Friday, June 14, 2024

What Does Upper Stomach Pain Mean

There Are Many Organs In Your Upper Left Abdominal Quadrant That Can Be Affected Causing Pain In That Area Treatment For Luq Pain Depends On Cause

How to Know if Stomach Pain is Serious

Abdominal pain occurs in the area between your chest and your pelvis, and is something that everyone has experienced. It can be as simple as a little tummy ache to more severe medical conditions depending on how much pain there is and how persistent it is. Your abdominal pain can be acute and short lived. However, there are many cases in which abdominal pain is chronic, lasting for days, weeks or even months. Hopefully, if you are experiencing chronic abdominal pain you will not wait months before seeking medical help.

Pain in the upper left side of your abdomen, often referred to as upper left quadrant pain, is usually indicative of something wrong with the organs and/or tissue structures located on that area of the torso. Part of your bowel, your spleen, the end part of the pancreas, part of the stomach, the left part of your liver, the left side of your kidneys, a portion of your ureter, the left adrenal gland, part of your left lung, the lower portion of your left ribs, the aorta, many muscles and skin are all located in this upper left quadrant of your abdomen. Your heart is also situated just above this area. Any issue or condition in any of these organs, bones, tissues or muscles will directly cause pain in this area, which will be discussed in detail below.

Other Abdominal Pain Causes

Abdominal pain can also occur due to the following.

  • Bowel issues: Both diarrhea and constipation can cause abdominal pain symptoms. If your bowel movements are less than normal, you can expect some form of abdominal pain.
  • Stress: Many diseases can come from mental and physical distress. Anxiety and panic disorders are connected to abdominal pain as well.
  • Internal injuries: Internal bleeding, stomach ulcers, and tearing in any of the stomach muscles, lining, or nearby organs can cause severe abdominal pain that should be treated as soon as possible.

Food Intolerance Or Hard

When you eat a food that doesn’t agree with your system, bloating, gas and cramps are some of the ways your body may let you know.

Milk, cheese and ice cream are among the most common culprits â they contain the sugar lactose, which many people aren’t able to digest, per the ACG.

Foods high in hard-to-break down carbohydrates can cause bloating too, especially cruciferous vegetables, beans and wheat.

Recommended Reading: How Effective Is Coolsculpting On Stomach

What Is Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is discomfort or other uncomfortable sensations that you feel in your belly area. Just about everybody at one time or another will get a bellyache.

Most causes of abdominal pain aren’t reasons to worry, and your doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of a serious illness that needs medical attention.

How Is The Cause Of Abdominal Pain Diagnosed

Pain In Stomach And Rib Cage

Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms seen by GPs .

Information about your symptoms and the location of the abdominal pain can help a doctor diagnose the cause of your pain. They will want to know how long you have had the pain and may want to do a physical examination. If you are female, this may include a pelvic examination. If you are male, it may include checking your penis and scrotum.

They may suggest you have some blood tests or other diagnostic procedures done, especially if you have had the symptoms for some time.

Tests and procedures that may help in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain include:

Other procedures that may be suggested, depending on your gender, include:

  • pregnancy test and/or pelvic ultrasound
  • ultrasound of the scrotum

Read Also: How To Help Stomach Ulcers

Remedies For Upper Stomach Pain

Heating pad

Apply a heating pad or bottle to your stomach for 15 to 20 minutes. The high temperature can help to relax strained or tense muscles.

It can also ease indigestion and constipation in some instances.

Another heat remedy includes taking a warm bath. This can be especially helpful for indigestion and upper stomach pain caused by stress.

Not lying flat

If you are experiencing upper stomach pain as a symptom of indigestion, gas, or bloating, lying flat can aggravate your discomfort. Studies show that some people find more comfort and relief from stomach pain when lying propped up or sitting upright.

Use some pillows to prop yourself up and relax to soothe your stomach pain.

Enough water

Stomach pain is sometimes related to or caused by dehydration.

If you are experiencing upper stomach pain, drinking water throughout the day can help alleviate discomfort by rehydrating your body. Avoid gorging on water. Instead, sip water to rehydrate over time.


Ginger is a well-known natural remedy for an upset stomach. Studies show that it can provide significant relief for nausea, vomiting, and sometimes constipation.

The soothing quality of ginger is effective for reducing pain related to vomiting or upset stomach. You can consume ginger in food, tea, or ginger ale.


Peppermint oil can soothe tense muscles, reduce inflammation, alleviate nausea, ease stomach pains, help manage irritable bowel syndrome, and relieve stress that may be causing pain.


