Causes of Upper Abdominal Pain


Upper abdominal pain can have different causes.

Upper abdominal pain can go through a whole host of different causes arise. Here the organsthat can be found in the area of ​​the upper abdomen may be considered as the cause. The upper abdominal pain is then often organ-specific and can be found at the point where the organ is located in the body.

On the other hand, the cause of Upper abdominal pain Organs that are not located directly in the upper abdomen, but elsewhere on the body, for example in the chest or lower abdomen, are also possible. The pain in the upper abdomen then occurs via a so-called Projection of painbecause certain areas in the body share the same pain fibers. Usually, however, the doctor has an initial idea of ​​the cause of the upper abdominal pain based on the location of the upper abdominal pain. Together with the anamnese the pain, the diseases can be limited.


To the root cause of the Upper abdominal pain To get to the bottom of it, there are a number of options available to the doctor. The most important is that anamnese of the patient, i.e. the collection of the medical history. The main concern here is the type of upper abdominal pain. Important questions are when the pain occurs, how it presents itself, whether it comes at regular intervals, where exactly the pain is localized, whether the pain radiates and whether there are certain triggers?

Also accompanying symptoms like nausea, Vomit, Changes in stool / discoloration, Changes in urin or Changes in urination, such as Pre-existing illness and Medication can help identify the cause of the upper abdominal pain. Coming up next imaging procedures used like the Ultrasound examination, X-rays or even one Computed Tomography.

Read more about the topic here Bloated stomach after eating

Upper abdominal pain on the right side

For Upper abdominal pain on the right side there are some typical causes. In the right upper abdomen are mainly the liver, as well as the Gallbladder.

The most common diseases that can be the cause of right-sided upper abdominal pain are one Inflammation of the gallbladder, such as Gallstone colic. An acute inflammation of the gallbladder, medical Cholecystitis called, is associated with right-sided to central upper abdominal pain, which can possibly radiate towards the back or towards the right shoulder. The most common cause of inflammation of the gallbladder is the formation of gallstones and the possible obstruction of the biliary tract by the stones. The 6x-F rule briefly and concisely describes the risk factors for the development of gallstones: "female, fair, fat, forty, fertile, family - that is, female, fair-skinned, overweight,> 40 years of age, fertile and family stress." Biliary colic usually go with cramping and wavy pain in the right upper abdomen.

The diagnostics come first anamnese and the physical examination for use. Gallstones The fastest way to do this is with Ultrasonic be detected. In addition, the Blood test Signs of inflammation Find. If the biliary tract is blocked by a gallstone, the so-called increase can also occur Cholestasis parameters coming (gamma-GT and AP). These give the doctor an indication of a biliary obstruction.

Furthermore can also Liver disease Cause upper abdominal pain. Here is also the most likely one inflammation (viral, bacterial, autoimmune or toxic from drugs), but also Abscesses or a Tumors can cause upper abdominal pain. Inflammation of the liver, also hepatitis often have very unspecific general symptoms at the beginning. Which includes flu symptoms with subfebrile temperatures, Exhaustion, fatigue, possibly too Loss of appetite or nausea, but also pain on pressure in the area of ​​the right upper abdomen. By far the most common form of acute liver inflammation is caused by the Hepatitis A viruses caused.

If both the gallbladder and the liver are excluded as the cause of the right-sided upper abdominal pain, one should also always contact one Kidney disease or the ureter as well as a Appendicitis think. Furthermore, both a lung infection as well as one Inflammation of the pleura and pleura as the cause of the upper abdominal pain. Also one Colon cancer can be the cause of upper abdominal pain.

Upper abdominal pain on the left side

A disease of the spleen and a disease of the large intestine are possible causes of left-sided upper abdominal pain, as these two organs are located in the left upper abdomen. A rupture or tear in the spleen can cause severe left-sided upper abdominal pain. A ruptured spleen must always be considered in the context of trauma, for example if a bicycle accident has resulted in a fall over the handlebars. Since the spleen is very well supplied with blood, there are signs of shock, cold sweat, palpitations and dizziness in addition to the severe upper abdominal pain.

A splenic infarction can also be a cause of left-sided upper abdominal pain. This leads to a sudden onset of pain, which can also radiate into the left shoulder. Fever and nausea can also occur as part of a splenic infarction. In the case of left-sided upper abdominal pain, just as with the right side, one should think of diseases of the kidney and ureter or possible cancer of the colon.

Upper abdominal pain in the middle

The most common cause of Upper abdominal pain in the middle concerns the stomach. Here comes first Inflammation of the stomach lining, which are also called gastritis is known. She can get through stress, various Medication, large amounts of alcohol or through bacteria to be triggered. The symptoms are often rather unspecific upper abdominal pain. You can trigger it with pressure.

The most common cause of chronic middle upper abdominal pain is bacteria-mediated gastric mucosal inflammation. The bacteria that are responsible for this are called Helicobacter pylori and can use a triple therapy consisting of two different Antibiotics and one Gastric acid inhibitors be treated well.

Should be a ulcer form, there are typical symptoms that can give an indication of the location of the ulcer. Is that ulcer in the area of Stomach, then they kick Upper abdominal pain especially immediately after Ingestion or but food independent on. If the ulcer is more in the area of ​​the Duodenum, that is, in the intestine that joins the stomach, the Pain typically in the night or if you sober is on (see: Upper abdominal pain at night). However, after ingesting food, they get better. The cause of the ulcers is also here bacteria, Smokewho have stopped taking certain Painkillers (the non-steroidal antiheumatic drugs like diclofenac) in combination with a Cortisone preparation.

A Inflammation of the esophagus Rising stomach acid can sometimes be the cause of upper abdominal pain in the middle. Other causes of central upper abdominal pain can be Inflammation of the pancreas be a beginning Appendicitis or sometimes a Closure of the intestinal vessels.

Also a Heart attack can lead to central upper abdominal pain without causing the typical chest pain in the heart area at the same time.

Upper abdominal pain belt-shaped

A typical cause for belt-shaped upper abdominal pain provides the Inflammation of the pancreas main symptoms of the so-called Pancreatitis are a sudden onset of epigastric pain, which can radiate in all directions and can form a belt around the body. The pain can radiate into the back or chest and can therefore sometimes be misinterpreted. In addition, the patient can nausea and Vomit complain about as well fever or increased air build-up in the abdomen.

It is rather rare to find bluish discoloration in the area of ​​the navel or both flanks. The abdomen may be bloated. Doctors call such a belly "firm and elastic". Inflammation can be caused by a Closure of the pancreatic duct due to stones, e.g. from Gallstones arise. Also alcohol or Medication can lead to it. Typical ones can be found in the laboratory Elevations in pancreatic enzymes. In the beginning of the treatment, monitoring the patient and temporarily stopping food intake are the top priorities.