Pain in the upper abdomen: possible causes
May 25, 2018
Pain always takes us by surprise.Unpleasant sensations on the top of the abdomen can break all plans and lead to real anguish.As you know, the upper abdomen is the area where several vital organs are located, so the pain in this place can indicate a number of pathologies - from peritonitis to ulcer disease.
Note: if pain persists for more than half an hour, you should see a doctor right away, as taking analgesics will only relieve symptoms for a while, but will not eliminate the cause that caused the illness.Table of contents: Overeating and abdominal pain Abdominal pain on the stomach: what do they show?The nature of pain in the upper abdomen in diseases of the esophagus Stomach is one of the causes of pain at the top of the abdomen How it hurts at the top of the abdomen if the thick and small intestine is affected Liver diseases in which pain is possible at the top of the abdomen Spine pathologies Pain in the upper abdomen with pathologies of the pancreas Other causes, Resulting in abdominal pain in the upper part Pain in the upper abdomen of pregnant women: what's the danger?
Overeating and abdominal pain
Overeating is one of the most common and relatively safe causes of abdominal pain.In particularly difficult cases, it can lead to chronic pain and malfunction of the digestive tract.With frequent use of milk and other products containing lactose, there may be an allergy, intolerance to lactose-containing products.
Love for fatty foods can also cause gravity.Such food provokes increased gas production, which often leads to internal injuries and problems with stools.Abdominal pain associated with overeating is acute and can last 3-5 hours, after which it gradually subside.
Abdominal pain: what do they show?
Most often, pain under the chest indicates a violation of the functions of the gastrointestinal tract.
Please note! The strength and intensity of unpleasant sensations in this zone can directly depend on the location of the nerve endings in the injured organ.
To better understand how pain is formed and spread in this place, it is necessary to get acquainted with different zones of the abdominal cavity.These include:
- epigastrium or epigastric zone - covers the area from the sternum to the navel area;
- left and right hypochondrium - located in the sides of the epigastric zone;
- mesogastrium - the area around the navel;
- lateral areas - located on either side of the mesogastric;
- suprapubic zone - covers the lower abdomen area to the place where the pubic bones are connected;
- iliac fossa - on the left and right of the suprapubic region.
Pain in the epigastric region is not necessarily related to organs located at the top of the abdomen, it can spread here and from other areas.It is often difficult to determine its source.
The character of pain in the upper abdomen in diseases of the esophagus
If the cause of the pains are disorders of the functioning of the esophagus, the pathologies most likely affect the peritoneal part of it.It has a length of 1 to 3 cm and occupies the area between the stomach and the diaphragm.
Another cause of pain - disruption of the sphincter - the muscles between the esophagus and the stomach.
In cases of abnormalities of the sphincter, the pain is often felt in the upper abdomen 1-2 fingers to the left of the center.With other pathologies of the esophagus - in the lower part of the sternum, behind it, at the top of the abdominal cavity.Sometimes - gives in the back.
Stomach is one of the causes of pain at the top of the abdomen
Above and to the right, the stomach comes in contact with the liver, the pancreas is located behind.Some parts of the body are next to the spleen, intestine and omentum.It is worth noting that the size of the stomach, as well as its relationship with neighboring organs varies depending on whether it is empty or full.
Each side of the stomach is connected with peritoneal sheets, so even the slightest spasms of this organ are accompanied by severe pain in the upper abdomen.
For pain with spasm and stenosis of the pylorus of the stomach( sphincter pathology) is characterized by:
- reinforcement in overeating, after eating, especially - solid food( usually after 1.5-2 hours );
- localization slightly lower and to the right of the epigastrium;
- average intensity and periodicity;
- vomiting with acidic contents( usually after a tight meal);Eructation and heartburn
Since the surface of the stomach is covered from the inside with a mucous membrane, and between the outer and inner layers muscle fibers are located, spasms can be evidence of abnormalities of the outer layer of the stomach and inflammations of the mucosa itself.
The gastric mucosa contains a huge number of cells that are responsible for the normal functioning of the organ.The most important role in the process of digestion is played by cells that produce hydrochloric acid, necessary for the breakdown of food.With the normal functioning of the body, the acid does not damage the walls of the stomach, but the disturbance of the acid balance often leads to inflammation of the gastric walls - gastritis.In this case, the patient complains of moderate prolonged pain at the top of the abdomen( under the spoon).For gastritis with high acidity are characterized by hunger pain, subsiding after a small meal.
With the development of destructive changes and the appearance of a defect in the mucosa - ulcers, the pain occurs either on an empty stomach or half an hour after eating.At the same time, hunger pains with food intake only increase.The patient may have heartburn, vomiting with acidic contents, a feeling of heaviness in the stomach, a lack of appetite.
With a bleeding complication of the ulcer, the typical picture of pain does not change, but the stool becomes black and liquid, vomiting resembles the coffee grounds.
Perforation of the gastric membrane leads to a strong tension of the abdominal wall and bloating of the upper abdomen.The pain is unbearable, dagger.
How it hurts at the top of the abdomen if the thick and small intestine is affected
The small intestine begins after the stomach, its walls are formed of smooth muscle tissue.The main task of this system is to continue digesting food and then pushing its residues through the digestive tract.