Causes Of Pain In Upper Stomach

There are several causes of pain in the upper stomach. Some upper stomach pain goes away on its own. For others, pain in the upper stomach may indicate there are underlying issues, such as:


When the muscle that normally keeps acid down in the stomach doesnt work properly, it can lead to heartburn . If you experience heartburn a few times a week or if over-the-counter antacids arent working, you may want to call your doctor.

Inflammation of the stomach

Sometimes pain in the upper stomach may be caused by gastritis. Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach as a result of a bacterial infection.


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the large gland behind the stomach , Normally, digestive fluid travels from the pancreas to the small intestine and activates to help digest food. If this fluid activates while its still inside the pancreas, it causes irritation and inflammation.


Pain in the upper stomach may be due to ulcers . Different things can cause ulcers, most commonly bacteria or anti-inflammatory drugs that damage the stomachs lining over time. Symptoms of ulcers may include a burning sensation, nausea, vomiting, or heartburn.

You May Like: Can Gluten Cause Stomach Pain

Types Of Abdominal Pain And What You Can Do

Abdominal pain can occur anywhere between the chest and the lower abdomen and can range from a dull ache to severe pain. Abdominal pain is one of the common reasons people visit urgent care centers and emergency rooms in the 78130 area code of New Braunfels, Texas.

The doctors and the medical professionals at Riverside ER, a 24-hour emergency care center located near you in New Braunfels, Texas, want to educate the public on the symptoms of abdominal pain and the relevant treatment.

There are four types of abdominal pain: upper, lower, right-sided and left-sided. Each type has specific symptoms and causes, and all are briefly discussed below .

What Kind Of Doctor Treats Abdominal Pain In Adults

Abdominal Pain Radiating to the Back: Deeper Causes Of Chronic Pancreatitis Dr.Berg

Abdominal pain can be treated by a variety of doctors depending on the cause of the pain. It is usually best to start off with a primary care physician who can start the process of diagnosing the origin of the pain. Depending on the final diagnosis you will be treated by a primary care doctor or referred to a surgeon , gastroenterologist, or gynecologist. If the pain is severe you might end up in the emergency department where an emergency medicine physician will be the first one to take care of you.

Recommended Reading: How Can I Lose Stomach Fat Fast

What Causes Upper Abdominal Pain

All of Healthily’s articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

Upper abdominal pain is discomfort in the area between your belly button and ribs.

It can be difficult to identify the source of pain felt in the upper abdomen, as several vital organs and muscles are located here. Any pain you feel may have many causes.

Some causes of upper abdominal pain are more common than others and can be determined by the type of pain they cause.

If your pain persists, or has been occurring for some time, you should see a doctor.

What Is Upper Abdominal Pain

Upper abdominal pain is pain that is experienced in the esophagus or stomach. There are many reasons for upper abdominal pain varying in severity. For some, upper abdominal pain is temporary and a rare occasion. For others, it is a chronic experience that can disrupt their daily life. Narrowing down on your upper abdominal pain can help you get a proper diagnosis and receive the proper treatment for reducing your discomfort.

Stomach pain in general is one of the most common reasons for a person to visit their doctor. Upper abdominal pain may be a direct result of a stomach condition, or it can be a symptom of a problem in another organ in the body. Its important to pay close attention to your upper abdominal pain to understand the underlying cause. For example, you should take note of when upper abdominal pain occurs , its frequency, intensity, and any other symptoms that may accompany your upper abdominal pain.

Recommended Reading: What Does Shingles Look Like On Your Stomach

Stomach Cramps With Bloating

Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind, or constipation. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing, but is easily dealt with. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a product, which can be bought over the counter to treat the problem. If problems persist, you should see your GP.

When Should I See My Doctor

Causes of abdominal pain by area

In some cases, you should seek urgent medical attention or consult a doctor if you have abdominal pain.

If you have a sudden, severe, incapacitating pain in your abdomen, go immediately to your nearest emergency department or call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.

You should also seek urgent medical attention if you have pain that:

  • is severe and/or getting worse
  • has lasted for several hours or more
  • wakes you from sleep
  • is spreading to your neck, chest or shoulders
  • makes it difficult to swallow

Urgent medical attention is also required if you have abdominal pain accompanied by

  • unexplained weight loss
  • skin that appears yellow

If you are experiencing pain high up in your abdomen that is made worse by exercise it could be angina or a heart attack. If you, or someone near you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance.

If you are pregnant and experiencing abdominal pain, check with your doctor or midwife. Abdominal pains are common in pregnancy, but should always be checked out.

If your abdominal pain does not match the situations above, but it is recurrent or persistent , or it started mild but is worsening, you should still consult a doctor.

Recommended Reading: How Can You Lose Fat In Your Stomach

Understanding The Upper Abdomen

Stomach pain is usually caused by gas, indigestion, and excessive stomach acid. Various home remedies can be applied to alleviate discomfort in this area.

