A Doctor’s Opinion: What To Do In Case of Sudden Pain in The Upper Abdomen?

The below-furnished information about ‘sudden pain in the upper abdomen’ has been extracted from a conversation with one of the senior and experienced general surgeons of Pristyn Care. 

Abdominal pain, most commonly known as stomachaches, is a very common complaint in children and adults alike. The pain sometimes can be mild, and during other times, very intense. Abdominal pain may originate in one particular location and spread to nearby areas. Other times, it may start in one location and subside on its own without creating much discomfort to the person.

The upper abdomen is where most often stomach pain originates. There can be several reasons for pain in the upper abdomen. To know how to deal with a particular kind of pain in the upper abdomen, it is important to understand what might cause the pain in the first place.

Common causes of pain in the upper abdomen include:

  1. Gas

Gas is one of the most common problems that occur in the digestive tract that causes pain in the upper abdomen. Other symptoms of gas are feeling fullness and bloating in the stomach.

The pain caused due to gas can come in waves, make the stomach swell, and cause diarrhoea or constipation.

Pain in the upper abdomen caused due to gas can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

  1. Hiatal hernia

When a part of the stomach bulges or protrudes out through the large muscle between the abdomen and the diaphragm, the condition is called hiatal hernia. Commonly, pain caused due to a hiatal hernia can be felt in the upper left abdomen. A hiatal hernia can also cause symptoms like:

acid reflux



black colour stools

shortness of breath

  1. Gallstones

Gallstones are one of the most common causes of pain in the upper abdomen. The pain is generally felt on the right side.

Gallstones do not always cause symptoms until they block the bile duct. In that case, along with pain in the upper abdomen, the person can also experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting, intense pain below the breastbone, and pain below the shoulders. Pain caused due to gallstone can either last for hours or subside within a few minutes.

  1. Indigestion

Indigestion is not a comfortable feeling. It not only causes pain in the upper abdomen but also causes a burning feeling. This condition is also known as dyspepsia. When the food that we eat is not properly digested and mixes with the excess amount of acid in the stomach, it causes indigestion. 

Frequent indigestion may be an indicator of acid reflux, stomach ulcer, or stomach cancer.

  1. Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an infection in the liver. Hepatitis can cause pain in the upper abdomen.

Along with pain in the upper abdomen, hepatitis can cause fever, joint pain, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite.

Now, the question is – what to do for pain in the upper abdomen caused due to any of the above reasons or some other.

Each abdomen pain is different and hence needs a different treatment approach. The root of getting relief from any pain in the upper abdomen is to diagnose the exact cause of the pain.

If the pain in the upper abdomen is due to constipation, a change in bowel habits can provide relief.

Pain caused due to any obstruction in the intestine can be relieved by vomiting.

If the pain is sudden and is accompanied by bloating and burning sensation, popping an antacid can provide instant relief.

When to see a doctor for pain in the upper abdomen?

Pain in the upper abdomen does not always require a doctor visit. If the cause is  simple, there’s a high chance that the pain will go away with medications and some rest. But, you might need to consult a doctor, if the pain in your upper abdomen occurs with these symptoms:

  • severe pain
  • blood vomit
  • blood in the stool
  • pain in the scrotum
  • fever and chills
  • long lasting pain
  • unable to pass urine
  • shortness of breath

There are also effective home remedies that can help you treat an upset stomach and help you provide relief from any pain in the upper abdomen. However, if the doctor confirms a serious condition such as cholecystitis, the patient may have to undergo a laparoscopic gallstone removal surgery. Laparoscopic gallstone removal surgery in Gurgaon is offered by several surgeons. 

  1. Drink enough water. Drinking lukewarm water throughout the day can help manage digestive issues.
  2. Do not lie down. If the abdominal pain is due to gas or acidity, lying down on the bed may cause heartburn.
  3. Include ginger in your drinks and foods. Ginger is a natural remedy for indigestion and can provide instant relief to stomach ache.
  4. Mint leaves consumed in either raw or cooked form may provide relief from abdominal pain caused due to constipation.
  5. Take warm baths. Taking warm baths can ease indigestion and provide instant relief from pain in the upper abdomen.


Pain in the upper abdomen is not generally a major concern. But, knowing the underlying cause of the problem always keeps the person at a safer front. If abdominal pain of any kind is causing you trouble, you can now easily connect with an experienced general surgeon of Pristyn Care and discuss your condition in detail.

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