Pain in the upper abdomen. Possible causes, treatment

Symptom of many different diseases are pain in the upper abdomen. The reasons for such discomfort are many.

Why pain occurs

Pain sensations of this nature can occur for various reasons. Discomfort can be felt in the presence of abnormalities of internal organs. Hollow organs, such as, for example, the stomach or intestines, may be disturbed by their spasms. In this case, the person suffers from cramping, burning, pressing or pulling pain.

Abdominal pain

Discomfort is also possible when an organ capsule is damaged or stretched, which has the appearance of a dense sheath of connective tissue with good innervation. If a tumor, trauma, or inflammation is present, the capsule is stretched. In this case, the discomfort is both strong and barely noticeable. If a capsule ruptures, the pain becomes pronounced.
Ischemia (impaired blood supply) also often causes abdominal pain. Such a condition arises, for example, in atherosclerotic lesions or blockage with a thrombus.
Another cause of pain can be irritation of the mucous membrane, which covers the walls and organs of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). It has many nerve endings, so any aggressive effect on it leads to the fact that there is a strong cutting pain. In medicine, this condition is called "acute stomach". It is an indication for emergency rooming.

I have a stomachache

In addition, abdominal pain can be the result of irradiation from other areas. This condition arises due to the structural features of the human nervous system. In the event of reflected pain, there are usually areas in which pain is more intense. From here the pain gives to other zones.

Diseases accompanied by pain in the upper abdomen

Pain in the upper abdomen is often associated with pathologies of the stomach, esophagus, duodenum, problems with the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen can provoke pain. In addition, the causes of pain are cardiovascular diseases (acute myocardial infarction, aneurysm, dissection or rupture of the aorta), lung diseases (pleurisy), hernia, myositis,metabolic disorders, poisoning with salts of heavy metals, pathology of the nervous system (intercostal neuralgia), as well as constipation, intestinal obstruction.

Abdominal pain

Diseases of the digestive tract

In the case when pains in the upper abdomen are chronic, this can be a sign of pathological processes in the stomach or duodenum. Ulcer damage of these organs leads to the appearance of aching, dull or cutting, stabbing pains in the abdomen, which are associated with meals.

Peptic ulcer disease is characterized by the occurrence of discomfort after 15-45 minutes after eating, duodenal ulcer manifests itself painful sensations an hour and a half. In addition, peptic ulcer disease is characterized by the appearance of unpleasant sensations on an empty stomach and at night, they can be given to the area of ​​the shoulder blades and chest. There are other symptoms of the disease - bloating, problems with the stool, nausea, vomiting. What is characteristic: in this case, vomiting brings relief; with the pathologies of other organs, this effect is not observed.Nagging pain
If you have unbearable, piercing, stabbing pain in the abdomen, you should immediately seek medical help, as this may be a sign of ulcer perforation.
The presence of heartburn, belching, burning in the chest can be a sign of inflammatory or ulcerative lesions of the esophagus. This happens with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The occurrence of symptoms after eating, staying in a horizontal position, when bending or lifting heavy and disappearing after taking antacids - all this is a confirmation of this disease.

Liver diseases

It is no secret that hepatitis and cirrhosis can occur without symptoms in the absence of stretching the liver capsule. But the occurrence of discomfort at the top of the abdomen on the right side may indicate the presence of pathologies of organs such as the liver, gallbladder and biliary tract. Hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer are characterized by arching pains that can radiate to the right half of the chest or to the area of ​​the shoulder blades.

Sharp pain

Another possible cause of such pain may be the presence of gallstone disease. At the same time stones in the gall bladder and ducts are formed. The disease is characterized by dull aching pain in the upper abdomen, under the ribs, on the right side.Hepatic colic may occur, in which case there will be bouts of intense pain. A complication of this disease is the occurrence of cholecystitis - inflammation of the gallbladder wall. The condition is accompanied by cramping pains, with a feeling of nausea, often vomiting, which does not bring relief. The discomfort is felt at the top of the abdomen on the right side, and can give to the shoulder or shoulder blade. When increasing pain while walking, one may suspect a transition of the inflammatory process to the peritoneum.

