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Acid Reflux / GERD

Ten causes of epigastric pain

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By BS Media Twitter Profile
Published: Wednesday, 13 December 2017
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Table of contents
  1. Ten causes of epigastric pain
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Treatment
  4. When to see a doctor
Epigastric pain is felt in the middle of the upper abdomen, just below the ribcage. Occasional epigastric pain is not normally a cause for concern and may be as simple as a stomach ache from feeding bad food.

There are galore common digestive problems associated with epigastric pain, as well as a range of other underlying conditions that can cause pain in that area.

Serious cases may be dangerous, and it is important to work with a doctor to understand the difference between a simple cause of epigastric pain and a more serious underlying condition.

Ten causes of epigastric pain

Epigastric pain is a common symptom of an upset stomach, which can be due to long-run GI problems or just the occasional bout of dyspepsia.

1. Indigestion

Epigastric pain is felt just under the ribcage and is generally not a cause for concern.

Indigestion normally occurs after feeding. When a person chow thing, the stomach produces acid to digest the food. Sometimes, this acid can irritate the lining of the digestive system.

Indigestion can cause symptoms so much as:

  • burping
  • bloating in the abdomen
  • feeling full or distended, even if the portion size was not big
  • nausea

These symptoms are often felt aboard epigastric pain. piece dyspepsia happens to everyone from time to time, it may be a sign that a person is intolerant of thing they have recently eaten.

2. Acid reflux and GERD

Acid reflux occurs when the stomach acid used in digestion gets backed up in the food pipe (oesophagus). Acid reflux normally causes pain in the chest and throat, which is normally best-known as pyrosis. This feeling may accompany epigastric pain or be felt on its own.

Other common symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • dyspepsia
  • burning or aching chest pain
  • feeling like there is a lump in the throat or chest
  • an acidic or a vomit-like taste in the mouth
  • a persistent sore throat or gruff voice
  • a persistent cough

Ongoing acid reflux can damage the food pipe and may cause internal organ reflux illness, or GERD. People with GERD experience epigastric pain and symptoms of dyspepsia often and may require treatment and dietary changes to manage the condition.

Some cases of GERD can lead to a condition called Barrett's oesophagus, where the tissue of the food pipe starts to look like the tissue in the bowels.

3. Overfeeding

The stomach is very flexible. nevertheless, feeding more than necessary causes the stomach to expand on the far side its normal capacity.

If the stomach expands well, it can put pressure on the variety meat around the stomach and cause epigastric pain. Overfeeding can besides cause dyspepsia, acid reflux, and pyrosis.

4. milk sugar intolerance

milk sugar intolerance can be some other cause of epigastric pain. People who are milk sugar intolerant have trouble breakage down milk sugar, a sugar found in milk and other dairy farm products.

For people with milk sugar intolerance, feeding dairy farm can cause epigastric pain and other symptoms, including:

  • stomach pains
  • cramps and bloating
  • gas
  • nausea or vomit
  • diarrhoea
milk sugar intolerance: What you need to know
People with milk sugar intolerance cannot metabolise milk sugar properly. If they consume foods containing milk sugar, they may experience bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea. Learn more.
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5. Drinking alcohol

Moderate drinking is normally not enough to upset the stomach or bowels. nevertheless, drinking too much alcohol at once or excess alcohol over long periods of time can cause inflammation in the lining of the stomach. This inflammation can lead to epigastric pain and other digestive issues.

6. oesophagitis or inflammation

oesophagitis is inflammation of the lining of the food pipe. inflammation is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. oesophagitis and inflammation can be caused by acid reflux, infections, and irritation from certain medications. Some immune system disorders may besides cause inflammation.

If this inflammation is left untreated, it can create scar tissue or hemorrhage. Other common symptoms include:

  • acidic or vomit-like taste in the mouth
  • persistent cough
  • burning in the chest and throat
  • trouble swallowing
  • nausea
  • vomit or spit up blood
  • poor nutrition

7. Hiatal herniation

A hiatal herniation occurs when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and into the chest. This may be due to an accident or weakened diaphragm muscles.

In addition to epigastric pain, other common symptoms of hiatal herniations include:

  • sore throat
  • irritation or harshness in the throat
  • trouble swallowing
  • gas or especially loud burps
  • chest discomfort

Hiatal herniations atypically affect older people and may not cause epigastric pain in every case.

8. organic process ulceration illness

organic process ulceration illness is when the lining of the stomach or small bowel has been damaged by a microorganism infection or by taking too much of certain medications, so much as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug drugs (NSAIDs).

Symptoms of organic process ulceration illness can include epigastric pain and signs of internal hemorrhage, so much as stomach pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

9. bladder disorder

Issues with the bladder may besides cause epigastric pain. Gallstones may be block the opening of the bladder, or the bladder may be inflamed. Specific bladder symptoms can include:

  • intense pain near the upper right side of the stomach after feeding
  • clay-colored stool
  • jaundice or yellowing skin
  • loss of appetite
  • gas and bloating

10. Pregnancy

It is very common to feel mild epigastric pain during gestation. This is normally caused by acid reflux or pressure on the abdomen from the expanding uterus. Changes in endocrine levels throughout gestation can besides aggravate acid reflux and epigastric pain.

Severe or persistent epigastric pain during gestation can be a sign of a more serious condition, so a woman should visit her doctor if experiencing any unusual symptoms.


An examination may be carried out to find the cause of unexplained epigastric pain.

Diagnosing the cause of epigastric pain is essential to ensure proper treatment. A health care professional will likely ask a series of questions about the pain and any extra symptoms.

If the cause is unclear, they may order tests, including:

  • imaging tests, so much as X-rays, ultrasound, or an examination
  • urine tests to check for infections or bladder disorders
  • blood tests
  • cardiac tests


Trfeeding epigastric pain will vary according to the cause. For instance, if overfeeding often causes epigastric pain, a person may wish to eat littler portions and ensure they are feeding filling foods, so much as lean proteins. They may besides want to avoid foods that cause gas.

Conditions so much as GERD, organic process ulcerations, and Barrett's oesophagus may require long-run treatment to manage symptoms. A person should work with their doctor to find a treatment plan that works for them.

If a doctor thinks that taking certain medications is causation the condition, they may recommend switch to a new drug or reducing the dosage.

Over-the-counter or prescription antacids to help reduce frequent acid reflux and epigastric pain caused by stomach acid may be helpful.

When to see a doctor

Occasional epigastric pain is not normally a cause for concern, but anyone with severe or persistent epigastric pain should see their doctor.

Symptoms that last more than a few years or that occur more than doubly a week on a regular basis would be considered persistent.

A visit to the emergency room may be necessary in some cases. Signs of severe complications that require prompt treatment include:

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • intense pressure or squeeze pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood
  • blood in the stool
  • nausea, vomit, or diarrhoea lasting more than 24 hours in adults
  • high fever
  • extreme fatigue or loss of consciousness

Many cases of epigastric pain can be treated and prevented by making small changes in the diet or life style. Even degenerative symptoms can be managed well with medications and dietary changes.

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