Upper Abdominal Pain – Causes and Symptoms

The pain that you experience in your upper half portion of stomach is known as upper abdominal pain. It arises from the abdominal walls that surround the abdominal cavity. It is the most common ailment that affects people of all age group irrespective of sex. It may occur due to various factors like overeating, infections and various medical conditions.


The upper abdominal pain can be of any type. It can be severe, chronic or long lasting. In some cases, it can merely be of short period of time. The exact location of pain determines its root cause. It is very important to pinpoint the exact location of the pain for right diagnosis and treatment.

The various causes of upper abdominal pain

  • If you are suffering from pain in middle section of your upper abdomen, then it signifies some problem in epigastric area related to upper small intestine, gall bladder and pancreas.
  • Abdominal pain may occur due to loss of blood supply to any organ.
  • Inflammation of pancreas also causes upper abdominal pain in body.
  • Gas can be another reason for the occurrence of upper abdominal pain in body.
  • Peptic ulcers also results into upper abdominal pain. This is a very painful condition and it occurs when the lining of the stomach breaks due to excessive production of acid in body.
  • If you experience upper abdominal pain after eating your meals, then it can be due to indigestion, gastric troubles or heartburn. So for this, try to eat slowly and chew your food properly.
  • Pain in left region in upper abdomen can be indication of problems in stomach, pancreas and colon.
  • Pain in upper right abdomen is related with inflammation in gall bladder. If this pain extends to the centre of your abdomen and penetrates to your back, it can be caused due to inflamed colon, duodenum and pancreas.
  • Upper abdominal pain may also result from inflammations such as appendicitis and diverticulitis.

Keep in mind that whatever be the cause, it is undoubtedly very important to get the problem diagnosed by doctor on time to get effective pain management techniques and tips and timely treatment for it.

What are symptoms that might come along with upper abdominal pain?

Upper abdominal pain may be accompanied by other symptoms which vary depending on the underlying disorders, condition or disease.For e.g. If upper abdominal pain is caused due to digestive tract, it may accompany other digestive tract symptoms.

List of digestive tract symptoms that may occur along with upper abdominal pain are:

  • Belching
  • Cramping
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool

List of other symptoms that may occur along with upper abdominal pain are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Muscle spasms
  • Palpable mass in abdomen

List of life-threatening symptoms that may occur along with upper abdomen pain are:

  • Chest pain, chest pressure, chest tightness
  • Trauma to the abdomen
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Inability to have bowel movement accompanied by  vomiting
  • Rigidity of abdomen
  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness such as passing out or unresponsiveness.