What Is Epigastric Pain
Structure – The epigastrium is one of the nine regions of the abdomen, along with the right and left hypochondria, right and left lateral regions (lumbar areas or flanks), right and left inguinal regions (or fossae), and the umbilical and pubic regions.
It is located between the costal margins and the subcostal plane, During breathing, the diaphragm contracts and flattens, displacing the viscera and producing an outward movement of the upper abdominal wall (epigastric region). It is a convergence of the diaphragm and the abdominals, so that “when both sets of muscles (diaphragm and abdominals) tense, the epigastrium pushes forward”.
Therefore, the epigastric region is not a muscle nor is it an organ, but it is a zone of activity where the actions of the rectus abdominis and the diaphragm produce an outward bulging of the upper abdominal wall.
How do I know if I have epigastric pain?
What is Epigastric Pain and When should I be Concerned? Epigastric pain is pain that is localized to the region of the upper abdomen immediately below the ribs. Often, those who experience this type of pain feel it during or right after eating or if they lie down too soon after eating.
It is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn. Some people have mild epigastric pain that occurs after eating and subsides quickly, while others may have a severe burning feeling in the abdomen, chest and neck that prevents sleep. Other symptoms that may accompany epigastric pain include abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting, depending on the underlying cause.
In rare cases, epigastric pain is due to heart conditions such as heart attack and angina (chest pain due to the heart not getting enough oxygen). Epigastric pain is not a serious symptom on its own. However, if it occurs with other life-threatening symptoms, it may be a sign of a condition that should receive immediate medical treatment, such as a heart attack.
Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for epigastric pain but mild symptoms recur or are persistent. If you see or experience emergency symptoms, head to: Highland Park Emergency Room 5150 Lemmon Ave. Suite #108call us at 972-268-6346or Preston Hollow Emergency Room 8007 Walnut Hill Lanecall us at 214-217-0911
A free-standing emergency room right in your neighborhood. We are open 24-hours a day — the only no-wait emergency rooms around. An emergency room physician can see you quickly, evaluate your condition, and take steps to alleviate your symptoms immediately. If appropriate, they will admit you to the hospital if needed. : What is Epigastric Pain and When should I be Concerned?
What organs are affected by epigastric pain?
What is epigastric pain? – The upper part of your abdomen, which sits below your rib cage, is known as the epigastrium. Your pancreas sits within the epigastrium, as well as parts of your small intestine, stomach and liver. Pain or discomfort below your ribs in this area of the upper abdomen is called epigastric pain.
Is epigastric pain curable?
How is epigastric pain diagnosed and treated? – Your healthcare provider will feel your abdomen to see if it is tender or rigid. Your provider may change or stop any medicine you are taking that is causing your pain. Your pain may go away without treatment, or you may need any of the following:
- Medicines may be given to treat pain or stop vomiting. You may also need medicines to reduce or control stomach acid, or treat an infection.
- Blood or urine tests may show problems such as infection or inflammation. The tests may also show how well your liver is working.
- An x-ray is used to check your kidneys and bladder.
- An ultrasound is used to check your gallbladder for stones or other blockage.
- A bowel movement sample may be tested for blood.
What not to eat with epigastric pain?
If certain foods seem to cause your pain, try not to eat them. Certain foods can worsen symptoms of gastritis. Limit or avoid fatty, fried, and spicy foods, as well as coffee, chocolate, mint, and foods with high acid content such as tomatoes and citrus fruit and juices (orange, grapefruit, lemon). Eat slowly and chew food well before swallowing. Symptoms of gastritis can be worsened by certain foods. Don’t drink alcohol. It can irritate the stomach. If you have trouble giving up alcohol, ask your doctor for treatment resources. Don’t consume caffeine, or use tobacco. These can delay healing and worsen your problem. Try eating smaller meals with snacks in between. Don’t eat large meals before bedtime. Keep an empty stomach for 2 to 3 hours before lying down. Prop the head of the bed up if you have overnight symptoms. This helps acid clear from your esophagus.
Is epigastric pain an emergency?
Abdominal or stomach pain can have many causes. It may be due to food poisoning, an intestinal or gall bladder obstruction, an infection or inflammation. It could also be appendicitis, a kidney stone or peptic ulcer disease. In women abdominal pain can result from an ectopic pregnancy, an ovarian cyst, pelvic inflammatory disease or other female organ disorder.
In addition, some people with pneumonia, a bladder infection or a heart attack experience abdominal pain. Acute abdominal pain can also be caused by chronic medical conditions, such as pancreatitis; colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine (colon); or diverticulitis, an inflammation of small out-pouchings along the colon wall.
For mild abdominal pain, call your doctor first. If the pain is sudden, severe or does not ease within 30 minutes, seek emergency medical care. Sudden abdominal pain is often an indicator of serious intra-abdominal disease, such as a perforated ulcer or a ruptured abdominal aneurysm, although it could also result from a benign disease, such as gallstones.
Symptoms of appendicitis may include severe pain (usually in the lower right abdomen, but may start anywhere in the abdomen), loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting or fever. Treatment generally requires urgent surgical removal of the appendix. Long delays in treatment can cause serious complications resulting from perforation (rupture) of the appendix, which can lead to a life-threatening infection. Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. In an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg has implanted outside of the normal site in the “womb” or uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis usually include pain in the middle upper abdomen that may last for a few days. The pain may become severe and constant, or it may be sudden and intense. It may also begin as mild pain that gets worse when food is eaten. Other symptoms include nausea, a swollen and tender abdomen, fever and a rapid pulse.
Anyone who thinks they’re having a medical emergency should not hesitate to seek care. Federal law ensures that anyone who comes to the emergency department is treated and stabilized, and that their insurance provides coverage based on symptoms, not a final diagnosis. Read more about Know When to Go Infections & Infectious Diseases Know When to Go Public Education
Does milk help epigastric pain?
Several decades ago, doctors advised drinking milk to ease an upset stomach. However, this advice is no longer commonly given. In the years since, research has established that drinking milk, though it provides temporary relief to an upset stomach, actually makes the problem worse in the long run.