Spasm of the small intestine can cause abdominal pain, which is called intestinal colic.At the same time there are cramping pain sensations.Most often - in the middle of the abdomen, sometimes they irradiate( give) to the upper abdominal cavity.In a number of cases, the pain at the top of the abdomen is evidence of inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, its ulceration, and other pathologies of the organ.
As for the large intestine, most of it is much lower in the abdominal cavity.In this case, the pain in the upper abdomen is often associated with abnormalities of the transverse colon located below the stomach.It can be various dysfunctions caused by stretching the walls and oncopathologies.
Liver diseases in which abdominal pain is possible at the top of the abdomen
The liver is located in the upper right side of the peritoneum.It performs a number of important functions - elimination of toxic substances, formation of bile and proteins, accumulation of glycogen, etc.Diseases of the liver develop due to various reasons and can manifest themselves in different ways.
Unpleasant sensations are often associated with an increase in the organ, because its internal surface is devoid of nerve endings, and the destruction of the hepatic parenchyma passes painlessly.However, the tissue that surrounds the organ is quite sensitive, so with a moderate increase in the organ pain is insignificant - in the form of discomfort in the right hypochondrium.Its increase is observed with tilts, sharp turns, physical loads.
A severe increase in the liver can lead to severe pain.Another reason that the liver hurts is a purulent congestion( abscess) that affects the outer capsule.
The spleen is located in the region of the left hypochondrium.This body is responsible for the immune control of blood - the accumulation of blood cells, the protection of the body, etc.Considering that the spleen is covered with peritoneal sheets on each side, the patient usually feels a slight discomfort in the left hypochondrium, provoked by an increase in the size of the organ.Sharp strong pains are rare.
Sensible tenderness can be observed with such pathologies as:
- Spleen rupture - pain is severe and sudden, the rupture is often accompanied by bleeding with the development of peritonitis - a condition that threatens the patient's life.
- Spleen infarction - pain acute, triggered by a sudden cessation of blood supply to the body and tissue loss.
- Abscess of the spleen - severe pain on the left side of the abdomen, intensifying when pressed.It is caused by suppuration of the body, accompanied by muscle and headaches, as well as an increase in temperature.
Pains in the upper abdomen with pancreatic pathologies
The pancreas is located behind the stomach almost completely to the left of the midline of the abdomen.With the peritoneum it adjoins only the front wall, so the painful sensations are felt in this area.The gland practically consists of alveoli, inside of which a digestive enzyme is synthesized, which activates bile.
With acute inflammation of the pancreas( pancreatitis), pain is sudden and intense from the first minutes of onset, intensified by movement and deep inspiration.The main place of localization is the zone of epigastrium and navel, often the pain irradiates in the back and hypochondrium.Often the pain is accompanied by nausea, repeated vomiting.
Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by weaker pain, often worse after eating and lasting several hours or even days.
If the bile enters the alveoli, it can cause necrosis of the gland walls, leading to severe unbearable pains at the top of the abdomen to the left.
Other causes leading to abdominal pain in the upper part of the
If the stomach hurts at the top, this may be the body's response to any stimuli-foreign body entry, cell necrosis, blood flow outbreaks.The nature of pain and its intensity directly depends on the organ or system where inflammation develops. The following pathologies can be diagnosed:
- Myocardial infarction.Pain under the breastbone - an atypical place of localization for such a disease.It is not accompanied by other symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, but there is a pallor of the skin, changes in blood pressure, the frequency and rhythm of the pulse, increased sweating.
- Mechanical abdominal trauma.The nature and intensity of pain depends on the place of injury, its intensity, and the degree of damage to the affected organs.
- Diaphragmatic hernia.The widening of the esophageal opening of the diaphragm can be asymptomatic, sometimes with a slight feeling of discomfort behind the sternum or minor pain after eating in the upper abdomen.When you leave the food beyond the diaphragm and infringe on such a hernia, acute pain occurs, indicating a threat to the life of the patient.
- Appendicitis.In some cases, the debut of pain is observed not in the iliac fossa on the right, but in the epigastric region.The pain is moderate, and only after 30-60 minutes it moves directly to the location of the appendix and becomes intense.
Pain in the upper abdomen of pregnant women: what's the danger?
Pregnancy is not only a wonderful waiting time for the baby, but also many months of fear, anxiety and anxiety.At this time, the health of the expectant mother requires special attention, so the appearance of even the slightest pain sensations is already a serious reason to consult a doctor.
Most often during pregnancy, a woman feels sharp pains that quickly pass.They usually accompany the stretching of the uterus, which presses on the peritoneum, causing unpleasant sensations.This kind of pain at the top of the abdomen of a pregnant woman can be intensified by coughing, sneezing or abrupt position changes.Do not in this case immediately take pain medication - just calm down and accept the fact that the body changes in anticipation of the baby's appearance.
Unfortunately, abdominal pain during pregnancy is sometimes of a menacing nature.So, sharp unpleasant sensations on early terms can testify about threat of a miscarriage, and also gynecological problems.In this case, the pregnant woman's stomach aches, it seems that the fights begin.
Important! Pains in different parts of the abdomen can also testify to an ectopic pregnancy.In this case, the pregnancy test will be positive, but ultrasound will not be visible to the fetal egg.
As you can see, a number of diseases, both serious and not so, can cause the pain on the top of the abdomen.In any case, if the pain does not recede after a few hours, be sure to consult a specialist, go through the examination, establish the cause of this condition and start the timely treatment of existing pathologies.
Chumachenko Olga, medical reviewer