There are lots of causes of pain in the abdomen and the symptoms of each will indicate the location where discomfort comes from. Usually, the pain felt in the upper abdomen is just under the rib cage and over the belly button. A few of the possible causes of severe pain in the upper abdomen include:
Appendicitis – This is a condition in which the appendix is full of pus and becomes inflamed. The pain can originate from the upper abdomen and will move to the lower right abdomen from the navel. In case pain will increase in intensity for more than 12 to 18 hours, it is presumed to be appendicitis.
Gallstones – These are hard crystallized stones of the digestive fluid which obstruct the gallbladder. These stones may be tiny as a small grain of sand or could be big as a tennis ball. Sudden and intense upper abdominal pain on the right side is one of the most frequent symptoms of gallstones. Such pain can intensify from the middle of the abdomen just underneath the breastbone.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – This chronic digestive disease takes place when the bile or stomach acid will return its flow into the esophagus. As a result, there will be heartburn and irritation of the esophagus. Some of the symptoms of GERD include pain in the chest together with pain in the upper abdomen, sore throat, dry cough, trouble in swallowing and more.
Pancreatitis – This is term used to denote inflammation of the pancreas. Such condition will cause extreme pain in the upper abdomen. The pain will radiate to the back. This is also another cause of pain in the stomach after eating.
Peptic Ulcer – this is used to indicate the development of ulcer in the interior lining of the intestines, stomach and esophagus. The pain in the abdomen arises from the breastbone and moves down to the navel indicating peptic ulcer. Take note that pain will become worse when the stomach is empty particularly during nighttime.
Obstruction of the Intestine – Any impediment in the small intestines or colons will result to intestinal obstruction. Such obstacle can be because of hernias, tumors or tissue adhesion in the abdomen. The symptoms are abdominal distention, nausea, constipation, cramps in the upper abdomen, diarrhea and vomiting.
Angina – If blood flow to the heart muscles is reduced, this is referred to as angina. Chest pain in which the chest is squeezed and pressured is one of the most noticeable symptoms of this condition. Women are likely to have some various types of symptoms when compared to the classic symptoms of angina. They will experience stabbing, pulsating and sharp pain in the chest. In addition, they will have nausea, pain in the upper abdomen and shortness of breath. Therefore, women who suffer from these symptoms together with sharp chest pain must seek the attention of a medical expert in order to check their heart health.
Other reasons for presence of pain in the upper abdomen include pyloric stenosis among infants, cholangitis, hepatitis, cholecystitis, pericarditis, duodenitis and more. Examination by a doctor may be necessary in case the pain will not subside within 48 hours.