may generate upper abdominal pain. Pancreatitis — inflammation of the pancreas — and pancreatic cancer are less common causes of middle upper abdominal pain. The pain from these conditions can vary from dull to severe, is usually fairly constant and often radiates to your back. People who have gallstones or drink heavily are at heightened risk for pancreatic diseases.
Upper Abdominal Pain Between The Ribcage
If you develop an aching or stabbing pain or pressure in the upper abdominal area just under the ribs, this may indicate a heart-related problem. Physicians say this pain is often accompanied by shortness of breath and is concerning if the pain persists. People often assume this type of pain is indigestion, and while that may be the case, anyone with risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension should see a doctor as soon as possible.
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