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Question DetailsAsked on 7/7/2012

What cause upper stomach pains

The pain is sharp and bloating

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2 Answers


It depends on several things. When you say upper, do you mean right below your diaphragm? In the center? Towards the right or towards the center?

The first thing I would think of is gallstones causing discomfort, but it could also be inflammation around the pancreas or GERD. An ultrasound can rule out and confirm these things.

Answered 8 years ago by Goldrush40


Upper stomach pain can be caused by a myriad of things. Commonly, though, in otherwise healthy folks, the most common cause of a pain like this is simply constipation. Americans have notoriously low bulk and fiber foods, so constipation, with resultant bloating and crampy pains anywhere along the length of the large bowel or colon, is common. Remember that the large bowel begins in the right lower abdomen, comes up the side, drapes across the abdomen just under the ribs and then descends the left side down to the rectum. Buildup of stool throughout this length can cause these and similar symptoms.
It is true that other things can cause this type of discomfort; GERD, peptic ulcer disease, lactose intolerance, esophageal irritation or spasm, H. pylori infection of the stomach lining, a more common diagnosis all the time, pancreatitis (although pancreatitis is generally an acute onset, very seriously painful illness that often puts people immediately into the hospital), gallbladder disease, and, oddly enough in women, urinary tract infection. Certainly inflammation or issues with the heart and lungs can present here as well, this is not so common is young healthy folk. Less common problems can include celiac disease (tropical sprue or, more recently, gluten enteropathy), disorders of hemoglobin metabolism, in older folks, especially those who smoke, inadequate blood flow to the stomach and bowel, diabetic gastropathy, where the stomach and bowel cannot contract and move food as they should, and many other more obscure and uncommon illnesses can all cause similar symptoms. Remember, this list is by no means encyclopedic and not meant as a complete 'laundry list' of causes of abdominal pain.
But, since common things occur commonly, I'd start by looking at your diet and bowel habits first.

Answered 8 years ago by mbandercoot

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