Pancreas problems

This organ is located in the upper abdomen horizontally and ends on the left, so when inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), pain occurs in the left upper abdomen and in the center, or they are surrounding. Painful sensations are pronounced, acute pancreatitis is often accompanied by incessant vomiting, which does not bring relief to the patient. Cysts and tumors of the pancreas are the cause of arching, prolonged, mild or severe pain.

Stitching pains in the abdomen

Diseases of the spleen

Abdominal pain caused by the pathologies of this organ is a rare occurrence. Soreness occurs in the upper left.Such sensations can be triggered by the presence of cysts, spleen infarction, and tumor lesions of the organ.

Cardiovascular diseases as a cause of pain

Coronary artery disease may cause unpleasant sensations at the top of the abdomen. The most common cause is acute myocardial infarction. There are pains in the upper abdomen of a reflected nature. They can be very pronounced, so doctors sometimes mistakenly diagnose an acute abdomen. Infarction pain also has other symptoms: a feeling of constriction in the chest, shortness of breath, a fall or a sharp increase in blood pressure, severe weakness, cold, sticky sweat, arrhythmias, etc.

Pain in the left upper abdomen

Another cause of abdominal pain is an aortic aneurysm, the resulting discomfort can be given in the back. In addition, in this disease, a pulsating formation visible in the heart rhythm appears under the skin. If there was a sharp pain that extends into the chest, arm, area of ​​the shoulder blades, there may be a rupture or dissection of the aorta, while blood pressure drops sharply. Such an acute condition requires the immediate placement of a sick person in a hospital.

Pulmonary diseases

Pain at the top of the abdomen can be caused by pleurisy.Confirmation of the presence of such a disease can serve as increased pain in a patient when coughing and taking a deep breath, which weaken in a lying position. In addition, the defeat of the lungs is accompanied by coughing, shortness of breath, body temperature may rise, chills and weakness occur.

Muscle pain

Determining whether the discomfort is associated with physical activity on the abdominal muscles is easy. Muscular pulling pain becomes stronger when you raise your legs from a lying position.

Neurological pain

Osteochondrosis and other diseases of the spine can cause squeezing of the roots of the nerves of the spinal cord. There are pain along the nerves. In addition, the presence of other neurological symptoms. The epicenter of pain is most often the area of ​​the spine.


When the clamping of parts of organs occurs, a hernia appears. Hernia of the white line is characterized by the presence in the area of ​​painful sensations of the formation of a rounded shape. It may disappear when pressed. With hernias of the esophageal orifice of the diaphragm, symptoms similar to those occurring in diseases of the digestive limbs occur.For the correct diagnosis using instrumental examination.

Metabolic disorders

Under similar conditions (ketoacidosis, thyrotoxic crisis) aggressive compounds irritate peritoneal receptors. There is a pronounced sharp pain, while the muscles of the abdominal wall are very tense. In order to exclude surgical pathology and conduct adequate treatment, the patient must be referred to a hospital.

How to behave if your stomach hurts

Regardless of the nature of the pain, specialist consultation is necessary. This will help establish the correct diagnosis and avoid possible complications.
You can not take painkillers before the arrival of the doctor, it interferes with the formulation of an accurate diagnosis, and the result can be deplorable.
When the stomach hurts, in no case should the heating pad be used until the cause of the pain is established. You can attach the ice.
Should guard, if the pain in the abdomen is accompanied by fever, diarrhea and vomiting. This can be a sign of serious pathology.

Pain in the upper abdomen under the ribs

Irregular pains that occur from time to time usually do not indicate a serious illness.But in the event that discomfort occurs very often and has become a regularity, it is necessary to consult a doctor. To facilitate the diagnosis should pay attention to the severity and nature of pain, localization. As for the treatment, then, naturally, it should be aimed primarily at eliminating the pathology that causes such unpleasant symptoms for the patient.
Information about the possible causes of pain in the stomach, of course, can help a person understand his condition. But still, to preserve health and even life in the presence of alarming symptoms, it is necessary to seek qualified medical assistance.

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