On the other hand, this common discomfort can also be attributed to reasons not concerning the stomach. The upper stomach, or more accurately the upper abdomen, houses numerous organs that could easily be the real reason for stomach pain.

These organs include:

  • Pancreas: Converts food into energy. Also helps regulate blood sugar and digestion.
  • Gallbladder: Stores bile, a liquid enzyme that aids in digestion.
  • Liver: Filters out blood before distributing it throughout the body.
  • Adrenal gland: Produces cortisol and aldosterone, two of the bodys most important hormones
  • Kidneys: Regulates fluids throughout the body and filters out toxins
  • Spleen: Wards off infection and helps filter blood

These vital organs can be subjected to infections, inflammation, and other disorders that could result to pain. Understanding the different parts of the upper abdomen makes it easier to diagnose the real cause behind stomach pain.

Know When To Talk To A Doctor

Keep track of your symptoms. A good understanding of your symptoms lets you know when to see a doctor, and it can help your doctor provide proper treatment.

  • When did the pain start?
  • Does it persist, or does it go away and return?
  • Did the pain occur suddenly or slowly?
  • Is it mild or severe?
  • Does the pain move around?
  • Does it occur after you eat?
  • Do you experience additional symptoms such as fever, vomiting, increase heart rate, diarrhea, weight loss, shortness of breath, or swelling?

Communicating this information to your physician can improve the level of care that your receive.

Talk to your doctor if:

  • you experience severe abdominal pain
  • the pain moves to different areas
  • the pain that does not go away after one or two days
  • you experience pain with additional symptoms

Your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist a doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating digestive tract disorders.

Also Check: How To Lose Weight In Your Lower Stomach

Common Causes Of Lower Abdominal Pain

The common causes of lower abdominal pain are the menstrual cycle, urinary tract infection and constipation. The common symptoms include:

  • cramping
  • painful urination
  • painful sex

The management of the associated pains with the above symptoms can typically be accomplished with over-the-counter pain relievers or antacids. A person should seek medical attention at an urgent care center in New Braunfels, Texas if any symptom does not improve within three days, or at the first indication of a painful urination.

Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers

An Approach to Acute Abdominal Pain

The pain from an ulcer may come and go. The pain is in the top part of your gut but may also feel like it goes through into your back. The pain often comes at night and wakes you up. Food may make it better in some types of ulcer, or may make it worse. See the separate leaflets called Stomach Ulcer and Duodenal Ulcer for more details.

You May Like: What Is The Best Way To Lose Stomach Fat

Stomach Pain In Children

Stomach pains are common in children. Causes include indigestion, stress, or more serious cases like appendicitis. Stomach pain of three hours or less is usually not serious. With a fever of 100.4F, or other symptoms such as diarrhea that could lead to dehydration, call your healthcare provider right away.

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.

If you do struggle with acid reflux, it may be time to talk to a gastroenterologist. They can help you manage your symptoms through medications, lifestyle changes and diet.

You May Like: How To Lose Stomach And Love Handles

What Causes Mild To Moderate Abdominal Pain

Most Australians will experience mild or moderate abdominal pain from time to time. Often these episodes last only a few hours or days. They may clear up without the need for treatment. However, you may be more comfortable managing the symptoms with medicines from your pharmacy or doctor.

Some of the causes of short-term abdominal pain are:

Can Abdominal Pain Be Prevented

Pin on Health / Wellness / Fitness

Eating enough fibreand doing regular exercise can help prevent constipation and keep your bowels working well, which will prevent some forms of abdominal pain. It will also reduce your long-term risk of some diseases, such as diverticular disease or bowel cancer.

Drinking plain water but not carbonated or fizzy drinks will reduce the chance of pain from bloating as well as keeping your body healthy.

Following a specific diet can help reduce pain due to lactose intolerance, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome and trapped gas, or wind.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Worms In Humans

Upper Gastric Pain: 11 Causes Of Pain On Top Of The Stomach

Upper gastric pain, also known as epigastric pain, is any kind of soreness experienced on top of the stomach region, beneath the rib cage. Upper gastric pain is a commonly experienced condition and it may occur while eating or directly after eating. Upper gastric pain may range from mild discomfort to severe burning sensation with extreme pain. The symptoms are often accompanied by other digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.

Causes Of Right Upper Quadrant Pain

There can be several causes for right upper quadrant pain. The most common causes include:

  • Gallbladder problems
  • Abscess
  • Inflammation

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.

You May Like: What Is The Best Treatment For Stomach Cancer

When To Seek Immediate Medical Help

Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, and persists, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.

or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if this is the case.

If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, see the section on chest pain.

Popular Articles
Related news