Having pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen is common in both adults and children. The upper part of the stomach consists of a number of vital and necessary organs. These include the gallbladder, pancreas, upper intestines, liver, kidneys, spleen, adrenal gland, and part of your colon and small intestine called duodenum.
Generally, upper abdomen pain can be caused due to a pulled muscle or anything relatively minor. Most causes are not serious as the pain goes away on its own in a few days. However, there are several other more serious conditions that could cause discomfort or pain in the area. Moreover, one condition can lead to another in many cases, such as gallstones may result in liver dysfunction or ulcers may lead to indigestion.
People older than 50 years of age are more likely to have acute stomach pain. If you are suffering from the persistent pain in the upper part of the abdomen, visit your internal medicine doctor to get proper diagnosis and assessment of your condition.
In this post, you’ll learn about the common causes of upper stomach pain and warning signs that indicate you need immediate care from the best internist.
What Causes Upper Abdomen Pain?
Some common causes of this digestive disorder are as follows:
Pancreas or Liver Disease
Our digestive system works with the support of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas that are located on the upper-right side of the stomach. Liver diseases such as untreated gallstones and hepatitis can cause pain. Inflammation of the pancreas, also known as pancreatitis, may also lead to pain.
Some other symptoms may include dark urine, vomiting, pale or white bowel movement, persistent and worsening pain, yellow skin or eyes, and nausea.
Mild gas pain can cause bloating, a feeling of fullness or pressure in your stomach. However, pain can become intense with an infection, constipation, virus, or diarrhea. While the gas pain usually goes away without treatment, it can become serious if it comes like waves, causes swelling burping, passing of gas, and feels like something is moving in the stomach.
They are the solid formation of bilirubin and other digestive fluids that can develop in the gallbladder. Gallstones may not always cause symptoms. If they block a biliary duct, it may cause intense pain in the upper abdomen, right shoulder, underneath the breast bone, back pain between shoulder blades as well as nausea or vomiting and exhaustion.
If you feel a burning sensation in the upper stomach, mouth or throat, it can be indigestion. Dyspepsia or indigestion usually appears due to the high level of acid in the stomach. Stomach ulcer, stomach cancer or acid reflux may also cause dyspepsia. People with frequent indigestion may feel severe pain with unexplained weight loss.
A bowel obstruction is a blockage of the intestines, which makes it difficult for anything to pass through. This condition may result in constipation, indigestion, and intense pain. It can also tear or seriously infect the bowel. A few symptoms of bowel obstruction are swelling in the stomach, inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas, and intense cramping.
Often caused by a bacterial infection, gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining the occurs quickly and in the short term. It may cause burning pain in the upper stomach that can be affected by eating. Excessive drinking, pain relievers, sarcoidosis, Crohn’s disease, allergies, autoimmune disease and viruses due to a weakened immune system may lead to gastritis. If you have this condition, you may feel fullness after eating, vomiting or nausea.
It is an infection of the appendix that can be caused either by stomach infection or when a piece of stool trapped in it. If left untreated, it can cause the appendix to rupture. This life-threatening condition is mostly treated by removing the appendix. In the early stages, it causes pain in the upper stomach. The high-level of infection may radiate pain to the lower-right side.
Alarming Signs & Symptoms
It is important to consult your internal medicine doctor if you suspect any of the following warning symptoms.
- Severe and persistent pain in the upper right abdomen
- Vomiting or nausea that lasts longer than 12 hours
- Abdominal pain after taking a new medication
- Stomach pain due to a weakened immune system
- White, pale or bloody stool
- Unexpected weight loss
- Abdominal sweating
- Severe tenderness of the stomach
- If you are pregnant and develops severe stomach pain
- If your newborn has a high fever or vomiting that won’t go away
- Stomach pain following an injury like a blow to the stomach
Generally, upper abdomen pain goes away in a few hours or days. However, there may be intense stomach pain which makes functioning difficult. It is important to suspect early symptoms for getting the right treatment from the best doctors of internal medicine in Brooklyn, New York at Artisans of Medicine. Schedule a visit to consult with our well-qualified internists today!